Who am I? Sometimes it’s hard to know. I believe with each new day, each new interaction, and each new experience I become shaped and molded into the person I know I was meant to be. It’s hard to stay focused and to keep my old behaviors, fears, and beliefs out of my evolving so I can grow in each moment. I’ve thought about this question for many years. I often wondered how the people around me would describe me if they were asked. Truth is, it doesn’t matter anymore. Because I realize, people that have not walked in my shoes, or lived through my experiences can judge me, but they could never really know me without being part of my mind and soul. So, I will tell you who I am because, besides God, I am really the only one who knows.
I’m a little girl full of life, who grew up in a small town on the edge of the Appalachian Trail. I never really had a particular group of friends. I was always surrounded by people but never felt I completely fit in. I never had that one perfect friend that was worthy of all my time. My friends were scattered and diverse. Quite honestly, I fit in better with boys. They didn’t gossip, or get angry over little things, and were easier to hang out with. In time it prepared me to choose friends wisely, because what really mattered was not the quantity but instead the quality. Those are the people that I let touch my heart. Sometimes they were only passing through, and sometimes permanent, but each one served a purpose in my life and I cherish each and every one of them.
I spent most of my time in a gym an hour away from where I lived. I didn’t realize it at the time, but gymnastics taught me some pretty important things about myself. It taught me that with time, hard work, and dedication, I could do some pretty amazing things. Even if I couldn’t see myself doing something in my mind, belief in myself was enough to insure that beam would be under my feet when I needed to land. What an amazing lesson huh? At a young age I learned to be grounded. Gymnastics also taught me focus. To block out all the noise and distraction around me so that I could do skills that fortunately did not lead to me breaking my neck. It taught me that even when my body was sore, and my muscles were tired, if I dug down deep enough, I could always give that little bit more.
I learned through my mothers cancer that life is not always permanent, and those people we depend on someday may just need to find strength in us. I learned that when we are healthy we sometimes move through life like we already dead, but sometimes it’s the people that are dying that teach us how to live the most. I learned how to hit my knees hard and pray for something that really matters and not to use up those prayers on things that our future self would find pretty trivial. I learned hope, because sometimes God has a plan that doesn’t involve taking your Mom sooner then he could.
I am someone that has learned that nothing is permanent, not a relationship, or a spouse and to never sacrifice myself for anyone. To live my life knowing that any day that person you always thought would be part of your life could walk right out your front door. I am strong and can rely on myself for what I need knowing that in the end the only person that will always be there for me is actually me. I have learned that relationships need to continue to grow, that being a wife or a sister or a mom or a daughter is never enough. I’ve learned to water those relationships that are important to keep them strong and alive because without proper care they will wither and die.
Giving birth has taught me that my body can do just about anything, even at 40. I just finished the 30 day yoga challenge, 30 classes in 40 days. It’s reminded me just how strong my body really is. It also became the place that at first I dreaded to go, and now has become someplace sacred. I’ve become someone who leaves all the clutter from my mind, and all the things about other people and myself that do not serve me, right there on my mat. It’s wonderful to not have to carry all that extra baggage anymore. I am someone who has learned that judging is not our God given right and that is one of the most damaging actions to ourselves and others. I have become someone who is kind to others, not for any recognition, but because it is the right thing to do. I am someone who no longer believes others should do anything for me just because I’ve done something for them. Expectations hurt our relationships. They are like a vicious shark that can take a chunk out of very being and leave a painful scar.
I am a person that doesn’t look back. I don’t want to relive where I’ve already been. I also don’t worry about the future because who knows how long my future might be. I do live in today. I am someone that has learned that happiness for me is not living through my kids sports or watching them succeed, or filling every second with busy until I feel like I am too tired to breathe. I am balance. I am grounded. I find my peaceful quiet that helps me deal better with the noise of life.
I love people and talking about things that are important in the world. I am brave and bold and I’m not afraid to speak up for what I believe. I say what I mean and mean what I say. My words mean something. If I say I am going to do something you can be sure I will follow through.
This is a piece of who I am, at least today. I am not perfect but I am important. I want to see more of the world, and experience new things. I am not someone content with life being the monotonous actions we move ourselves through on a daily basis. I am more than my kids. They are the best part of me, but do not define me. I am beautiful and perfect in this body and skin that God has blessed me with. I am peace and peace is in me. I am a vessel for my soul that moves me through each act of this play of life. I am mistakes, and lessons and truth and growth. I am shaped by every experience and interaction, and every person that touches my life, and each leaves a mark of who I will become, or what I will choose for myself to never be. I am truly me when I respond to that call of my spirit and when I do, every fiber of my being tingles inside. That is how I know I am on the right track. Those are the moments when my body, mind, and spirit perfectly align. Those moments that sometimes leave me standing in awe when there is no place I’d rather be than right there in that moment that is strong enough to move me to tears. I am gratitude for all I have and all That I am. I am silly and tired and sometimes discouraged. I am someone who will change the world by changing the world inside of me. I am flawed and human and always reaching to be something more, the person I was intended to be. I am passionate and full of fight if the cause is worthy. I am maybe cracked but never broken. I am unique, and I am me. Next time when you see me, perhaps look a little deeper. Do you see me or do you see someone you’ve believed me to be?