Saturday, April 16, 2016

How did we get here?

Sometimes I just stare at old pictures of my kids and think to myself, "How did we get to this place in our lives so quickly? How did you both grow up from babies into children who are independent and kind and busy and intelligent and sassy?"

How did we get here?

That question has been on my mind with many things lately.

How did I get to this particular place in my life, living in this home, going to school full time, with friends who love me and people who really dislike me, working at a dance studio, single?

Each of those pieces of my life have their own story, their own patchwork of tiny stories that make up what brought me to that particular spot at that particular time.

And I've often wondered what would've happened if I had made different choices, said different words, reacted differently---would I still be where I am right now?

Would the same people still love me and the same people still dislike me? Would I be pursuing a degree in Counseling? Would I be a mother of two children? Would I be single?

And then I tell myself, "Well, Suzanne, hindsight is always 20/20." 

For all of the mistakes I've made that have brought me here, I actually couldn't have done any differently than I did in those moments---because I didn't know better.

And now that I know better, would I change it? Would I change my divorce or my failed friendships or my eating disorder or the religion I was raised in vs. my religious beliefs now or any of the other things that have brought immense pain or confusion into my life?
No. I don't think I would. 
Because I was forced pushed to grow from each of those experiences.

I look back on who I was a year ago, back to the days where I thought I was going to die or maybe even that I wanted to die, and I am so glad I didn't give the people who disliked me enough power over my thoughts to control my choices.
Even the anger I experienced and the bullying I experienced---I wouldn't change it. None of it. Because although it was painful, I managed to hold my head up high and love the people who loved me a little better.

I learned what to do and what not to do. I learned who I want to be and who I don't want to be. 

So as I look at my kids and how much they've grown, I think about what life was like when they were little and my bubble felt so much safer---and today? Today I'm ok with the fact that my bubble isn't as safe.

I may have to fight harder. I may have to struggle with my eating disorder every single day right now. I may have to work through anxiety when I'm trying to open up and trust someone.

But I'd rather be this girl than be wrapped up in a bubble where I'm not able to empathize or love as deeply as I've learned how to do. I'd rather be this girl who knows what she wants and who she is and why she's here.

Because although my life isn't perfect, I can tell you my response to each of those statements.
I know who I am. I know what I want. And I know why I'm here.
{And maybe in another post, I'll write down my responses to those statements.}

And I am so grateful that I am me.