Over the last few weeks I've come to a lot of realizations, about the people around me, about my own path, about what I have chosen to surround myself with. There was a time in my life where I was so angry that I shut the world off but over time I realized that was not the way to live one's life. So I changed. I made the choice to allow people into my life, my thoughts. I started sharing my words and my pictures and my creations to show people the inner workings of this beautiful, chaotic head of mine. I started to realize that communicating with the people around me was just as important to me as it was to them. When someone hurts my feelings, I should share that with them instead of bottling it up. When someone does something to make me smile, I should share that with them. When someone is kind to me, I should say thank you. I've grown leaps and bounds with the way I interact with other people since my early twenties. I feel proud of myself and I am no longer ashamed to give myself a few props here and there. Lately, however, I've noticed I've started to keep things to myself more than I should. I allow the negative environment I find myself in to seep into me like a teabag in boiling water. And why? Because I feel like even if I form the words, no one would hear them enough to fix the problem. What a defeatist attitude, right? But what battles are worth fighting? There's been a lot of soul searching lately, a lot of decisions about what to do next, and I'm happy to say that my direction has been found again. Sometimes I think we lose sight of how important it is to communicate not just with each other but with ourselves, too. When I allowed myself to push the distractions of what was directly in front of me, I was able to hear what was waiting for me.
I decided to go back to school a few weeks ago starting in Spring. Lately my current environment has become unwelcoming. I cry in the car on my way home at time. I crawl into a shell while I'm there just to avoid feeling anything really. This feeling of being stuck overwhelms me. And the anger I feel when I give my best but my best gets met with passive aggressive comments starts to boil over but my drive to take care of my family keeps it at bay. I was sitting on the couch watching my husband play Fortnite when I had this Aha! moment. I was looking at the backgrounds, the way the avatars were moving, how fluid everything felt. I thought I would love to do that. I would love to take my already creative tendencies and put them towards making something lovely. In the back of my head there was always this plan for me to go back to school but I think I just didn't know what for. I didn't want to invest the money unless it was into a future that I was positive about. The joy of being an adult, of living so much life is figuring out who, what you really want to be. At 39 years old, I finally figured out at least my career. I turned to my husband and said I want to go back to school. I want to earn a degree that is actually going to give me a career, not just a job, not just something to pay my bills. I want a career. And please before everyone jumps on me I will say this. The service industry if you want it to be can be a rewarding career. It has its values and its lessons and its rewards. By no means am I throwing shade at the brilliant people that do that for a living. I just know, for me, it was never supposed to be something that was the rest of my life. It was something I finally allowed myself to admit.
I look at my kid who is about to start her last year in high school. She has her whole life in front of her. She has so much time that right now she won't realize right now is going to fly by in a wink but she has right now. I feel her eagerness when she looks at me, the way her wings twitch even though she hasn't quite figured out how they work. Her youth inspires me. This blooming life that I get the privilige to watch take off moves me to start my own flight. I laugh at the way maybe I did things a little backwards. These things that I am now brave enough to try are the things that most people do in their late teens and twenties. In way, though, I feel like this way is better for me. I gave my daughter my youth and there is not a single part of me that regrets that choice. She's almost on her own now, knowing that my role in her life is about to change. So what then do I do with myself now? Keep tending bar? Keep bringing the ranch that woman desperately needs? Continue to feel the cartilidge in my joints slip away? Continue to feel like it's just about getting through the day? And I can't. My daughter said to me the other day that I am much softer than I was when she was a kid. She's right. I haven't had to fight for survival as hard since I found a partner in my husband. I haven't found it necessary to fight as many battles either. But in that loss of fight in me I think I forgot the value of that part of me. I don't have it in me anymore to rage over things that don't matter but I want to find that spark again to battle for the things that do. Sometimes I feel myself screaming inside but I drown her out. Maybe I should hear out now and again. It's time to listen. It's time to move. It's time to change.