Sometimes it is easier to stay in the comfort of what you already know… to remain in a situation that is familiar. It is the easier, softer way. To some, change is exciting and refreshing, but to others (including me), it is frightening. Starting something new brings with it terrifying fear of the unknown and desperate uncertainty. But there are times when you just know that change will be good for you, even though you may be afraid of taking that first step.
The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to trust what my gut is telling me. There have been days when my gut was screaming out at me… and I have chosen to ignore it. You may be able to relate to that gnawing feeling deep inside telling you that something just isn’t right… or that something is not working. Listen to it, because that feeling is coming from a place that we can’t even comprehend.
Life is full of choices… choices to leave or stay… choices about people in your life… career decisions… you name it. We stress about these choices. Make lists of pros and cons. Ask all of our trusted friends. Lose sleep over these decisions. When all along, the answers are right there… deep inside our gut. Trust in that voice… let it guide you.
Browsing around Barnes and Noble, I saw a plaque with the following saying on it:
Believe it or not, I had never heard that quote before. The funny thing is, when I moved from IL to AZ just under a month ago, many of my friends asked if I was trying to find myself. I laughed it off, and said that I’ve been looking for a long time and haven’t found anything yet!
I suppose that answers the question for me. I will never “find” myself. The only self I will be showing to the world is the self which I create. I don’t want to find myself… Instead, I want to create the me that I want to be.
We have the power to be who we want to be, do what we want to do, and go where we want to go. I proved that to myself by picking up my life, packing it all in a 20 foot U-Haul truck, and moving myself across the country on a leap of faith. I want to create a “me” with whom I could see myself being best friends. Think about it… don’t we all want to be the person that others want to be around.
I am creating, and re-creating, myself each and every day. I am not looking to find out who I am. I will never know that for sure. So here I sit, writing, looking forward to each new day, and praying for the guidance to help me be the best ME I can be!
Looking out of her window on a gloomy spring morning
She can’t help but wonder
Is it out there, waiting ever so patiently for her?
Will she bring with her that childhood anticipation,
That mischievous smile, that trusting soul?
Does she realize that true happiness is already within,
And not outside in any majestic place or in another soul?
Will she realize the hopeful dreams of her youth,
Making proper use of her gifts and talent?
Or will she shrink back into that safe place of obscurity?
Will the extraordinary beauty of her new environment
Allow her the space and inspiration for which she has longed?
I believe she knows with every ounce of her being,
That it is there for the taking,
If she simply trusts,
And reaches deep within.
This Christmas season is bittersweet. My daughter and I were decorating the house last night. Her brother, who is 21, was getting ready to go out with friends so he had no interest in helping. Last year, and every year before, we would decorate together, listen to Christmas music, and have some laughs. So at one point while decorating, Megan sat down on the couch and just seemed disinterested. Of course, I felt annoyed to be doing it all myself, but instead of getting angry, I simply asked what was up. She looked at me with watery eyes and said, “Mom, this is my last year home. Next year, I’ll be away at college. And Michael is not even helping us!” My heart broke. I just didn’t know what to say, because truthfully, I was thinking the same thing!
I tried to get her to enjoy the moment, and not think about next year, but was unsuccessful. I was exchanging texts with a friend of mine, so I told him about Megan. His response was, “Tell Meg she carries home in her heart.” I could not have come up with a more perfect thing to say, and his text blew me away. So I passed that message along to Megan, and she almost cried. I have to admit that my response was the same.
Life has changed, and so have the holidays, since my divorce over 10 years ago. But although it is hard for the kids to share holidays, and have to celebrate with their parents separately, they know they are loved. Growing up is hard, but so is being the parent to children who are becoming adults. I remember those days when the children were young. Holiday preparations were filled with excitement and anticipation. I have to remind myself that although holidays are not the same as they were years ago, I can make them all about spending time with my young adult children. At their ages, their lives are full with friends, school, and jobs. Any time that we can carve out to spend together is a huge bonus! I have to also remind myself that I am an incredibly lucky mom to have two wonderful kids who still actually WANT to spend time with me. I suppose that means I have done my job. I have to believe that I have done right by them, and that I will be sending them off into the real world with the tools they need. What they do with those tools is up to them.
So, although at times the holidays lack the excitement they had when my kids were young, I have to accept that life changes. Change is good. I absolutely cannot look at this as the Last Christmas. Instead, it is the first of many Christmases with my “adult” children. It’s a beautiful thing!