Today I’m 35. I find this birthday a pretty big one, and I’m not sure why. I’m not afraid of the years that I climb, but I am afraid of not using them properly. .
My life is on a very different path then it was a few years ago. I had that fairy tale dream, but without the happily ever after part.
So now, I get to start my fairy tale story all over again. I know I will travel through the forest and under the bridge and over some rainbows. I know I will meet some princesses and princes, and some wolves and witches. I hope my fairy tale is covered with adventures, mistakes, happiness, and above all, love. Love for myself, love for my children, and love for those I hold most dear to me.
The underlying lesson in my fairy tale: never be afraid to start again. No matter how deep your wounds from your past chapters, you get to choose how to write your future ones. And there is no backspace, there is no delete, there is only one chance at each chapter. Make sure you will be proud to tell it when you reach ‘The End’.
Today I get to celebrate my Life Day, and embrace all that has come my way. I will be gentle to the wounds I carry, and optimistic for what is to come.
I will love big, always. Because how can’t you, when you are a Valentine’s baby?
All my love!
I thought these walls were going to hold so many more memories. I thought I would have decades here, with worn floors and patched up walls. But instead it is me that is leaving, worn and patched.
I helped build you. I poured my blood, sweat and tears into you, trying to make you perfect for the four lives you were to shelter. I planted trees in spots that would work well if one of them ever decided to marry here. There was purpose to every detail.
You were my home, and then you weren’t. You have taught me a very valuable lesson. You are only walls and a roof. You are a house, but not a home. We are the ones that make you that. When we have dance parties in our pjs in the family room, when we have movie nights, and sleepovers and bakeoffs. When we fill you up with laughter and singing…we make you a home. Any four walls will do.
Thankyou for providing us shelter through this last transition. You were a beautiful house, I did love you dearly. But I can no longer fill you with the joy and laughter I used to. So my four sidekicks and I have to say goodbye. We must close this chapter to open the next.
On to the next adventure. The next house to make our home.
I have always believed this. Beauty is in your soul. This life can be hard, seek those that treat you well, and love yourself as hard as you love others.
It’s been brought to my attention, that us ‘country girls’ are a different breed all on our own. That we seem to feel the need to show others that we can do it by ourself, that we don’t need help, that we are just as strong as anyone else. To this, I say, thank you. I was raised to be independent, to try new things, to get my hands dirty. I was born with something inside me that says ‘keep going’ when the average person would stop and give up. I might not be able to do everything as well as what someone else could do, but imma try anyways.
For half my life I was with someone that expected me to be able to do all the things needed to run a household and family on my own. It was tough at times, but do I ever appreciate that now. I’m not looking for a knight in shinning armor, cause I can hold my own damn sword.
I’m the girl that cuts the grass in a dress with my hair blowing in the wind and a Mike’s in my hand. I’m the girl that plants over 500 trees with a pick axe, in the rain and mud. I’m the girl that can change my own brakes and oil and tires (thanks dad). I’ve jumped out of a plane, walked on a broken foot for two weeks, lost my mom to suicide, layed awake on an operating table while watching on a screen doctors operate on my heart. I’ve faced plenty of fears and health obstacles, got myself through some horrible traumas, and I’m still here, with a smile on my face. So ya, us country girls are a different breed. We strong like bull. Unless my car breaks down, (which it does often) then I’m calling my dad to come save me. We all have our limits….
“The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and family. The third, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.”
I look at this as the masks we wear; to fit in, to feel good, to hide, to be someone we are not. I know I have many. I know I wore one for a very long time to fit into a life that was not easy to fit into, because I was not being authentic to me. I wore this mast so well, that people I have recently bumped into that I have known for years, did not recognize me at first glance, now that that mask is gone.
I am trying to wear the “I don’t care what anyone thinks mask” now, but it is still tricky. I tend to be quite guarded, with everyone. I only take off the masks with a small amount of people. I find it hard to really open up, to be vulnerable and think that others are interested in my life and how I am doing. So I wear whatever appropriate mask is needed for the situation. And if I do take them off for special people, I am always quick to put them back on if needed. I have mastered the ‘customer is always right’ mask, the ‘my kids are driving me insane but life is grande’ mask, the ‘I don’t have the energy to help another person but I’m gonna do it anyways’ mask, the ‘I’m fine’ mask, the ‘You are totally wrong but I’m not going to argue with you’ mask, the ‘I want to slap you in the face but that would be wrong’ mask, and the one I wear the best…..’I don’t need anyone’s help, support or love’.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t feel the need to wear a mask that hides all of the wonderful, quirky, adorable, flawed, characteristics that make us masterpieces? That we were free to be our truest reflection.
“If you’re reading this right now and you’re not happy, you will be. I don’t know what you’re going through. Everyone has their own type of darkness that they’re trying to make sense of, but no matter how hard it gets, you’ll do it. Things will get better, you will get better. Life will become brighter and you’ll look back on days like these when you couldn’t look forward to the next hour, let alone the next day. When you do, you’ll smile, maybe even laugh, and it will hit you. You turned out just fine.” -MaxwellDPoetry
Things shifted for me this weekend. Some good things, some bad things. Seeing people for who they are now, and not the potential they have to be put a lot of things into perspective. I tend to do this with many people in my life, see through their pain and broken pieces to what they could be, and wishing they could see it too, but having a hard time stepping back and letting them be who they are choosing to be. I want to push them to be the best version of themselves. To see what I see in them.
So I had to make some decisions I didn’t want to make. But limbo is not a pretty place to stay. Letting go of things that are hurting you is the only way to move forward. And forward is the only place I want to be moving these days. So that I can look back with a smile and know, I turned out just fine.
And so will you.
I am a country girl. I can adapt to almost any surroundings, but country is my favorite. I love the smell of fresh cut hay, sundresses and cowboots, horses, farms, getting dirty, secluded property, watching sunsets from the hood of my car. I will jump in the water waist deep to load a jetski or boat onto a trailer; I walk around barefoot on surfaces I shouldn’t; I would pick a bonfire and guitar playing any night over going out “on the town”. My parents pushed us outside and told us to go play. And we did. We hurt ourselves, we got into trouble, but we had fun and it made us strong. My dad taught me to cut the grass, drive a fourwheeler and skiidoo at a very young age and makes me fix my own car.
I’m told by so many how strong I am. But I haven’t felt it lately. Until last night. My daughter took this photo. My two girls insisted that they do a photoshoot, and bossed me around. Telling me what pose to do, how to “put my face”, where to put my hands, to “put my hair over one eye”. They were so excited. And then Eve took this photo and squealed and told me to come look at it. She said, “mommy you look so strong”. I stared at her for a minute. Thank god she said strong, and not pretty. Fuck pretty. If there is only one thing I want to teach my girls, it is to be strong. That sometimes they have to walk away from something they though was forever. That sometimes they will have to do something very scary. That sometimes they will feel very alone. But that they will be able to do it because they are strong. So if it takes me walking in a wheat field being bossed around by my girls to finally believe that just maybe I am showing them the the right things, then so be it.
Strength comes in so many stories. From mistakes, and failures, and wrong turns. Let all of that go. You tried your best and it didn’t work. Forgive yourself and try again. The best is yet to come.