Tag Archives: selfless

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 

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Have you ever…

…thought about the impact you have had in the lives of those who’s paths have crossed yours? I have. As I’m nearing the age of 40, I have thought a lot about where I am, how I got here, what effect I’ve had on those around me, etc. I am not where I had hoped to be by this stage in my life. Call it a midlife crisis, a pity party, an awakening…whatever name you give it, it’s me reflecting on the choices I’ve made and the impact I’ve had on others throughout my life. 

Take B, for example. I placed her in my loving aunt and uncles home. They adopted her. I told them of the circumstances around the pregnancy, I gave them letters and pictures from the relationship in which she was conceived. I have my reasons for placing her for adoption, and they were completely centered in love and selflessness. I regretted my decision so many times, even going as far as trying to get her back, but I knew in my heart that she was where she was supposed to be. She was meant to be a part of their family. I was just the means by which she would come to them. 

Her birth father never knew her, until I located him with the help of a friend, a little over a year ago. Shortly after B made contact with him for the first time, he posted on social media about him finding out that the child he thought was dead, was indeed very much alive and all grown up. I know that I did not tell him she was dead, I can only assume that his controlling mother told him that lie after I cut off all contact when she threatened to take my child from me and told me that I would never see the baby again. I’ve always wanted lots of kids, even considered adopting a child myself. At the request of B’s adopted mom, I never mentioned it to her, even though I so badly wanted to. I knew I could not tell her unless we were successful in adopting. Yet after B came for a visit a few years ago, I received a call from her adopted mom asking how I could tell her about our hopes and plans to adopt. J was the one who told her. Just 2 sisters talking, but B tells her mom it was me. 

I must have done something wrong in a past life to be followed by so much hurt, anger, and blame. I feel like I have ruined people’s lives, or at least part of their chance at happiness by the choices I have made. I have deprived myself of true happiness because I have lived with the secrets, and the guilt associated with my choices. I have thought many times about trying to contact B’s birth father, partly because I still have a love for him (regardless of what he did to me), partly because I knew the amazing young lady who’s life he was missing out on (and a little bit of jealousy, because I knew that I was missing out on her life too, and why should he get to play a part in her life, but I can’t). It’s stupid, I know. But it’s how I felt/feel.

I sang a song in a pageant once (yes, I was in a pageant) called “Leave Out All the Rest” by LinkinPark. The songs speaks of concern for how people will remember me when I’m gone.  “What am I leaving when I’m done here? So if you’re asking me, I want you to know. When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done, help me leave behind some reason to be missed. Don’t resent me, and when you’re feeling empty, keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest.” My hope for my life is that the good I’ve done will outweigh the bad, and people will remember me for the effort I put into making a difference in the lives of others, instead of remembering me for the choices I’ve made that affected them. I don’t ask for forgiveness, because I don’t yet know how to forgive myself, and if I can’t forgive myself, how can I hope for others to? My life revolves around my children, all of my children, even the ones who will never belong to me and will never claim me. 

I hope that through my life experiences, choices, and consequences, that someone, somewhere, will learn from me. 

What I want for myself…

…is to be different than I am. To be smarter. To be healthier. To be skinnier. To be more tone and fit. To be less of a door mat. To be more assertive. To be a better mom. To spend more time with my daughter. To help her see how amazing she is. To have more energy. To be a better wife, or to be better single. To be…more than I think I can (or deserve) to be. 

But reality is…I’m only me. I can only ever be me. I can wish and want and dream to be better, but it will never happen…unless…I can find a way to be happy. Truly happy…with myself being me. Is being me really so bad?

I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything, and I don’t want to. I’d like to honestly say that I can always admit when I’m wrong, but I can’t. So many times I have stumbled, but I have always gotten back up. So many promises were made to me, and then broken. Sure, I’m bitter about some of them, but maybe that’s ok seeing as how I’ve missed out. I pictured my life being so different by now. Maybe it’s just that I’m scared about turning 40. I can’t even say that it snuck up on me because it didn’t. I saw it coming. Part of me wishes that death would come for me, quietly in the night, so I wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Ok, suffer is probably a slight overstatement. So I wouldn’t have to deal with life’s many disappointments. Yup, that’s better. My life has been hard for me. I imagine everyone feels that their life has been hard for them though. I’m not that special. 

One thing I’ve learned, that helps me to not be so down about myself and about life, is to tell someone I need to hear something positive about me. Usually it’s one of my brothers or uncles or mom. Sometimes it friends. When I’m really down and I can’t think of anything positive about myself, I have a group of people that I trust who are always able to find the positive in me. These are also the very same people who won’t hesitate to kick my butt when I need it. Trust me…I’ve needed it. 

I struggle to ask for help, and I keep things inside so I don’t become a burden to others; but holding everything in and keeping it all to myself leads me to explode on whoever is in my way when I’ve reached my limit. I don’t mean to lash out, and I try not to, but I fail. I’ve lived a life that has left me weary and scarred. I have people that I trust, but I guess I am unable to trust them completely. I can’t allow others to tear down the walls I’ve built up to protect myself. There seems to be no middle ground. People in my life have either been extremely selfish or extremely selfless. Again, no middle ground. I continue to try. I continue to learn the harsh lessons that come from failing to ask for help. I won’t give up!