That girl in the picture above is a new girl. That girl took 34 years to make. I have always been a confident person. I have always liked myself. I just haven’t always loved who I was or felt that I was worthy of good. I never changed who I was to fit in, but I feel like I have constantly enjoyed new things while loving change. I do think I was (am?) addicted to the new. It has taken a very long time to not only realize (because that came years ago) but to be able to truly be comfortable (even enjoy) stability.
As talked about in this blog, there have been some extremely traumatic things that I have lived through, some my own making and others tragic happenstance. It doesn’t really matter how or why these horrific things happen, placing blame won’t solve anything now. Acceptance. That is the key to moving forward. I feel that in order to move forward, you have to accept the path you have walked. In order to learn from that path you have to acknowledge that it even existed. There are so many things in my past that I am not proud of. For many years, even after sobriety I let those things define me. I didn’t know how to acknowledge my past, but not let it hold me down.
I think that this is something I will have to actively work on for a very long time. Worthiness. Many of the things I struggle with are not the actual trauma incidents themselves, but how I dealt with them. I am not proud of what I did to manage the pain. Those self medicating things were actually what hurt me more than the trauma. After years of therapy in many different forms and self-reflection, I have learned that those coping mechanisms I was so ashamed of were somewhat normal ways of dealing with extreme pain and those traumatic events. I have learned to forgive the people who hurt me and perhaps even more importantly I have learned to forgive myself for my own mistakes.
I will always be an addict. It does define me, but I feel that it defines me in a positive light. I am a recovering addict. I overcome. I rise above. I always keep on moving. I do not let mistakes cripple me. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I own mine. I admit them and I learn. I feel like I am a better person for what I have lived through. Not only survived, but thrived. Yes, I know, so cliché, but it is the truth. This is definitely not how I thought my life would go. This is not who I planned to be, but goodness, I feel it is just so much better than I could ever have dreamed of
That girl in the picture is genuinely happy. I am not happy because of the circumstance, but because of who I am. Life is ever-changing. I chose to enjoy those curves, forks and bends in the road. I like to look at how far I have come and just give thanks for all that I am and have now. I am a single mom with the most amazing little spunky 4 (almost 5-year-old) who just brings so much joy wherever she goes. My relationship with her father is better than it ever has been. I love my career and am actually excelling in it. Did I ever think I would want to sell insurance? No. Are there people who plan on that? God had His hands all in that life change and put people in my life to move me towards that path. I enjoy being helpful to people in securing their family and things. I get to talk to people all day and help give them a piece of mind. That is a pretty cool thing. Not to mention my boss is encouraging and supportive with the goal of helping me open my own agency in the future.
I also love that I am learning how to balance my time outside of work. I have a variety of hobbies I love and have finally figured out to diversify! I still have an essential oils business that I love and keeps that passion for education burning. I get to spend my weekends outside and I live for that. The great thing now is, I don’t hate the weekdays. I don’t look at the clock and count down the minutes. Of course, I would love to be on the water or out in the woods, but I find a satisfaction with work now. I have professional and personal work goals. If you had told me a decade ago that one of my goals was to salt water fish on my own from my kayak, I would just laughed. I am working on being an independent angler. I give myself excuses for that, but I refuse to let them stop me.
I never thought I would be a mom living with my parents. The truth is though, that was all God, too! I am blessed to have such supportive parents who give me my space, but welcome me and Vivs into their home for a little while. It really isn’t as bad as you would think. They are helpful with Viv and I love having people there to share in her joy. I have the best friends a girl could ask for. I have been working on planning things with just my girlfriends. That cruise was a big step for me. It is crazy how when you listen to God and do your best to follow His will, even though it seems difficult to let go (because clearly you are doing so well at doing only what you think is best….that is a joke folks), that He will provide in ways you could never have imagined.
I feel like when I was happy alone, single, just Vanessa and Viv, God said, oh cool, now she gets it, she is ready. This summer, I let go of my ideas and plans. I was scared to give up what was comfortable, even though it was obviously not right. I let go and felt a peace that I could never have imagined. I don’t usually talk too much about my relationships. I didn’t last year because of all the unusual circumstances surrounding it. This year is different. This guy is different. That picture was taken when we spoke for the first time. That picture was right before I met a man who would change my life. I am not saying anything about future plans or anything like that. I am saying that I will never settle again. I will never be with someone who treats me any less than he does. He has shown me how I man should treat a woman he cares for. The difference is mind-blowing. So, enough on that for now.
I love that picture of me because I love the person I have become. I have to work everyday to remember that spirit of gratitude. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me when it seemed hopeless, listened when I made the same mistakes over and over and who kept hanging out with me when it was frustrating to see me cry when you knew it was my own dang fault. I hope I can give you all back what you gave me, just a little bit of that hope that no matter what, it gets better. I am sure there are more mistakes to come, but I know without any doubt that I can get through it.
I am worthy. I deserve good. I will not stop breaking through those obstacles. I will be that girl who makes a difference. I will be that girl who just won’t give up.
*If you are interested in professional development books, I have one for you. We read Vision to Reality in my Mom’s Book Club and I loved it! The author had some excellent points to help you really move forward in life. I loved how she brought up believing you deserve it, even in a professional realm.