When I go over the last 8 years in my mind, I sometimes forget the courage it took, the crazy experiences we went through, the change and adaptation and I wonder if it was all real.
I see myself today as this person who has gone through many changes, even early on, life started off pretty bumpy and deciding to make changes that would help me grow as a person, wasn’t easy. Change is freaking hard.
I get it! Twenty years working away making money to buy the things in the beginning was the most important thing to me. I wanted the house, the car, the nice clothes; all the things I lived without. My twenties were based on the theory that you work when you are young and can swing two jobs and the long hours, and the traveling to and from each would make most people’s brains spin. I spent my youth working, saving and planning for something, but I never knew what exactly. I had faith that my life would turn out though, even if I have no real faith in religion, I always had faith in my abilities. And I knew when my true partner came along, that person that i would want to become the father of my children, I would be ready! With a plan. A savings. A steady way to help provide. I would be ready for the commitment as an equal partner. I never wanted the knight in shining armour to let me longe at home. I would never have wanted someone that took care of me. I wanted equality right from the start. And to be respected. I couldn’t respect myself if I were a kept woman. Although Alfonz and I have taken turns taking care of each other, but that’s another story.
Then I woke up! I was running on the treadmill, lapping over the same kilometer over and over again. I realizing that the business I gave my youth to didn’t give a rat’s ass hump about me. I gave such dedication to only be treated very poorly over the years. I finally stop giving myself entirely to my work. I knew there has gotta be a better way. But I was sold on the idea that if I worked hard and long enough, that I would get the life I always wanted. Well the truth, it is all a big fat lie! The American dream has been shot down by big corporation, but fat cats on the top of the roofs greedily eating everything up, leaving the common man to struggle.
I had had enough of people living off the hard work I put in; off the backs of the common people, waiting for them to break and replacing them after they are used up, like toilet paper, no meaning, just the bottom line. A narcissistic system based on growth, no emotion.
The only way to find your purpose in this life, is to understand who you are at the base of your personality. To be brave enough to say that you know what this doesn’t feel good anymore, it is time I make some changes. We cannot sacrifice ourselves for the dollar and come out the other end feeling good about life. It is all superficial. Life does not equate stuff! Especially when we have spent your last dime and look around wondering where did my youth go? Was that nice car worth all those family meals missed. Was that new house worth it all just to see it after sunset everyday spending your waking hours away working?
Taking time to figure out who we are as individuals, what makes us tick and feel good should be a mandatory part of life. If everyone were take a wander for about a year across some vast desert or climb a mountain reflecting on who they are, I bet more people would be happy. To really understand what makes a person unique to find our strengths and our abilities. I still believe that every single person has a purpose in this life.
My only regret is that I did not take any time for myself when I was young, when I had the energy to experience life to the fullest. Instead, I worked my bag off. Of course yes a few good things came from all that as well. I met people from all over, I worked with interesting people, I learned how to contort myself into a person that was consistently pleasing in nature, I knew the value of a dollar, and I saved and invested well. But what I did not find was balance.
Here I am. Midlife. Turning to the past to gain some wisdom and advice for myself as I move into the second half of my life at a much slower speed, yet again, I ask myself to push the boundaries and go back to school, juggle our business, and work, my kids and our home. It is a different juggling act, but still the same things remain; I am in fact not entirely true to myself.
If I were I would have more time for myself, to spend not planning and working but resting and playing. The balance has slipped back to my old ways, I am simply in another country, but moving at mach speed on a different treadmill.
In some ways I am proud of us, when different things pop into my mind like the distance we have crossed, the things we have visited, and the experiences through blogging that came our way. I am amazed that this is in fact my life we are talking about. The trips, the countries, the languages, the houses, the TV, the radio programs, the schooling, the teaching, the elections, the singing, the renovations, the joy, the laughter, the food, the wine, the friendships…
But here I am again, a little lost. Now what? Do I have a new goal? Yes I guess I do. It seems to me that I may have done things out of order, ok vastly out of order for society, but it does feel extremely rewarding going back to university to get my degree. Even if my work situation doesn’t change, even if they still think I am a stupid American, even if they never give me any respect, I have to remember who I am at my core but moreover who I am doing this all for. I can pretend it is for my kids, giving them a good example, but that’s a lie. It is selfishly for me. Something I should have done long ago. To prove to myself that I can. To reach a line drawn in the sand to simply achieve it.
Life is incredibly long for those who are stuck. Long days, long hours, long life…. My life has been exciting, fast paced, extremely diverse, and I wouldn’t change places with anyone. Not a single wealthy celeb, or a heiress inheriting her father’s fortune; nope my life is all mine. The deep and varied twists, the perpetual turns, sprinkled with self discovery, intent, varied changes, positive growth, deep healing and the result is wisdom to draw on; deep pools of experience.
I love my life. It is full. I am overflowing with gratitude and appreciation, and even the low moments are there for us to learn from.
I still get tackled down emotionally by the haters. I still get challenged to live up to my words on occasion. But I know I can walk through this life with my head held high, my heart wide open to give and receive opportunities that life throws my way. With kind words as my weapon, I will not sink down to the gloom and depths of the broken. I must truck on.