Moms and daughters...do we ever really figure this dynamic out? This photo is old, but in it is the woman I made a mom and the girl who did the same for me 26 years later. Most of the time I don’t have words big enough for either of these relationships. See, this whole mom-daughter thing is one of life’s greatest gifts, and one of it’s greatest mysteries. Ever since M was born, I have felt as though my heart was walking around outside of my body...as if a piece of my being was all at once a part of me and, as she got older and more independent, separate from me. When you become a mom you love with a wholeness that is greater than you. And, I have often taken the love my mom has for me for granted...as all children do. We forget that these people who have given us life are still trying to figure out things within their own lives. We selfishly assume they have it all figured out and are here now mostly for us. We offer little grace, and rarely allow them to be human. I have been known to remind M that I’m far from having much of anything figured out, and that many of the things she struggles with as a girl I, too, am still struggling with. And yet, I find it difficult to see my mom in that way. It’s funny how at 42, while I know she is more than our mom, I know I still see her mostly as that...rather than as the woman she has always been with her unique gifts and talents, her struggles and her flaws...to me she is somehow beyond all of that.
Mom...thank you for loving me for me. For never asking that I be anything other than who I am. For teaching me to love unconditionally and without reservation. Thank you for reminding me to “act like a lady” and for setting realistic boundaries for me. Thank you for road trips and vacations that are still some of my very favorite memories. Thank you for being in the corner when M was born so you could capture my first moments as her mom. Thank you for being patient and kind...for never making fun of my worrying and for gently reminding me not to take myself so seriously. You are so smart and funny. I’m not sure you see that now, but you truly are. You could do anything you tried when we were growing up. To me you were fearless and brave. I know you’ve had your share of hardships, but you still press on. Please know I see you and admire so much more than I’ve likely ever said. Thank you for giving me my sisters, my two dearest and most cherished friends. And...thank you for showing me how to be a mom when I had very little idea what I was doing. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you so very much.
M and I stood in this monumental spot a few years ago...our perceptions of the moments spent there vastly different...to me, a heartbreaking reminder of a day that stole not only all of those lives, but also the innocence that collapsed with those towers...to her, a history lesson centered around something that happened before her time that while so important to the world around her, she thankfully has no personal connection to.
Year after year we post the reminders, so we never forget...the list of names and the breakdown of the numbers by civilians and flight crew and first responders - and we stop and think about where we each were in those moments that September morning...not physically, but emotionally, spiritually. The events of that day cracked us open, exposing our differences but, more importantly, our often underlying and ignored similarities. For a time we weren’t politically divided, we didn’t care about anything other than being united as Americans. The nonsensical things we typically allow to come between us didn’t matter for a time as we displayed flags and stood together in our homes, communities and government. It’s a shame that isn’t the same today...
Yes, I remember where I was that morning but my story doesn’t matter. What matters are the stories of those we lost and the ripple effects that horrific day has had on us. I struggle with the fact that to my daughter’s generation this anniversary means little other than a day that tends to choke her mom up and another lesson for them to read about in history class. I guess I should be happy that she doesn’t have a personal connection to it, but it’s also a reminder of how easily events turn into history lessons that we must continue to teach in order to prevent them from happening again.
I told her her last night that most of the time 9/11 feels like a long time ago, but this time of year - each year - it feels like it was just yesterday. I’ve been fortunate to visit Ground Zero twice - once just less than a year after the tragedy and again a few years ago. On that first visit, the hole was still there...the giant flag still hung from a neighboring building...the memorials still tucked into the wrought iron fence at the church across the street - and I remember feeling unworthy, like I didn’t deserve to be there because I didn’t lose anyone there that day....but then, I realized as an American, we all lost something that day and visiting the site is an honor. Never forget - words we have seen often in the months and years following...words those of us alive that day don’t need to hear, but so very important for the generations we are raising. The children born that year are now becoming adults...they are emerging as the first post-9/11 generation with a voice that will hopefully be used to not only remember the tragedy, but show how bright the human spirit can shine.
I truly think it doesn’t matter where we were that morning. What matters is where we are now - to not let those lost be lost in vain. To remember we are ALL Americans first and to focus on what unifies, rather than divides, us. Never forget that.
