When I was younger, I had so many dreams and aspirations for myself. I was going to set the world on fire! I loved to sing and act, I lost myself in books and plays, I rode for hours on my motorcycle singing until I was able to fully let go of my emotions. I had my head firmly stuck in the clouds, and I kept it there for quite a while. (As many of you can firmly attest.) I believed that people were basically good at heart, that having a boyfriend made me complete and that if I wanted something badly enough, I would have it. Yes, those were the days. I was a dewy eyed romantic who wished that I could grow up faster and get on with what my life was intended for. I was going to live my life on 'the boards' with the smell of greasepaint forever surrounding me, I was going to be a star! I suppose in some small way, maybe we all were.
But my life took a different direction a sharp turn along the way when I was in my second year of college and I met the man who was to become my husband. I married young, very young -19 to not the first man who asked, and a short 10 months after we had pledged our vows, I had my first child. She was perfect of course as it wouldn't be any other way. I was naive as well as young strong willed, fiercely loyal and everything else that a 20 year old could be. I had a plan for my life, a purpose and somehow, someday, all of my dreams would come true. In other words, I knew nothing.
Since that time all those many years ago, many things have changed. I've grown older and presumably wiser. I suffered loss and change, and lived to tell about it. I've taken off the rose colored glasses-or had them ripped from my face only to be replaced with another pair. I have learned and grown to know much more about myself and the world around me. Most of it, is unimportant drivel. What was important to me then is no longer a priority, I've changed along the way and though my journey has not been without its trials, I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that I am not what or where I thought I would be at this juncture of my life, but I also know that I am exactly where I was intended to be. Those plans for my life were set in motion long before I was able to draw a conscious thought. Life has changed me and shaped me into the person that I am today. I am still a dewy eyed romantic, and my head can often be found up in the clouds, but I'm different. Having my name up in lights no longer matters anymore as I have made my name important in different ways. Though I have many different aliases, each one has its own unique and precious meaning to me: Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mentor, Grandmother, Teacher, Child of God, and on and on and on. All of those monikers I hold close to my heart and have helped to mold me into the woman that I am today.
The bumps and bruises that I have encountered are badges of honor for me. For without those, I would not be the person you see before you. I know that life is rarely played out as we had dreamed, sometimes it is so much more. Sometimes, what we think we want the most can also be what holds us back from our fully actualized selves. If you had told me when I was 16 or 17 that by the time I reached 50 I would have been married for 31 years, had 2 children, 1 grandchild, a job that I never knew I wanted till I got it, have seen friendships lost and found, seen loved ones pass, realize the importance of my faith and been diagnosed with a life altering disease, I would never have believed it. Think back to your youth and try to remember what you wanted then and compare it to what you have now. Funny, don't you think. I am so much more than I believed I could be, so much stronger, more resiliant and so much more grateful. I've come to understand the true importance of my family in my life and the role that I can and do play in theirs. I'm wiser than I could have ever believed, yet I have not lost my compassion or my joy for life. I so love the life that I live and feel truly Blessed to have been given this gift!
This is me. This is who I am now, at this place in this time. Tomorrow I may be one step closer to a goal or I could be one step further away, but I will be grateful for those steps and learn from each and every one. This is me, this is who I was intended to be. And I couldn't be an any better me than the one I am now...
4 hours ago