Month: May 2022

Graduation

I love seeing all the posts online of friend’s children who are graduating from high school. What an exciting time. Your whole life ahead and so many options.

As you may have read here before, I am a high school drop out. Here we are 42 years later and I still consider myself that. I went on and got my GED. Although I was too high to remember doing it but I have a piece of paper to prove it.

I was lucky enough to get my act together enough and got my Associates Degree and did some work toward my Bachelor’s. But I am still a high school drop out.

For years, I let the label dictate who I was. Always the failure. Never smart enough. Lazy. Loser.

Of course after many years of self-awareness learning, I understand that does not, in fact, define me. It’s a part of me but not the whole of me. I do think I worked the negative stigma to my “advantage” in making me become a perfectionist…which really did not work out so well either.

Now I am finding a solid in between. Now I am not the loser or the one who has to have it all perfect. I’m ok and trying. That’s all one can do.

I have learned that if there is something in your past that you feel is defining you…

1. Leave it where it belongs. In the past. Beating yourself up all the time does not help in any way. Leave it alone.

2. Learn from it. All mistakes should be lessons in disguise. Own up to them, dust yourself off and move forward. It does not define you.

3. Skip the overcompensating part. That’s another useless road. Feeling like you have to be better than everyone is a horrible road to be on. Just work at being a better you.

4. Appreciate how far you have come. It’s way too easy to keep checking the rear view and miss where you are at. You’ve done better! Be proud of the fact! It wasn’t easy!

I know it’s not earth shattering news but it’s easy to forget that we all have evolved. Mistakes were made. Unfortunately people were hurt. Situations were difficult. But you are here today. Today offers a brand new chance to be better.

Every morning I thank God for another day. I always ask Him to show me how to be better than I was yesterday. Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. But it is the conscious act of trying that matters.

Leave the past in the past. The future isn’t written yet but today is a day to learn and grow. If you are struggling today, find someone you can trust. Talk it out!! Stay strong!!

These days can be hard but there is a reward waiting.

Copyright to Your Life

I have been spewing my thoughts on this blog for over ten years now. My thoughts, as my life, have taken many different curves since the start. I have changed lanes a few times. I do get asked occasionally why I write about myself so much. There are really two good answers to that question.

The first one is all writing teachers tell you to write about what you know. There is no subject on this Earth that I know better than myself. I’m still learning but the subject matter is close to my heart.

The second, and more compelling reason, is the I own the copyrights to my life. I have chosen the narrative through my obsessive pursuit of self-awareness. I have written the story through the decisions I have made. The soundtrack has been borrowed but the playlist is my own creation.

I can be empathetic to another person’s experiences, especially if I have had similar ones. But those blips of time where I was the one actually riding the roller coaster are the experiences I know intimately. I was there, maybe not always fully present but I felt the pain, cried the tears, laughed until I peed, shook until the fear left and all the other emotions we as humans feel.

Those things, as you may have heard me say a hundred times before, are what made me who I am today and will, God willing, help me to evolve into who I am supposed to be. I absolutely own the rights to my life.

You own yours also. All the trials and tribulations, all the pain and joy, they are all yours. I used to fight the pain I have been through. I yelled at God about the injustices thrown my way. I argued my case like a law school dropout. I cried for the innocence lost, for the fact I would never hold my own child in my arms, and for the precious years stolen through a myriad of addictions.

But my story was not done. Victory and grace were given to me freely. Gratitude replaced the hate I had for my own life. I became the owner of it all-good and bad. It was mine and now I embrace it!

As long as you wake up in the morning, you have yet another chance to change the story. You can turn the bitterness into victory. It is YOUR story, you own the copyrights! Do not give up, give it some more time! Change always comes!

Serving

The other day I saw a post about a woman who makes her husband dinner every night. Oh my the horror! From the comments you would have thought she exterminated a box of kittens. The hate and ugliness was mind blowing.

