I Am Not the Norm

I am not sure why today of all days, but a thought was pushed into my head like a slap on my face. I have heard it before, thought of it before, and I might have even typed it before, but I don’t think I grasped the real meaning behind the thought. The thought came to me this morning while brushing my teeth and looking out my front window. Brushing my teeth is quite the activity for me. It is not just a quick brushing, spit, and be done. I can thank my mom for this. I brush my teeth twice a day and each time, I do some sort of combination of walking around my house, pacing, and sitting down to looking out my front window. Whatever the combination is, brushing my teeth makes me think about things. So, back to my “slap across the face thought.” It really hit me at that moment. I finally realized it. I am who I am.

Thinking back to my first day of kindergarten, I remember being scared and crying. I didn’t want to go and once there, I didn’t want my dad to leave. Back then, it was only a half day and even that half day was too much for me. Once sitting down at the tables, I looked around at all the kids who were strangers to me. I was terrified. As the school days went on, they did become easier. I made some friends and started to like school. Even from that first day of school, all you want is to fit in. You want to make friends and you want kids to like you. I was always trying to fit in and be like someone else. It didn’t matter what I did, I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t the skinny, popular runner in school like my brothers were. I am who I am! As the school years went on, I made friends, but I still always wanted to fit in with everyone else.

College came and left. Jobs came and left. Friends came and left. Life continued. No matter what I was trying to do, I was always trying to be like everyone else. I wanted to fit in with “the norm.” I wanted to be like everyone else. Well, that didn’t go so well! Nothing seemed to work.  My life was not going well. I struggled through depression and personal crisis after personal crisis. I was always worried about what someone else might think. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted out of life and even if I did know, I was scared to go after it. After struggling through personal crisis after personal crisis, my motivation and ambition was gone. Just when I was starting to gain some of that back, another crisis slapped me across the face and threw me to the ground. Just when I thought life couldn’t get any worse, it did. I felt like I was back to square one. All the progress I was making in moving forward with my life, just set me all the way back. Life does go on though. The world does not stop. The days went on and the weeks went on. Things are a little better now. I learned many, many things from this. I even relearned something: I am who I am!

It has taken me 35 years to realize I am who I am. I am done trying to fit in with “the norm.” I am not the norm! I am different than everyone else and I have different wants and needs. My parents had three boys before I came along. I have three older brothers and I am the youngest and only girl. That should have been my first clue that I am different. I don’t want the traditional 9:00 to 5:00 job, five days a week. That is not me. I am not doing that just to fit in with “the norm.” I want to write. I want to be published. I will write and I will be published. I don’t entertain a lot on the weekends. That is not me. I love lazy weekends where I don’t always have to talk to someone. I am not changing that just to fit in with “the norm.” I don’t like to talk a lot on the phone and I don’t always like to text. That is not me. I am not changing that just to fit in with “the norm.” I don’t always like to talk and be friendly when I am out shopping and running errands. Sometimes I just want to get done what I have to do and get back home. That is who I am. I love actual books over e-books. I’d rather hold a book in my hand than read an e-book. That is me! That is okay! So you see, I am who I am. That is perfectly fine with me and it doesn’t have to be fine with anyone else. I am who I am!

Moving On After the Hurt & Pain

If I take a poll of how many of you have been hurt before whether it is physically, emotionally, or mentally, I bet everyone’s hand would go up. How sad of world we live in that everyone has experienced pain in some way. In a lot of people’s lives, we experience hurt over and over. We have all been involved on both sides of the coin. We have all hurt someone before and we have all been hurt by someone or something. It doesn’t matter what side of that coin we are involved in, we always feel like crap. In either case, we are unsure what to do next or what to say next. If we hurt someone, we want to make it right and apologize, or we should feel that way! If someone has hurt us, it is difficult to listen, to give them the benefit of the doubt, to forgive them and to move on. One of the hardest things in life is moving on after a hurt or after some sort of pain has been done to you. However, moving on is what you must do not only for your sake, but for the someone or something that hurt you.

Life can be good; is good at times. Life can be fun; is fun at times. Life is full of joyous events and memories. Look back on your life and think back to all the joyous memories. Sure there are a lot of them. Do you remember what you learned from those joyous events? I bet you can pick out a couple things you learned from those happy events. Now look back on the not so good moments. Look back on the moments where you have had to go through pain, hurt, anger, grief, & distrust. From the moment we are kids, we experience hurtful situations. It is all part of life and growing up. We don’t get our way, so we cry and make a fuss. As we grow older, the hurtful situations become more painful, but we learn more from them. Once again, do you remember what you learned from those not so joyous events? I bet you learn more from the sad times than you do the happy times. We grow more as a person going through pain than we do going through happy times.

Moving on after the pain is hard. You may not want to at first. That is understandable and normal. You want to stay locked in your anger and grief forever. You may not be able to handle moving on at first and that is normal too. However, the most important thing you can do for yourself and for the person or situation that hurt you, is to move on. Don’t let that person or situation drag you down. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Show them that you are the better person. Show them you can overcome their hurt and their stupid actions. Don’t hang on to the pain. Grow from it, learn from it, and make your life better because of it. Take something away from the situation and do something positive out of it. Help someone else in that same situation. Volunteer your time. Write for your self only or write something for others to see. Change careers. Exercise more. Make yourself healthier. Do whatever you can think of to improve your life from that situation and move on. Last, but not least, forgive the person or people that hurt you. It will take a long time. It will be a long road back to “normalcy”, but the journey will be worth it. Forgiving someone else shows them are you the better person.

