So I’m going to be raw and personal right now. Bear with me, the beginning of a new year makes me incredible reflective.
I was looking back on this year and my heart filled with so much gratitude for my life that it flowed out of my eyes as tears. I can’t contain it.
I have had people make comments to me that they think it’s been easy for me. That I have everything. I once had a boss make a comment about how I’ve had everything handed to me because I seemed so confident.
What most people don’t know about me is this. I grew up in a small farm town in Kansas.
Becoming, Acrylic on Canvas
I feared for my life as a toddler. My father was/is an abusive alcoholic and drug addict that left my mom for dead more than once. There is death on his hands. I lived in a constant state of flight or fight. At the age of 6 most girls were thinking about being a princess and I was thinking about how I was going to keep my siblings together when my dad succeeded in killing my mom.
My wrists are incredibly weak because my dad use to throw me into walls as a child and sprain them constantly. I’m overly sensitive to loud or unpredictable situations. I tune into everyone’s energy around me because it was essential as a child to gauge my environment.
My mom fortunately got us out of that situation. With no education and 3 kids she fought like hell for us. She gave us everything she was capable of giving. Her best involved working 2 jobs just to meet the bare minimum. My childhood was used clothes (boys or girls), not joining in on school functions because we didn’t have the money, and never quite fitting in.
As a teenager I fought so hard to change the view people had of “who” I was. I studied, I worked, and I built relationships and friendships. I also struggled. I felt like love was very conditional and I struggled with depression (not knowing what depression was). I spent hours trying to figure out how to make it all stop. But there was one thread that kept me from ending it. One thread of hope that one day it would be better…that I could be better.
I had a decade of searching and figuring out who I was. Then I suddenly and quite unpredictably became a single mother. I spent the first year crying myself to sleep while my baby slept in my arms because I was afraid I would never be able to give him what he deserved. How I would never be the mother he deserved. He slept with me on a blow up mattress for the first 6 months because I couldn’t afford a crib.
And I fought. I have fought for everything I’ve had and done. I haven’t always been right. It hasn’t always been pretty. But I did what I had to do.
I’m not writing any of this for sympathy. Quite the opposite. I’m writing this because I want everyone to know that it can be better. You might have to fight, but there is so much out there.
I get so excited every new year because to me it’s a like an open book with blank pages. A new chapter. One I get to write.
As a child I always had the same wish when I saw a shooting star, “to be happy”. I had the sudden realization this week that I’m happy. Not just a little happy, but sitting smack in the middle of my chaotic messy life and am ridiculously happy. I have a partner that isn’t perfect, but he’s perfect for me. He supports me in my crazy ideas and puts up with my absent-minded ways. I have a child that breaks my heart wide open and makes me a better person. I’ve been able to give him the childhood I wish I had.
I have made and continue to make my dreams come true as they grow bigger. I have traveled the world, have the kind of friends that can only be considered family, and have surrounded myself with love. And I wish this for you. Not every day is great. I stumble A LOT. But I keep fighting.
I face this new year with gratitude and love. I wish for each of you a life worth fighting for. Remember that when things look easy for someone else and your journey seems so hard, you have no idea what has brought them to this place.
Thank you for being part of my journey. And I promise to write less intense blogs in the future. 😉