I do not usually talk about my husband because I respect his privacy but today he is going to get talked about. I try my best to serve my husband, not as an inferior being but as an equal. I think serving others has gotten a bad wrap as of late. I am not advocating that what I do or do not do is the only right way. I am, advocating, for those haters to chill out.

This year I will be married to my husband for 32 years, though not an expert, I feel confident in what I’m saying. We have had many rocky times, many great times and many mundane times. That is life.

I have always felt that I wanted, for me personally, to serve my husband. Even when we were not getting along so well I made him dinners and washed his clothes. During the dark years, as I call them, when we didn’t communicate so well, I tried to be a helper to him.

Why would I lower myself to such depths and endanger all my feminist rights you may ask. Because when we married, we took an oath to be partners in this life. We agreed to have each other’s backs. We were not always 100 percent perfect at that but I knew he was there for me.

I have no idea what I am. I don’t think I am a feminist although I totally agree in the strength women hold. I don’t really see myself as a complete submissive because I, very often in fact, speak my mind. I am perfectly able to open a door for myself and have on many occasions, but when my husband opens a door for me I know it doesn’t show that I am weak in anyway, he is showing me he cares for me. When we are walking, he stands to the outside. He does hundreds of gestures that are meant to show me that he loves me.

At this point, I have to acknowledge that there is a difference between genuine caring and outright controlling. I have had controlling relationships. They are not healthy and you need to get away from someone who is abusing your trust. But that is NOT what this is.

I do not expect him to cook dinner or do laundry just as he does not expect me to fix the car or clean the gutters. There is a bunch of unspoken gender rules in our home and we both seem to agree with them. I am horrible at plumbing and he has no idea how to correctly fold a towel (I’m kidding, no not really he is not a great towel folder). We work to each other’s strengths.

Which leads me to my next point. What do I get out of it? This is extremely important. He thanks me for every meal, even the experimental ones. He shows me gratitude in a hundred ways and I try to do the same. It makes no difference if you are on your honeymoon or married 50 years, appreciate each other. It goes a long way.

I get too that not everyone lives the same way. I don’t expect all the women of the world to make dinner every night or whatever. Just because some of us do, it does not mean we are weak or being controlled. Some of us do it for the sheer joy of performing a kind gesture for your partner. That even extends to the world at large.

Being a servant to others absolutely and in no way whatsoever is an indication of weakness. Jesus served many people while on this Earth. He received much pleasure from those simple acts. So do I and so do many people. If I could ever emulate one person in my life it would be Jesus and the way He served others.

Serving others should never be demeaning. Serving others should feel like a gift. Granted there are plenty of days I am tired of cleaning the same things. No one said it would be easy, but given the right mindset it can be very gratifying.

The next time someone acts in a way that maybe you do not agree with, hold the hate and ugliness. We are different and we all hold unique things close to our hearts. Lighten up on the judgements. It’s a very good thing we are not all alike. How boring would that be.

Friday the 13th

In my old life. I was very superstitious. I would cringe when I got to page 13 in a book or if I had $13 in my wallet (I once actually threw a dollar bill out of my moving car so I would not have $13). Anytime something was 13, I had to change it somehow.

One of the only things I could not change was the day and date in a week. I was stuck with Friday the 13th for an entire 24 hour period. I would talk myself into such a panic because that is what we do when we live with chronic anxiety. I was sure something terrible would befall me or someone that I loved.

I lived in horrific fear of a date on a calendar. Then one day I realized that most of my life changing events happened on days that were not, in fact, Friday the 13th. I realized that things can happen any day, any date and any time. Bad things did not wait for a month that began on a Sunday (took me a long time to figure that out).

I also had the realization that my fears were very self-centered. It was all about me and what was going to happen to me. All of my phobias and anxiety revolved around me.

I realized just what a waste of time it was to obsess about such things. How much time in my life did I sit dormant, unable to move because of some self-induced unrealistic threat against the center of the universe…me?