Going through hurt and pain, makes the happier occasions special. Going through grief makes you appreciate the happier moments more. Life is hard. Life really sucks at times, but the journey is worth it. We learn from the situations, good and bad, that we are in. Those situations make us a better person. Life is not all about hurt and grief. There are many happy moments to take pride in. Move on from the hurt and pain. Don’t let the hurtful memories overcome you so much where you forget all the good times.

Life Goes On

If its one lesson I have learned over and over, it is this one: Life goes on. No matter what happens to you or someone else, the world keeps moving. I learned this lesson early on and for some reason life keeps throwing it at me. We all have our issues and our problems to work through. No one goes through life unscathed. Some seem to have an easier life than others. They may have a few issues to deal with, but they seem to have less hurdles to jump over. Than their are others who at every turn have an obstacle to work around. Why is that? Why are some lives easier than others? Why do some people have lessons thrown at them and problems to deal with one right after another while others seem to breeze right through life? I wish I had that answer.

I think some people are stronger than others. I think some can handle having problems thrown at them at a faster speed than others. God made all of us different and he made some of us with stronger souls than others. There is a reason we go through what we go through. There is a bigger plan for us. There is a reason for it all. Although we don’t fully understand why some have an easier life than others and why we go through the things we do, I do believe whatever is thrown at me, I can get through and overcome. I have that confidence in myself.

We are all at a different point in our life’s journey. Even though we have company along the way, we have to walk the road alone. No one can walk our journey for us. We have to complete it ourselves.

So how do you keep going after once again being thrown in a hole and forced to get yourself out of it? Just like you did the first time. You move on one day at a time. You let yourself go through the emotions of hurt, anger, pain, grief, and once that is done, you pick yourself back up, and climb a little at a time until your feet are on solid ground again. It is possible to do over and over. I am living proof of that. It may take a while, but it can be done.

  I read something online that fits just about every obstacle life can deal to you. I don’t know who said it or who wrote it, but it sure does fit. “Allow yourself to hope to believe and to trust again. Don’t let a few bad memories stop you from having a good life now.” Remember not to wallow in pity for too long or you will be stuck. You won’t be able to move on. There is a point in all situations where it is time to find a way out of that hole you were thrown in and get yourself out of it. At some point, you need to continue with life and move on. Remember,  life does not stop for anyone or anything. Life goes on!

Things Do Come To An End

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All Things Do Come To An End

The Pacific Ocean. It looks like it could go on forever, never reaching land. Standing on the Santa Monica pier looking out at the horizon, looks could say the ocean never ends. Whether it is the ocean or Lake Michigan, which is closer to home for me, the blue water is very peaceful and calming. It is a reminder that even though looks tell me that the huge body of water continues on and on, I know that it does come to an end.

There are certain things in life we wish would never come to an end. Perhaps it is the physical life of a lost loved one, a family vacation, the weekend, or days off from work. Those things we wish could go on forever. Then there are other things that hit us like a ton of bricks. It weighs us down. We move slower. Like the ocean, it seems to us that it will continue on and on. We want an end and even though we know in our heart, it will end, it does not seem like it actually will. During these times when we are treading water alone in the ocean and trying to keep our head above water, we must remember not only do all good things come to an end, so do all bad things. There is an end in sight to our problems. We do learn from them. There is a reason for them. We are able to continue on with life. It is amazing what a person can handle and get through. The soul is stronger than one thinks. If we remain strong through the tough times, we will see our ship come across the horizon to rescue us.

Faith, Hope, & Love

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Faith, Hope, & Love

“The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We never know why some things happen in our life. It is forever a mystery to us as to why we are thrown such curve balls. We may not like it, but we don’t have a choice to go through “the darkest nights” in order to arrive at a “brighter tomorrow.” There isn’t a problem out there that someone has not already gone through or encountered in some way. When you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel…or at the end of the bridge! This photo of the Mackinaw Bridge, helps me remember that having faith helps us realize that all things are possible. Having hope reminds us that everything will work out and without love, we have nothing. Don’t jump off the bridge half way through. Keep going and your brighter tomorrow will be waiting for you.

“Be patient eno…

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“Be patient enough to live one day at a time as Jesus taught us, letting yesterday go, and leaving tomorrow till it arrives.”
– John F. Newton

What a great piece of advice, but something I do not follow. In today’s world of being busy with work, family, kids, and other priorities, how does one let yesterday go and concentrate on only today? How does one not think about tomorrow and what it will bring or what it could bring? I do not have  the answers because I have never been able to only think about today and live in the present day. I would love to hear from people who can live in the present day and not worry about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. I do think it is time for me to start living in the present moment, in the present day. It is difficult sometimes to let yesterday go and leave tomorrow until tomorrow. However, if we don’t let some things go and leave other things until it happens, if it happens, life will become harder to live. It sure seems that way to me. So if you have any advice on how to do so, I’d love to hear from you!

Relationship Tip

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Relationship Tip

Walking through a park. Walking through a grocery store. Sitting at a restaurant. I see it everywhere I go and I think it is sweet. An older couple holding hands and still loving each other. I hope that is me someday. In this day and age, one never knows. Everyone has issues and challenges to work through. Know one is problem free. In some relationships it seems like it is one hurdle after another. In other relationships it looks like the perfect “Leave It to Beaver” family. It may look that way, but normally, it today’s world, it is not how it actually is. Relationships can take a lot of beating. It takes a lot of effort to work through the pain, but it can be done. I think some people, and I may even take this a step further and say the majority of people give up too easily on relationships. One hurdle for them and they call it quits. I’d love to have only one hurdle, but life does not work that way. Work through your issues. Communicate. Cry. Release the pain. Communicate some more. Don’t give up on love. Trust again and one day you will be relationship #10!