A while back, M and I were in the car on the ride home from school. And while car rider line often makes me crazy, the time between school and home holds moments I look forward to every single day. In that 10-15 minute window she often lets her 15 year old, teenage girl guard down and allows me to peek inside her world. She “spills tea” and shares secrets. She lets frustrations from the day seep out of the cracks she has worked hard to damn up for the past eight hours. She is sometimes quiet, and that’s okay too. But, often, she takes over the radio and finds music to fit her current mood and we find common ground over lyrics written for moments just like these. Today it was a new Thomas Rhett song called "This Old Truck". We’ve listened to it before and I liked it then, but today it resonated with me in a different way. Just read the chorus:
I grew up in it
Yeah, I got stuck in it
Playin’ our song on the stereo
Drivin’ til we ran outta road
Yeah, I broke up in it
I fell in love in it
Made a lifetime of memories
On a half tank of gasoline
I learned just who I wasn’t and who I was
In that old truck
And, as we sang along, each lost in the trail of our own thoughts, I couldn’t help but think that while I’m hearing these words and thinking back to the memories I’ve long ago made, she is likely dreaming of making memories all her own. Having a child in high school is so much different, so much more nostalgic, than having a child in elementary school. Think about it - we remember high school...for good or bad...those memories stick with us because they are woven into the fabric of the life we are now living. Whether you’ve tried to outrun them, or you loved every bit of them, those four years held moments that took you from a child to something resembling an adult. For the most part, I loved high school. I had great friends and was involved in everything I wanted to be in my little school.
So now, as I watch her high school life unfold, I’m often hit with memories that don’t seem all that far away. I see her with her friends and I think about moments spent with mine. When she talks about boys, I shake my head at all of the time I wasted wishing some boy would pay I attention to me and smile wistfully at the memories of a boy who finally stole my 16 year old heart. I think about how excited I was each time I stepped on stage for our annual school play, and how nervous I was to walk out of those school doors for the last time. But, mostly, I think about the fact that no matter how many years separate our high school career, she is, and I was, just a girl trying to find her way, navigating the lanes and trying to avoid the landmines that can make or break these four short years. In less time than it takes to pay off a car, she will be expected to make major life choices. In that same amount of time, I will be expected to let her go down whatever road those choices take her. She will face obstacles I can't protect her from, and learn from mistakes - many of which will impact her in ways I won't be able to understand because she will hold them close to her heart out of whatever myriad of emotions she will be carrying. But, no matter what, it is her adventure to live and mine to have a front-row seat to if I'm lucky.
These car rides are dwindling as we get closer to 16. In a few short months I won't have this time with her. Instead she will be making memories of her own, behind the wheel, or in the passenger seat, with the friends who will come to know her heart in ways I won't have access to. I truly hope that she always knows I am her safe place, her biggest fan, the one in the background with a smile of encouragement and the lap she will never outgrow. So, live your life, sweet girl. Make memories - some I will know about, and many I likely won't. Laugh and love boldly. Never stop doing the things that bring you joy. If you outgrow something, or someone, have the courage to admit it and then do something about it. And, as we navigate these next few years, give us both a little extra grace - especially in the really hard moments...I promise, I’m not trying to make your life harder, and I do remember being your age (even if technology has added things we didn’t have). If you continue to trust me, I will do my best to ride shotgun as you drive.
Friends...I got lost for a bit...felt lost for a bit...well, more like I had nothing to say - nothing WORTH saying...so, I just stopped writing. I let my website lapse, let go of something I had originally felt so proud of, just set it all aside because I couldn't give it everything I felt it deserved. And, with each passing day, my little website building icon would stare at me and I found myself looking away from it like you would if it was something that caused you pain or shame. Which, if I'm honest, it exactly what was happening. I guess that's what happens when you ignore something that matters - even if you feel like you have nothing worthy to give. But, what I've recently realized is, my voice is still there...the thoughts still waiting to be heard...I just have to let go of some pride and fear and find my way back to the truth that has always been mine - words. So, bear with me, because this could be slow and maybe a little painful, but I'm praying the words will come. I've missed them...as odd as that may sound. Because the words are the doorway to insight, to thought, to finding my way...and I've felt like all of that has been missing for quite some time - like I've got a huge hole in me and I need to find a way to fill it up. Also, the reality is, I'm the weird type of perfectionist who believes if I can't do something absolutely perfect, why should I try it at all? Honestly, in my opinion, it's the worst kind of perfectionist to be because there are so many things I just don't try out of fear of failure - you'd think that by now I could out-grow that, but so far I'm still struggling big time with that one.
