Monday, January 9, 2012

...and I'd Like to Welcome 2012 to the Game

You know, I've done this my whole life. Written furiously for months and months at a time, hands cramping while I wrote out in BIG! CURLY! LETTERS! about how cute Tass was when he talked or how angry I was at Lisa for telling her parents it was my fault we were late coming home from the church dance when we all know it was because she wanted to drive by a certain boy's (or two's) house just to see if we could catch a glimpse of him in his bedroom, you know, doing boy stuff like putting his hats on a shelf. Or throwing a ball repeatedly at the wall for no reason at all. (all true. Boys are so boring, by the way)

I have journals that go back to the time when I was 7 years old. There's a book my parents got me for Christmas that year written by Dr. Seuss called My Book About Me. It was page after page of details about me. What color my eyes were. What my nose looked like. What kind of house I lived in. Did I live in the city?  An apartment?  A house?  The answers were very simple, I was 7. My eyes were "blue!" (I even liked to abuse punctuation then, surprised?) My hair was "yellow!" I lived in a "house!" But the best was the one that left a blank spot for a number. For example, the question read "It is _____ steps from my bedroom door to the kitchen"/"It is _____ steps from my front door to my mailbox". You see the point right?  Well, because my parents are cool, they knew that whatever I'd fill in was who I was. My 7 year old understanding of the question wasn't something numerical, no. It was a question to me that I had to visualize, and when I visualized it, I saw my feet. So that's what I put. I remember thinking "what other dang kind of steps would there be? This is the worst page ever" I'd filled in each blank with a huge, dark red word:


"It is FOOT!!!!!! steps from my front door to my mailbox"

"It is FOOT!!!!!! steps from my bedroom door to the kitchen"

You have no idea how hard I laugh at that page now. That simple book is so precious to me because it perfectly illustrates who I was, how I felt then. And it's proof that I've been who I am since the second I was born. Not much about me has changed, at all.

You know,  I have journals from my especially early youth. I have journals from my pre-teen years. I have journals from my teenage years and from Challenger. I have journals from my early marriage to J, from my middle years to J, from the end of my marriage to J. I have journals from the sweet time when I met and married Michael.  And then I have my blog. I've had many over the years but really, the one that is "me" is this one. It's changed names and url's a few times but this is basically who I am, take it or leave it.

Sometimes I'll proclaim that this is it!  I'm going to blog again and then life gets the better of me. Sometimes I'll blog and save it, never to publish it. One thing you can know about me. When I blog, I'm real. I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I'm who I am 100% of the time.

The last 6-7 years have been ones of pure discovery. I think that's what happens when you turn 30. I see it all the time with friends. I know that I've been on a quest to find out who I am. I have been so weary pretending to be something I'm not. I've found friends and family who know me, who've KNOWN who I really was. My health has deteriorated those times when I pretend to be something I'm not. I can literally look back at my journals and my blogs and there you see it, the sickest times of my life and say "oh yes. I see the pattern."

I'm a mother of adult children. I have looked at my oldest daughter and her choices and while we have helped her make some of the biggest decisions she's made, I would never want her to be anything she's not. If she wants to run off to Bali to discover who she is by volunteering at an orphanage, I'm right there with her. I've taught her all I can. I feel that way about all of my children. And I want them to be 38 year old adults who are not sick because they've hidden who they are. I want them all to be happy.

This year is the year of strength, the year of being me, the year of loving me. 2012 is the year of LIVING.