I recently celebrated another trip around the sun,
and with each year that passes,
gratefulness for another year at life is the emotion I feel, most.
Life is a journey of many various obstacles.
For some, its a constant climb to the top of whatever metaphorical ladder they are on.
For others, it’s a daily battle to maintain their health.
For me, the journey has changed many different times.
As a child, the journey was constantly wanting to be older, taller, have longer hair…
reaching that “milestone” birthday – turning 10 and having “Double Digits” in my age.
After that, it was turning 13 and being a “teenager”,
and then, of course, turning 15 and getting a learners permit,
which ultimately led to turning 16 and having freedom…or so I thought.
Turning 16 meant only one thing to my parents;
having someone to drive my little sister to friend’s houses, or wherever she needed to be.
Umm, were they planning to pay me a “taxi cab fare”?
That got a big laugh out of them both.
Was I delusional?
They’d fed, raised and kept me alive for 16 years!
No, there would be no “payment” for driving her around.
I guess you could say my entrepreneurial skills began very early.
After turning 16, the countdown began to graduation, and entering college, which is where I was sure REAL independence and freedom would begin.
Sadly, the first couple months at college were spent with me driving home every weekend, because I was positive I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.
The campus was SO small, and I knew hardly anyone.
Being the shy (I know…its hard to imagine) person I was,
going up to a total stranger and saying “HI” gave me a panic attack.
After a few months, though, I made some great friends, and loved my four years at Brevard.
However, the journey to adulthood and maturity continued….
After one failed relationship and then another, I began to frantically search for “Mr. Right”,
because a lot of girls in my hometown had already found theirs,
and were busy planning weddings, and future children’s names.
Always feeling destined for more than living my life in a small town, post college graduation was a tough few months.
I had moved back home, after having four years of total independence.
I had held down constant jobs during my four years in college, and felt I had “arrived”.
Being back “under my parent’s thumb” so to speak, was difficult.
Fast forward a few months and I found myself living in “Big City, Nashville” knowing no one,
and having my first REAL taste of adulthood/maturity.
Living in an apartment, having bills and rent due each month, I got a quick taste of reality as an adult.
Making new friends came pretty easy,
and loving my new “home”,
I felt settled and as thought I had FINALLY,
truly “arrived” upon purchasing my first home.
Then, the first mortgage payment was due.
Wait! These things didn’t just pay themselves?!?!?!
I had to come up with the money for this bill, every month?!?!?
This was NOT what I signed up for.
I quickly learned how to budget, how to NOT spend money as soon as I cashed the checks, and got on track.
But, the grass needed cut,
things had to be replaced and repaired,
and life showed me exactly how NOT mature I was.
Then, I lost my first grandparent.
On my parent’s anniversary, in 2006,
I got a call that my sweet grandfather has passed away,
sitting in his chair, at his home in Ohio.
Then, after several health issues, and some rough months, my sweet Papa died in July, 2009.
Losing both my grandfathers was hard,
but I felt my family had gone through our fair share of difficulties and things would be better,
from then on.
Some people. when asked what super hero power they’d most like to have, if given the chance, say “to know the future”.
I am SO thankful we aren’t able to foresee what’s to come.
Just when you think you have grown, matured, figured out life’s toughest questions,
there is a bend in the road you could have never imagined.
I am learning, growing, devouring knowledge every day, more hungry than ever before, to better myself.
Someone recently said they’d never met anyone like me, in their life.
I guess I looked a little puzzled because they went on to say they looked up to me,
thought I was wise, and I had taught them a lot.
I took it as the utmost compliment.
At the end of the road of life, besides God, all we have is each other.
Why make someone’s life MORE difficult than it has to be?
Why not show them love, compassion, acceptance, and understanding when they mess up?
I encountered a homeless man, just last night.
He was digging through the trash cans,
and, upon finding a “to-go” box of food,
looked around, as if to see if anyone was looking, then took it over to the steps,
sat down and began eating whatever food was inside.
I was overcome with emotion, and could barely hold it together, as I continued driving home.
I thought to myself, “But by the grace of God, and some wise decisions on my part, that could be me”.
That man could have been ANY of us. It still could be.
Over these last 30+ years of life, I have learned much.
I have learned I have not “arrived”. I never will. That’s ok.
I have learned I am not the wisest person in the room – no matter what room I am in.
I certainly don’t think of myself as anything/anyone special.
But, I have learned many life lessons…..
Life is more than the clothes you wear, the brand name of your shoes, and the car you drive.
Life is more than who your friends are, and what they do for a living.
Life is more than where you vacation, and how many homes you have.
Life is more than your relationship….or even whether or not you have one.
Life is holding your friends in a tight grasp, afraid to let the ones who truly matter, ever go.
Life is understanding that, when God takes your dad much too soon, there is a reason.
There are more people who have had their lives changed, through and because of my dad’s death,
than I will ever know of.
Even though I don’t fully understand, He is still God, and He is still good.
I have learned that life is having your family’s back – no matter what.
Because at the end of the day, that’s still your family.
Life is learning that drug addiction is a real thing, and that you cannot ignore the warning signs.
Life has taught me that people fight demons I will never know about.
I have learned that when family members die of an OD God was probably saving them from much more than a drug addiction.
Life has taught me, that, as cliche as it may sound,
if you never try drugs the first time, you’ll never have an addiction.
Life has taught me that, when a relationship ends,
it’s so something/someone MUCH better, and better for you, can enter.
There are so many life lessons I have learned,
and continue to learn.
Hopefully, I never reach the point where I think there is nothing left to learn.
Life is about being thankful for the beautiful relationships you may have, or are looking for.
When you find someone who accepts you as you are,
encourages you on your most difficult day,
allows you the safety of being vulnerable, and still knowing you’re safe,
keeps all your secrets,
compliments you and you KNOW they mean it…
it doesn’t matter what you call this person –
boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, significant other,
they are your person.
Appreciate them, and their presence in your life. I have learned it’s OK to NOT always explain yourself, your reasonings, your thoughts, opinions, beliefs. They are yours, and are not always meant for other’s understanding.
As long as you know what you have, who you are, and what you mean to those who truly love you,
you’ve got a pretty good life.
Live it to the best of your ability, and don’t ever, EVER, think there is nothing left to learn.
There is no end to what you can learn, if you listen.
One of our greatest fears is the fear of being found out and You know what’s interesting about this fear? It’s very closely tied to one of our greatest desires. While we fear being found out, we simultaneously long to be fully known and fully loved. It is so true, whether you are a Christ-follower, or not. Everyone wants to be accepted, loved and known. Yet, we fear of being found out , and having whatever our deepest secret is, being uncovered. It’s a sobering thought to consider allowing ourselves to be completely open and fully known, by anyone.
If this is your first time visiting my blog, grab a cup of coffee, scroll through some of my previous posts, and join me on my journey of life! If you’ve been with me all along, thank you for continuing to take an interest in my life!
I’m truly so blessed, and I love sharing life with you!