"I'm a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring 'good-enoughist'." - Brene' Brown
If Brene' can work on it, so can I. So, here's to being "good enough" and putting one word in front of the other in the hopes that something worthwhile finds its way onto the page.
Another trip around the sun. Another 365 days written in my little book of life. Per usual, I spent the last week before my birthday deep in my thoughts, thinking back over the past year and all it held. Overall a good one. Much to be thankful for. I find that I continue to know myself better, continue to have a better idea of who I am - strengths, flaws and everything in between. Much has changed in the last ten years. Everything, really, except for being M's mom. My 30's were a roller coaster of emotional events, many firsts, lots of upheaval and change, more job changes than I care to admit, plenty of laughter, a few moments I wasn't sure I would ever experience on my own, and maybe most important of all...the realization that we are all truly here to support one another and it is in our most difficult, deepest, darkest hours where we find those who will carry us when we don't have the strength to stand on our own.
I don't want another decade like my 30's. I pray for less uncertainty and more stability. Yes, I made it through and most of what happened during those years was in response to choices I made, so very little of it just happened to me...but, still, I am hopeful that I have learned some tough lessens and am in a better place emotionally and financially to hopefully keep from repeating some of them. That said, I still want to really live. To explore and seek adventure, to make ridiculous memories with the people I love most, to chase after as many sunsets as possible and look for the good along the way.
I'm now "in my 40's", not just 40. For a while I thought that might bother me more than turning 40 did, but I woke up on my birthday feeling really good about it. I think there's something reaffirming about turning the page on a "big" year and opening the door to the next chapter. For me, at least, I feel less pressure to make this year monumental. I tend to feel like I have to make every moment count, and often set expectations well beyond healthy levels placing unnecessary pressure on myself to make things like milestone birthdays bigger than they need to be. My 40's will be full of change in many other ways...my girl is growing up at a rapid pace and with that comes the realization that my biggest role is quickly changing and I'm not sure how I feel about it. She is about to start high school and since I still feel like it was just yesterday that I was doing the same thing, I struggle with how to help her navigate the things she is facing with the wisdom of time and grace of experience. I find myself looking back on my life in blocks of time with the focus on 20-year increments as of late for some reason. Maybe it's because if I think about how quickly the past 20 years have gone it scares the hell out of me to think of how fast the next 20 are gonna come. I find myself unsure of how to give her good advice sometimes because I'm not sure if I've really got any to give mostly because so often I feel like I'm still somewhere around 18-20 with my life spread out in front of me and no idea where I'm going or how on earth I'm going to get there. Yet, somehow, I'm twice that age and still trying to figure out how to "adult" most of the time. Time truly does keep flying by, and for the most part age is just a number, but the life that surrounds that number is what matters.
I won't lie. I still struggle with my place in this world. My identity isn't always clear and I still fight the same stupid insecurities...being enough in all its facets taking center stage as always. I'm not sure I will ever outgrow that. What I do know is that without all the experiences of the past, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. It’s up to us to live the life placed before us. We don’t get to choose the cards we are dealt, but it’s up to us to play the hell out of the hand we are holding. So...here’s to 41. May I have the wisdom to be the mom M needs, the spirit to seek new adventures without fear, the grace to see others for who they are without expectation and the ability to find more joy than anxiety in whatever comes my way.
Today as I sat at lunch in a restaurant alone, I didn't pull my phone out as I almost always do - mostly to feel less alone, to find comfort, to look at something so I don't feel like I'm just sitting there watching others. Instead I just watched and listened. Next to me two teenage girls talked nervously about learning to drive ("I practiced in the church parking lot and then drove home. I'm not sure I will ever get used to it."
"You will. I used to be nervous. Now it just comes automatically.") And then their conversation shifted briefly to college and where they might want to visit - one clearly wants to stay close while the other wants to go as far away as possible. They then joked about watching "The Princess and the Frog". I listened as they cautiously tip-toed around the topic, feeling the other out, finally admitting to loving it once it seemed safe to do so. One shared that her mom cried during it (as had she), and then said she gets embarrassed at the movies with her mom because she is the person in the theater who claps when something funny or good happens (I guiltily smiled to myself because I, too, am that person - likely also embarrassing my teen). As I wrapped up my lunch they were focused on the merits of Apple music versus Spotify which turned into the need to have a credit card to use Spotify Premium and how one had gotten her first card and her mom wants her to start carrying more than her lanyard to keep her money safe (I'm fairly certain they were rolling their eyes at this point).
