I wrote this post a year ago today and I can honestly say I have moved closer and closer to the person I want to be. It’s so important to reflect back and make sure you are always moving in the direction you want to go. Make sure you are on your own path.
As I get ready to travel tomorrow to the place I grew up, I am forced to take a look at who I’ve become. I am still that small town girl. I am most comfortable in an area with trees and space and fresh air to breathe. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve spent away, home will always influence who I am.
Recently I was hiking in the Grand Canyon. It was a steep climb with loose dirt. It was easy to slip or feel unsure of my footage. I noticed there were rocks that lined the trail on both sides. Just like a kid all those years ago hopping from one rock to the next on my way to and from the bus, I hopped on those canyon rocks and the climb became so much easier. My memory kicked in and my body followed. It seems like just yesterday that I was that little girl happily skipping home from school. Sometimes the adult in us makes things look so complicated and the child in us finds the easiest way.
Time jumps. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t feel like it slips by one moment at a time. It jumps in big leaps. I was 5, then, 12, then 18, 21, 30 and now I’m 43. The moments are sometimes forgotten but the milestones stick. I hope there are many more of them. My goals and my prayers and my hopes and my dreams become much different as the years pass by. I used to believe life was about being a certain weight, looking a certain way and holding an important job. I believed those silly things would make me happy. I did my very best to strive for perfection in every area of my life. It didn’t take me long though to discover that perfection is a myth. I could waste years of my life trying to be something that was not realistic or attainable or even worse, trying to be who others thought I should be. Then I found the freedom to love myself just as I am. What I am is perfectly imperfect, just the way I am meant to be. I am beautifully flawed and tragically damaged and I am so much more than I ever imagined through the foolish eyes of a young girl. We spend years of our lives being conditioned to become someone who doesn’t feel comfortable. Then, ironically, we spend years undoing who we become. That is where we really live. In that small window peering out where we finally get a real glimpse from our own eyes.
I dream that someday everyone will find a sense of peace. I dream everyone will feel the joy of happiness in every day. My hope is that there will always be someone waiting in the window when I finally get to visit home. My goal is that I find a reason to be happy and grateful each and every day. I pray that we learn to forgive each other’s weaknesses and love and accept each other with our whole hearts, just as they are without apology. I hope we stop carrying the weight of the world when it starts to weigh us down and admit when we are weak so someone else can take our burden. I hope I can create moments in each day where I can laugh with my kids and surprise them with my silliness. I hope even people who will not like me will respect my consistency. My actions and words will always tell the story of who I am. Some may not like the book but I promise there will not be any surprises when it comes to my character. I am free from others opinions because I now know the only opinion that really holds any weight is the one I have of myself. I have to carry my weight and wear my shoes. I know who I am and am no longer threatened by those who will never see me for who I really am. I hope that I will get better at breathing more and talking less, responding and not reacting, having more moments of quiet and less of noise, discovering more happy than sad and finding healing and patience where there is pain.
Wish me luck on my journey back home. It is always bitter sweet. Always great to see the faces of the people I love and even harder to look away when it’s time to go.