Two weeks into dating Casey, when both of us thought she was about to head off to Asheville we took an amazing date day. Spent the whole day together, exploring Buffalo on a whim. Played pool, walked around Delaware Park, to finish this beautiful day she took me to the observation tower at Canalside for the first time. We were standing up there and I was recounting the last two weeks and how this woman who I barely knew started this change in me. For the first time in years I was thinking about creating again. Building things, painting, writing. As we’re looking out at Buffalo this thought made its way past my lips which has since developed into a bit of a mantra. I have lived through too much to do fine. It’s hard to express how true that statement is, but at some point in the last five years that life was what happened to me.
After I got out of my marriage, I think I was so content with being free that I felt as though I should just keep my head down and be grateful for what I’ve got. A bit of a spit in the face when you think about all that I’ve gone through. There is nothing wrong in my opinion with taking a breather after any major life transition, but this encroaching apathy was climbing up to debilitating levels.
Which is partly why the ball that Casey had started rolling was so exhilarating. Having what felt like its own center of gravity, it began to attract more of the same. This blog for instance, inspired by Becca, the co-creator, and her fearlessness when it came to taking control of her life and her future. Venturing off to make her own business instead of succumbing to self-doubt. The universe has always surrounded me with people like that, if I take enough care to pay attention. Those who don’t accept what life has dealt them, but realize that life is what you make it. That the dreams that you have are only limited by yourself.
The first thing I ever wanted to be, other than a Spice Girl, I was seven years old and we in the soup aisle at the Grocery store. My mom asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I told her that I wanted to be a storyteller, but through the inevitability of childhood I began to to believe that anything in the creative realm was a hobby. I began to buy into the opposite of what we tell our children; that you can’t be whatever you want to be.
Rather you get a respectable job, work hard, clock in, clock out, get married, have kids, do the whole thing. That mentality is what led me to get married at 20 years-old. Now of course I didn’t go about it in the aforementioned order. Nevertheless, it is that thought process that tells you that this is what you have to do; that there is this picture that you have to fit into. A picture has a way of turning out to be just like everyone else. When I was 5 years old the concept of being cookie cutter was the farthest thing from my mind. I wanted to be extraordinary.
Unfortunately I chose to surround myself with people that were comfortable in complacency; what a horrifying thought. That thought, that picture, it wasn’t my dream it wasn’t what I aspired to. It was just what I thought I was supposed to do. And when I got my carefully orchestrated picture, the husband, staying at home with 2.5 kids (not that there is anything wrong with that) maybe if it was in a healthier nature, sure. But allowing my creativity to die allowing complacency to become comfortable, along with other aspects of my unhealthy relationship brought me to a lobotomized like state of step-ford wife. Suicidal thoughts once again became an unwanted house guest that I couldn’t shake.
I no longer accept orbiting with those that are ok with fine. This life is what you make it. My life is what I make it. And I’m nothing special, just a poor white girl born raised in central Florida. Teenage mom, college dropout. Like I said, nothing special, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be extraordinary. I found out last night that I was picked for a writing job that I interviewed for. There is something affirming about that. It’s one of those moments that makes you wonder what the rest is gonna look like. I don’t want to even dream about the next chapter, because I know that I’ll sell myself short. So instead I’ll just continue to push forward; taking every opportunity that I manifest. Committing to an extraordinary life. Because I have survived things that should have killed me. I have come out the other side (albeit a little worse for wear) from terrors that most people only witness in nightmares.
I have lived through too much to do fine.