What a wake up call that was! I was not and never will be the center of any universe. How did my ego get so big while my self-esteem was rock bottom? Meanwhile all the time convincing myself that all the worry was what kept the wolves at bay.

So much time wasted. So much unnecessary worry and stress. So much misplaced faith in me.

Superstitions are a way for the enemy to manipulate a person into compliance. No where in the Bible does it say thou shalt not walk under a ladder or cross the path of a black cat. In the book of Revelation, there are a tremendous amount of things to look out for but none include mirrors, counting things or certain days of a week.

Is it not odd that such superstitions are planted so deep in our psyche? How did they get there? Who taught us about them? I do not know or remember when I first became aware of such nonsense but I do know I believed in them most of my life.

I suppose like all my phobias, I gained some perverted comfort from them. They were recognizable to me. I expected their frequent visits. Too much time and energy has been wasted on such foolishness. I need to break free from the mental jail I live in from time to time where these fears lock me down in an invisible cell.

Now don’t think of me as so strong, as I have a twinge of fear inside me that says all this talk about debunking the fear will make the bad things manifest. In my logical brain I know better, but I still operate a lot of my life on emotions. I am taking the self-awareness as a win and trying to logic the fears out of my brain.

So for today, Friday the 13th, I will try to live a normal life and not walk around on the standard amount of eggshells. Today I will hold my faith in my Creator and not His creation.

Discounts

Who doesn’t love a good discount? I used to be a coupon shopper (until I realized all the useless stuff I bought just to save money.) I still look for the best prices and love a good deal. It only makes sense to try to stretch your money.

Know what does not make sense? Discounting yourself. As I have stated in previous posts, I was not a model teenager. I made bad decisions and had no purpose or idea what to do with my life. As I got older I worked and worked with the intent of “making up” for the mistakes I made. I had to prove how valuable I was as a person.

Funny thing happened…other people saw my worth but I never did. If someone gave me a compliment, I didn’t believe it. If I got a good job review, I wondered when I would be found a fraud. If I did something good, I doubted my motives. I just could not believe any of the good things.

The criticisms, those I believed and obsessed over. I did something wrong, that was not hard for me to believe.

I always thought it was because my ego was so big. That I thought so much more of myself, which is actually counterintuitive of what I was feeling. So even when I felt completely inadequate, I that my motives were wrong. I know that probably does not even make sense. I guess that even when I was feeling low about myself, I somehow didn’t deserve it because I was, in fact, even lower than I felt.

I worked over a Christmas season at a high end department store. Since I was new, they put me in the clearance area in the basement of the store. There I got to see all the discounted clothing. When they were bought, I am sure the intent was that someone would buy them. But no one did. That sat on hangers and kept getting discounted until finally they took a trip to the basement and waited for the inevitable trip to the second hand store to be even further discounted. All those items started with the highest of intentions but just fell by the wayside.

I’m not, by any means, fishing for any type of sympathy or anything. I’m simply stating how I felt and still do on occasion. But here’s what I have learned in my almost 60 years on this planet (please take this to heart if you too are struggling).

We all have real value. We all have skills, maybe unrealized just yet. We live in a world that likes to build itself up while stepping over someone else. My belief is that many people who feel discounted are extremely sensitive people. That is ok…in fact that is a great thing.

Being sensitive feels like a curse most times but it is a wonderful gift. I know it seems like the other people get ahead and you are stuck on the clearance rack. But it’s not true. Your beauty shines through in a way others can see, even if you are blind to it. You touch lives in a profound way, not one that is fleeting.

I think we all need to think about those things we discount. We all have things we would never buy on discount, for example perishable food or discount medicine. There is a place for the clearance rack. But that is not your place or mine. You have value, talent, beauty and a light that comes from within. We need to all quit applying coupons to our existence.

We are worth full price baby! Please don’t ever forget that!