I listened to them and thought about time...it wasn't all that long ago that I drove for the first time, and sat with my friends talking about college and the future...of course, we could never have imagined the ways music would change, but we sure did love a good mixed tape! And I thought of my girl with four years sitting in front of her that are about to shape her future and catapult her into the life she was created for. She will do each of these things...sooner than I want to admit...she will drive...she will dream of the life ahead of her...she will say and do things I will be proud of, and some I will wish she had said or done differently...she will make choices I will never know about and she will deal with demons and situations she may never share with me. So, while I may be the mom who claps when something funny or good happens in a movie it's because at the end of the day I am #foreveracheerleader and that kind of enthusiasm is hard to contain.
Lastly, as I sat and listened to those girls, I thought about my very own #sensationalsix and how, by the grace of God, we somehow managed to take the moments we shared as kids and turn them into something of substance and unshakable strength. I don't know how we got so lucky...I honestly don't. But, every time I see girls hanging out like I did today, I want so much to give them what we have. To show them that they will come out on the other side of all this teenage crap, and the people they should hold on tight to aren't the boys they THINK matter so much, but the girls who are walking with them through the moments that seem so huge and hard and beautiful and heartbreaking right now because, if they are really lucky, they will still be the ones walking beside them during the really big and really hard moments that make up...this life.
I'm still here. I know. I know. It's been almost six months since my fingers spoke for me and, honestly, I don't know why. Laziness mostly I suppose, but I'm still here.
I realized recently that I'm trying to live in the moment rather than live it through my phone screen. I'm not taking as many pictures because I don't want to be so busy capturing the moments to truly enjoy them. My birthday is only a few weeks away. This time last year I was busy trying to figure out what I wanted this next decade to look like. Now...now I think I've settled into it as well as I'm going to. There have been some obvious changes - metabolism is nothing to take for granted, friends - but, that, too, is something I'm slowly adjusting to. But, mostly, I'm trying to just live as much as I can, as well as I can.
The three photos above are from the 4th...they are my takeaways from a fairly great day. They capture the day exactly as I saw it...exactly as I felt it. I want more moments that keep me from reaching for my phone, and instead, more moments that make me reach for the people I'm sharing them with. More moments that continue to make up...this life.
Time.. Sometimes she's beautiful and delicate. Patient and kind. Like a flower, waiting until just the right moment to open. And other times she's a cold, ruthless bitch thinking of nothing other than her motive, her time frame, letting nothing stand in her way.
I've thought a lot about time. I've written a bit about time. I suppose it's in my nature to look backwards rather than forwards. Perhaps that explains my inability to set and work towards goals. I look back and remember...typically without the weight of woulda, shoulda, coulda's but with the all too often heaviness of simply wishing for a bit more time in whatever memory I had conjured up.
Time. Slow when we want it to fly by. All too quick when all we want it to do is freeze. Never enough yet always too much. Life's greatest gift yet the thief in the night we all dread. Nothing escapes her wrath. Not the moments we can't wait to experience and certainly the moments we wish would never come. It is the rarely gentle reminder that we are mortals....that age is more than a number...that it doesn't matter if we're ready or not, when it's our time...it's our time.
Over the past couple weeks I've seen the reality of that. Youth stolen in an instant. A man who answered God's call yet given only a few years to do His work. A girl with her whole life ahead of her taken way too soon. Yes, when it's your time...well, nothing can stop the call home. But, are we ever really ready? I've thought a lot about that very question in the past few days. The thoughts we have, the things we THINK are important, the things we give too much time and energy to, the people we surround ourselves with, the thoughts we allow to give us grief and worry...I am fairly certain those things would not matter in the least when our own final moments are on the table. This girl...19 years old with the same name as my daughter...I have caught myself wondering how her last day looked...what her thoughts were as she lived her last few hours, and then her final moments...and I can't help but think about what I've done throughout my days as of late and almost hate knowing that if this were my last few hours, my final chance to make an impression...well, what would it be? Narcissistic? Maybe a little. But, how can we face death - and, let's be real, most often we face death by mourning the life of another - without a bit of narcissism? What would my final impression on this earth be? What would be left of me? I worry most about M...how it would affect her (and, honestly, I can't even go there because if I do it comes close to breaking me.)
