There is rarely a moment in my life now that I am not appreciative of where I am, of what I have, of the people that surround me. I don't wake up in the morning with a million things that I wish I could change but I would be lying if I said there weren't things that need some tweaking. I recently started reading Anne of Green Gables again. It is such an inspirational story to read with a brilliant main character that even now at a million years old still inspires me to love this life I have found myself in. I have a bucket list in my head of all the beautiful things that I would love to see, all the wonderful adventures I would like to take. I have full faith that I will check each box slowly but surely. I get bored pretty easily but change often terrifies me. I don't know what to do that, often landing somewhere in the middle. I want change to happen but find myself quite comfortable where I am, too. There is something inside of me though that will always push me forward. There is this burning inside of me that will always whisper me to be better then where my feet currently stand. I can't not try something. I can't be content in just getting by because I've done that so much in my life. I don't regret. I often reevaluate. When I was younger someone once told me that I should never stop learning. I should never stop trying those things that made me scared. I should never settle just for what I could be but I should always strive for what I know I am. I understood even though I didn't quite know how to achieve that.
Most of my adult life has been spent taking care of my daughter, taking care of the people around me. It's been about making sure that my family has the basic needs to get by. So, I worked the jobs that I didn't like. I worked with people who didn't quite get me. I typed away hours on words that weren't mine because I needed to provide for that little girl playing with my sweet puppy. I needed to show up and be present in an environment that tore me apart to help my husband find his own feet. These things I do not regret. I will never regret but in the back of my mind I always remembered those words of wisdom. I never forgot what I was supposed to do. I just readjusted my priorities. Even in those moments when I thought that mediocrity was going to eat my soul, I still found a way to write my words and chase this dream even if it had no wings to fly then. I sat quietly and watched the world around me, taking note of people and the directions we all find ourselves going. I watched how so many people just settle for something that don't really want because it is simpler. It is easier. We will always fall back to the easy path when the hard road becomes too daunting. I'm not judging here. Lord knows for years I was just another zombie like so many others. I couldn't see my way out of that cubicle. There are days now I can't see my way out of waiting tables but I know there is. It's hard to make something better out of yourself when you seem stuck exactly where you are. I have to remind myself when people treat me poorly that they do not determine how bright my light is. I have to tell myself when a coworker belittles me that they are just passing ships in my life. I don't have to settle on this shore.
My father's passing and then losing my Shera changed me in ways that I didn't realize until recently. For whatever reason these things that feel empty to me aren't quite worth fighting about. Honestly I don't have the drive to be the best everything anymore. I don't want to be the one people go to when they have a problem. It may sound a bit on the selfish side but there has been so much of my life spent on taking care of other people I guess I need a time out. Since my father's passing I have found more solace in writing these words than I have ever found before. There was something about losing him that inspired me to finally be the me I know I can be. I published books that I never thought would ever see the light of day. I quit a job that had become toxic, not realizing how toxic it was until I was gone. Granted, I have found myself in a job that frustrates just as much but I know that I can walk away. I have taken away the expectations people had for me, the ones that I put on them in the first place. I decided to learn again, to smile again, to allow myself to dream again. I had forgotten that this life isn't about bills or credit scores. I had gotten so used to being the martyr. I will do your work and your work and her work because it needs to be done even if my fingers bleed, even if my back breaks... but I see now so much more clearly the poor lesson in that. There was something about losing my father that reminded me of his fiery, red haired girl that he saw in me. Somewhere along my way I lost that spark but I feel it coming back. I feel this fire starting to burn again.
I have no regrets about the choices I made in my life. I don't discredit the detours that I've taken along my way. This life is about experiencing where you are when you are how you are. We zombie through so much of our days, stomping that flower that managed to bloom through the concrete. We bring our waters and we take our orders without ever really seeing whose sitting at our table. We forget that there is beauty in everything around us. We swallow our dreams because they just don't seem possible. Think of all the things we have to do to make them come true, right? And who has the time with the kids' practice and the work schedules and the dog needs to go to the vet... We don't have to get stuck in that. We can still carry around our butterfly nets. I think when we witness death there is a light that goes off in our heads. We are reminded that life is fleeting. We are made very aware that nothing is going to last forever. I knew that my father would die one day much like I know my mother will join him as well. I watched my dog get older and older, knowing it was always going to be my decision when her time was up. And those are heartbreaking things. How fragile life looked as my father laid in that hospital bed, this once joyful man now so weak on that bed. How peaceful my sweet puppy looked as she took her last breath. These moments, these hard, lovely moments woke something in me up and I remembered those words that were once told me as a young girl. This life that I have lived, that I have spent worrying about everyone else has been wonderful but I realized I wasn't the me I knew I could be. I set my words free, finding a courage that I had forgotten I had. I allowed myself to feel all those old wounds that I carried for far too long in my life and I let them go. Holding onto them was drowning those lessons I knew I needed to learn. Sure, I work a job that is not my passion but I'm good at and it pays the bills. I struggle with being the best mother I can be for my teenage daughter, not really knowing how to right now. I want to be everything that everyone needs, knowing that everyone included myself and having a hard time finding a balance there. My life will go on as it always has. I will still have to drop the kid off to a million different places and pay the bills and clean the house. I will have this hole that losing my father and puppy created for a long time to come and it's all right. Life presents challenges. We can either sit down and let them bulldoze us or we can stand. I can't fix losing these very special people in my life but I can use the love they had for me, for life and do better because of them. I can be whatever kind of shore I want.