When I was growing up, I would watch a show like The Brady Bunch, or The Walton’s and I was jealous of the kids in the show. I wanted parents that were loving and wise. I wanted parents that were cool and successful. I also wanted a gaggle of brothers and sisters so that someone else could be responsible, someone else could be visible. I understood that it was just a television show, but I still wanted a home life that looked like what those Hollywood actors had. I grew up knowing that I lived in a dysfunctional home and I have always been embarrassed by it. I also grew up feeling as though I were responsible for my parents happiness.
As I get older I have come to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect life. No one has it easy, everyone has their own battles to fight. All of us have a path that is our path alone. We can give advice, we can offer words of support. We can lend a helping hand and we can offer the box of tissues for those teary moments. But not one of us can live someone else’s life. It’s just impossible. I’ve also come to realize (and I truly believe it’s been the hardest lesson yet) that I am not responsible for anyone else’s happiness, sadness or life.
As I contemplate what the next several weeks are going to be like, I have to keep reminding myself of my level of responsibility. I have to keep telling myself that it’s okay to make a decision that benefits me, that it’s okay to only feel responsible for myself. Really? I think I still have some doubts about that. Well, my head doesn’t have doubts, but my heart still does. It takes a long time to change your way of thinking and your point of view, but at some point I have to get the head and heart to agree. I think I have. No, I know I have! Is it any less scary? Nope, but I’m going to do it anyway.
The most amazing things have been happening in my life for the past year. As I grow each day and I take a step and then another step, I’m finding out that there are beautiful people in my life that are cheering me on and giving me support and unconditional love. This particular part of my journey has been a tough one and I’ve still got the equivalent of Mt. Everest to climb, but I’m not alone. I’m afraid of heights and I’m not a big fan of freezing temperatures, but this is one climb I have to make. I have to get to the top and enjoy the view. But, I don’t have to get to the top all by myself. I have discovered the most wonderful Sherpa guides that have been disguising themselves as my friends.
I have been blessed in my life to have caring, loving, supportive and loyal friends. I have a friend that is still one of my best friends that I have known for almost 40 years! I have friends all over the world and in almost every state. God might not have given me the parents and the family that I wanted, but He was more than generous when it came to giving me my friends. What I find interesting is how that list of friends has grown in the past year just when I needed them most.
Within six weeks of the fight last year and the decision to forge a new path, I met the most unique and wonderful man. It was an instant recognition between his soul and mine and that was over the phone! This person has become my friend, my sounding board, my backbone and occasionally my voice. He loves me in a safe and unconditional way and he loves me because of who I am and not what I can do for him. He opened up my world and my eyes and has shown me that there’s so much more to life and living than I ever thought possible. He has expanded my horizons and he has allowed me to see more clearly what I’m really worthy of having. He makes me laugh and he does something to my soul that I can’t describe.
I’ve also been so blessed to recently have a group of talented, caring, courageous women ask me to become a part of their sisterhood. I am so honored to have these women recognize something in me that they want to share and believe in. These women are some of the strongest and bravest souls I have ever known. I look forward to getting to know them all better and sharing our triumphs and our victories. Thank you ladies for holding my hand.
So, My last name is never going to Brady or Walton and that Hollywood script is never going to be written for my life. But, God gave me everything I need to be happy and to get to the end of my journey. He gave me an abundance of caring, wonderful, uplifting friends that have believed in me until I could believe in myself. What more could I ask for?