What I know is this: life is short. Yes, I've said that a kajillion times and I will say it over and over again. We get one shot...one chance at this. That's not much, but it's all we get. And, at 40, I've seen the past 10 years fly by at a rate I can hardly wrap my head around so I’m fairly certain the next 10 will be nothing more than a flash in the pan as I cross new bridges and create the next chapters. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for the ability to feel, the chance to live these moments. I’m well aware that every day is a gift. Well. Aware. But...I’m a realist...so, I can’t help but be completely honest with myself about the truth that comes with the passage of time. People I love are getting older and facing health issues bigger than I want to fully face. Nevermind the accidents and tragedies that swoop in without any regard for the plans we carefully make in the moments when we feel invincible and like we have forever to do nothing but live.
I know. This one is dark. Yes, I have much to be thankful for. Yes, there are good days behind us and many more good days ahead of us than bad. Thank God. But, time ensures that we do not get to determine the number of either and just as soon as we get greedy with the good, we are reminded that time truly isn’t ours to manage. It is simple our responsibility...our privilege...to live what we’re given as fully as possible. Don’t rush the wait. Don’t curse the moments that pass too quickly. Just...be. Ultimately I’m going to try and look forward more than I look back. To see the potential of whatever comes next and to live now as completely as possible.
Time. While cruel and ruthless at times, is more often beautiful and inspiring than we tend to appreciate.
I was thinking about Christmas, and as I often do this time of year, Mary's role in all of what we are about to celebrate. Almost every year about this time I find myself thinking about her and all she must have been feeling and experiencing and fearing and wondering how I would have fared if God had somehow put me in her shoes. Not well, I'm sure. For the most part, what I typically think about is not so much who she is as this young girl about to have a child of her own, but of who she then becomes as the woman who gives birth to the son of God...and all my thoughts drift to all we glaze over in history - all SHE must have endured those 30-odd years as she watched this child she loved more than anything learn and grow and be ultimately responsible for the sins of man. And every single time I feel my heart break as I think of how painful it had to have been to watch that son she loved so very much be hung there on that cross, living out the will of the same God who gave her that sweet baby boy.
And this year, as I let my thoughts drift the other day I wrote one sentence - How did she feel? But, then, it hit me like a ton of bricks....this very girl I am raising turns 14 in less than two weeks - Four-teen...the very same age Mary was believed to have been that night in the stable...the very same age one very special girl gave up her life to raise the child who would save the world. And then all I could think about was how on earth would M feel? Not me at that age, not me now, but how would my CHILD feel in those moments - from the night the angel visited her with the news she had been chosen all the way up to that night when she not only had to give birth essentially outside without any real help or direction while under a great deal of pressure to deliver the most important baby ever to be born? Even now, as I type these words, I find myself shaking my head. I know things were different 2000 years ago. I know it was perfectly normal for girls (I am cringing even as I type that) to marry at this age and begin having children. I know she was already promised to Joseph. I know life expectancy was much lower than it is now. I know that in many ways these girls must have been much more mature than our girls are now. But...they - SHE - was still...just a girl.
So, again, I can't help but wonder about who she was...and I think more than anything, I wish I could know more about this child, this 14 year old girl, whose life's purpose was so very uniquely defined. And what would my girl do in her shoes? See, somehow this child I so vividly remember meeting in those early morning hours is becoming so much more than a child right before my eyes. Yes, there are things about these teenage years that are less than perfect...yes, I find myself shaking my head or begging God to help me understand her and give me the words she needs to hear in these sometimes awful, yet often life-shaping moments...but, more than that, I am more thankful than she can possibly understand for these years because I get to witness history being made - I get to watch her evolve and grow...beyond the heartaches, beyond the day to day junk, beyond the arguments and frustrations, beyond the moments when I wish I could stop time, beyond the moments she can't wait to share something with me and I am reminded, ever so briefly, of all those days when all she wanted was to be near me...yes, beyond all of that I am watching her create the WHO she is here to become...and as I think about all of that combined with the realization that one also very special girl some 2000 years ago was likely doing and feeling and thinking some of the very same things my girl does (because, let's face it, while times change, human nature remains the same) and having no idea how on earth she was going to do it.
We are all here for some reason, some purpose, some...why. Yes, Mary got a glaring neon light, but she also got a much greater responsibility. As many of you likely have done, I, too, continue to struggle with my purpose, my why. Especially in the moments when it seems I can't find any direction, or when M and I can't seem to find a way to each other and I feel as if I'm failing in the greatest role I will likely ever have - but, today I'm going to ignore my why and focus on the why's of two very special girls...both with potential beyond their wildest dreams, both with hopes and fears they likely can't express, both wanting just to be kids in some ways and to hurry up and grow up already in others...but, each shaped by their circumstances in many ways yet independent and seeking to create a life greater than themselves in others.
