It’s funny how there are times in life where you absolutely need to take a step back and re-evaluate your life. Most recently, that is happening for me as I’m about to celebrate my 42nd birthday in a few days.
I’ve had a number of starts, stops and resets in my personal journey and just as I think I’ve finally started to figure (some) things out, the universe seems to shake things up again. I begin (again) to rethink all of my decisions that have brought me to where I am at the present moment and I take time to really look at my world and my life and my choices and ask myself the hard questions.
I wonder does anyone else find themselves second guessing things over and over again? I’m envious of the people in the world who just seem to have gotten things right and appear for all intents and purposes to be coasting through their lives. (If that’s you reading this, you need to call me or write a how-to book because I feel like my time is ticking away and my life is overwrought with mistakes on top of more mistakes.)
I really do want to get things right. Just once.
Overall, I just want peace and quiet deep down and all the way into my soul because I’m tired, y’all. At the same time, in my current role as a Bereavement Coordinator for a local Hospice, I have the honor of spending time with people in their final days and sometimes hours while supporting their families and significant others as they learn their way forward in their grief. I’ve found that I’m so envious of those people who have their forever person to hold their hand through their life’s journey. Recently I’ve supported people who have had “their person” for 50+ years. It seems a rare thing in this day and age and it’s bittersweet to have a small window in to a love like that.
And then I think to myself, maybe I’m my own person. Maybe there’s no real “ride or die” that’s meant for me. Maybe my journey is meant to have starts and stops and resets because I’m supposed to learn grace and patience and perseverance along the way with fierce independence? And if that’s the case: yikes. That’s hella scary to me.
I love people. I love people fiercely. But maybe a fierce and hard love like that burns so brightly and then, ultimately burns out for a reason. Maybe I’ve given too much of what’s inherently me, away.
I don’t have the answers for me. I had hoped that I’d have my shit figured out by now. The only thing I really know for sure anymore is that I know absolutely nothing.
I know that there are no absolutes for me and there haven’t yet been any black and white situations where I’ve known what’s what. There’s all kinds of shades of grey.
And maybe that too, is a lesson that this life is teaching me. That I’m not ready for the test or the final exam so to speak. I’m still learning and growing and studying and hoping that I’ll ace it when my time comes.
Let’s cross our fingers and hope.
This is me 40-ish years ago.
I love this picture. My aunt recently moved and my cousin found it and sent it to me and I’ve been so thoughtful since seeing this photograph of this sweet little girl.
That smile and that light in her eyes are pure magic to me and remind me that I came into this world unbroken and full of hope and happiness and the possibilities were absolutely endless.
I wish I could hug her. I wish I could tell her that it will be hard as hell and she will often want to give up. I would tell her that she is resilient beyond measure and she will make ginormous mistakes but she will always get back up.
She will bend but not break.
She will love with every ounce of her being and she will cry until she feels like all of her breath has left her.
She will recover and move forward and climb mountains and learn to love after losses.
Again and again.
So many times she will feel that her world has shattered and just as many times she will feel like the whole universe is hers to learn and love all over again.
The highs can be unimaginably high and the lows just as devastating and still, she will continue.
It’s been a wild and crazy ride and as I’m about to celebrate my 42nd birthday, I can’t say I’d change a thing. Every moment has lead me to another lesson or a new victory and has made me the woman I am proud to be today: perfectly imperfect—- but still full of light, love, hope and magic.
Some of the harder life lessons that I’ve carried with me for 42 years, I’ve recently had to unlearn and un-teach myself. They were lies. The big, fat ugly ones. The heavy ones that weigh you down and cause you to be small and feel like you can’t stand up tall and be who you’re made to be.
It’s not really clear to me where I picked up these untruths. I can’t say if anyone in particular said them to me with their outside voice or I was simply led to believe them by the actions of others. But they stuck.
And, the un-sticking has been hard. But it’s also been worth it.
Here are some of my favorite big-fat-ugly lies that I am unlearning: I am inherently hard to love. I am too much. I am not enough. I’m unworthy of kindness. Who I am is wrong.
And here are the universal truths that I am reteaching myself —- on a daily basis: Love is easy. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t keep a tally of wrongs. Love doesn’t require me to do anything. Love lets me be me and doesn’t ask a single thing of me. Love doesn’t find my faults. Love doesn’t shame me. Love doesn’t make me feel anxious or less than. Love doesn’t think I’m too much. Love doesn’t think I’m not enough.
Also: Love is perfect. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t require me to earn it. Love simply is.
I hope that you haven’t learned the wrong lessons in your life, but if you have, I want you to know that those big-fat-ugly lies are not who YOU are. Who YOU are is magic. Who YOU are is light. And, most importantly: who YOU are is love. And it takes no effort to love. It simply is.
Get unstuck. Don’t let their voice or their actions and inability to love turn into your inner voice that you carry with you. Unstick yourself. Use some emotional goo-gone and stop that roller coaster of self-doubt and self loathing.
Stay clear of those people who make you doubt your value in this world. Because YOU are absolutely-fucking-amazing, friend. When you find yourself doubting that, read this. YOU are filling the YOU shaped hole in this universe. And no one else could ever do that.