Mary...just a girl not much different than those many of us are raising right this very second. It's a startling reality, yet one that gives me hope. Maybe it's important to remember she was human, too. That grace was a gift for her as well.
Additionally: things I have thought, typed and deleted...
-How did HER mom feel?
-Can you imagine the conversations between the closest friends?
-Was Mary ever angry about this whole situation?
-Yes, I realize I've left Joseph out of this for the most part.
-Just think if this happened now...the Snaps and Instagram posts would be over the top.
-Did she wish more than anything that rather than three old (okay, Wise) men with gifts that no new mom could ever use, that her mom had shown up moments after with the things you really need in those beautiful, yet terrifying moments (those awful, ugly yet oh so helpful mesh panties being just one example)?
-Mary's identity was forever changed - it's hard enough in those early years to remember that you exist aside from being "M's mom", but she had a whole different type of identity crisis on her hands.
Who were you before the world told you who you were supposed to be? All those years ago, when you weren't even 18 and you had the whole world staring back at you...had your whole life ahead of you. Sitting in the high school parking lot, looking back at the building you had spent four years in dreaming of the next chapter yet having no clue as to what on earth you were going to do...not only in that moment, but most importantly, with the rest of your life. You held hands with your best friend and you tried hard to figure out where to go, what to do, how to take that oh so important first step towards...what? And now, all these years later...22 years later...do you feel any wiser? Do you have any better direction? Do you have any idea what you want to do, or where you are supposed to be...or, how on earth you got here...how THIS is your life? And while you have so much to be thankful for, your focus shifts to the disappointments, the sense of anxiety-inducing fear that you have given much of your life to things that you would have never in a million years wanted in that moment all those years ago in that parking lot when all you had ahead of you was time and choices and future. Now, while nowhere near old, you feel more lost than ever in many ways...mostly because you still have no idea and you are overwhelmed with the weight of the life that has settled around you and you ache with longing for the choices you no longer have to make...the near misses...the decisions you don't necessarily regret, but can't help but wish you had had better guidance for now that you are looking at them in the rear view mirror. The life you dreamed of doesn't exist. There is another one that sits in its place - so much more than you could have ever hoped for in some ways, and nowhere near what you imagined in others. Your life's purpose still eludes you. The one great thing you've done is growing up before your eyes and will be off on her own great adventure before you have time to blink. That fact alone causes the walls to close in as you wonder what on earth you will do with yourself in those four short years with no one left to need you. And then you remember that you told yourself you would focus on nothing but good this holiday season...and in some ways you feel overwhelmed at the ridiculous pressure you put on yourself simply by saying those words.
This life. It is a good one. But it is not epic. It is small and in so many ways I feel I continue to miss my mark. My dreams - what few I had - seem to fade rather than grow brighter with each passing day. I am unsure about my words...they don't come easily most days and that breaks my heart. I find myself struggling to find inspiration. Instead I feel stuck.
Who was I before the world defined me? The girl who wanted to be...who was going to be...so much more. I dreamed of journalism, of magazines and television...of telling the world’s stories and saying the things that mattered. Instead? Instead I’m left wondering how I got here. Twenty-two years have passed since that 17 year old girl sat in a maroon mini van in a gravel parking lot of her high school, hold the hand of her best friend while wondering with more excitement than anxiety “what comes next?” If she could see me now...I’m afraid of what she’d think. No, I’m not ashamed of my life. I regret little, but what I do regret was ultimately giving up what all I truly wanted out of fear...fear of losing a guy. Insert eye roll here. And that fear snowballed into insecurities, many of which I carry to this day. Mostly the fear of not being enough. Where in the hell does this come from? How did the girl who always thought she was somehow special end up always thinking she’s not enough? And then, how did that same girl consistently choose jobs that were safe, but nowhere near the dreams she once had...winding up, at 40, wondering how this was her life?
Where do I go from here? How do I encourage my daughter to chase her dreams, to be whatever she chooses, when she’s watched me do the complete opposite? How do I show her that we get one life to do everything we were put here to do...one life to do everything we want to do...one life to be whatever it is we want to be...when I haven’t even come close to doing any of it myself?