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Mr. Vulnerability

It’s a new year and already only 3 and a half weeks in, I can tell it’s going to be a transforming one.  Why?  You ask. How do you know what is coming? I know these things for the reasons we all know in part, what our future holds…we look at the past. One of my favorite writers, Henri Nouwen, holds firmly that our past is the biggest indicator of our future. I agree– being a student of history I think I have to. But nonetheless I have always believed that we cannot  safely move forward in our future until we have understood our past.  I believe that sociologically and personally.

But that’s for another blog. All that is to say that I know what is coming because I have had this experience before.  2008 began with a deep conviction that we were all severely lacking hope. Hope that though so many things go bad, someday something will go right. Hope that love will overcome hate. Hope that miracles and good do exist. This year began in a similar way. I felt that familiar conviction again, only this time that 2009 would be for me a year of trust–learning to trust myself, others, and even God once again. But you must learn to crawl before you walk.

A very wise man told me just a couple weeks ago that I MUST learn to be vulnerable with others–that it would the very hardest lesson I would ever learned but it would also be the most rewarding.  I know, for me, this will be a life-long learning process, but I am in the beginning stages and since i want to become a person of trust, I think that I must also become a person of vulnerability.

Just typing the word scares the crap out of me.

But what does that even mean?? It really is like the blind leading the blind (both blind people in this scenario are me).  The Miss Independent that I am wants to figure this out on my own, which, as it turns out is the very opposite of the meaning of the word.

Well actually, the meaning of the word is a bit precarious. I looked it up, because, well, I have no idea what I am doing and I figured that would be a good place to start.

The dictionary defines Vulnerability as: Susceptible to physical or emotional injury.

Oh goody.

Why do we think this is a good thing?  I don’t know. But I have a feeling I am going to find out.  I hate this very much to be quite honest. And Honesty, incidentally, is Mr. Vulnerability’s sidekick.  I have always done everything by myself. I figure things out by myself. I know how to be on my own and I am good at it.  But as soon as we are unwilling to change and grow then we put ourselves in a box and miss out on the Goodness that Life is offering us.  So, as scared as I am, I am willing to go forward and do what I have to do to learn to be Vulnerable with others.

Another sidekick of Mr. Vulnerability’s is Lady Wisdom. Being vulnerable, I am learning, is not about being stupid.  It is about making conscious choices every day that give others the power to hurt you.  But not everyone deserves that power so these choices need to be made with wisdom.

So you see, it’s not so easy. And being a vulnerability amateur, I have a long road ahead of me. Right now it just feels like being in front of your 8th grade class totally naked.   I am not even sure what the reward in learning all of this is yet, but I have trust that I will understand someday.

I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

And in case you are wondering…NO, i will not be posting all the details of my personal life online as an act of vulnerability.  That would take us back to the aforementioned stupidity point.


New Year Top 5s

Champagne Toast

To say that this blog is overdue is a bit of an understatement. But since I begin EVERY blog with an apology about not writing, I am going to try something different this time. It’s getting old anyway, and well, it’s my blog so I can do what I want, right?

Sometimes my lack of writing has more to do with deciding on a topic than anything else.  Without a bit of direction I think the idea of simply “writing” is overwhelming.  So, that being said, the theme of this blog is New Year (I’m only a couple weeks late…). Possible titles included “Feeling Fine in 2009” ; “Up for Debate: 2008” ; “Unwind in 2009” and “2008…It wasn’t THAT bad!”  I realize that last one doesn’t rhyme, but it was the actually words I used for toast on Dec. 30th with two of my friends.

But, instead I am going with an old favorite– “Tops 5s!!!”  These are my “Top 5s” for this coming New Year, and the year which is now behind us.

Top 5 things to be grateful for in 2008

I know it sounds, well, anticlimactic, to raise a glass to toast 2008 and declare with confidence that “it wasn’t THAT bad!”  BUT, the truth is, it has been a bit too long since I could say anything of the sort about an entire year. However, it is true that 2007 significantly lowered the bar–beginning with a stressful family feud, the death of a friend, the death of my grandmother, a “break-up” of sorts culminating in a terribly broken heart, a broken bank account, and a great deal of what I will affectionately call “friendship drama.”    I had never been so happy to see a year end.   So it is with great gratitude that I look back on 2008. Here is my list:

1. A supportive family: every family has it’s ups and downs and mine is no different.  Both together and apart we have all had our share of hard times, but the thing I love THE MOST about my family is our commitment to one another. That even though we do not necessarily agree with one another on every issue, or personal decision, we can argue and move on.  We are family because we are family (we have no choice), but I now realize that we are also friends and genuinely enjoy one another’s company. This past year  I had so many moments where I felt truly supported and loved by my immediate family. I also had many moments where I saw each person’s greatest assets and talents. I had so many laughs, so many deep conversations, and just in general, a lot of fun.  We actually ended the year by spending a few days together in New England just enjoying each other company, and getting to know the soon-to-be new member of the family–my sister’s fiance!

2.  Parties: This is a given, I know. But looking back on the year I realize that I participated in a lot of great parties and the truth is,  I love going to parties (i hate hosting them).  Highlights include my birthday part,y themed “Mardi Gras” with guest appearances by Shannon & Brian (sister and fiance), Peter and Steph, and other long-distance friends; Christmas in July (with someone even dressing up as the baby Jesus);  St. Patty’s Day (need I say more?); Half-way to St. Patty’s Day (really, this should be a twice-a-year celebration);  and of course New Years Eve (both years). This isn’t even mentioning spontaneous parties, bonfires, and wine nights.

3.  A New Job–as much as I complain about this, I am thankful to be considered a good candidate for a demanding position…and a pay raise!

4.  Really, really good friends–I say this, like, every single blog. But it’s because it’s true! This year I felt so supported from friends I see everyday and those I don’t.  This is particularly something to be thankful for because since I started new job AND a master’s degree, I have become a much more terrible friend.  I hope to find balance this year and remedy that.

5.  School–It’s funny how, after you have been out of school for a while, you become so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to study. Or at least that’s what happened to me. I love everything about it, and even though it might take me forever to complete my master’s degree, I don’t mind. I have the two best advisors any graduate student could ask for, who have taught me more than just history and literature. I am learning how to teach, how to mark, how to study, how to think, and how to love learning.

Well that’s my gratitude list. Now, quickly, here are my Top 5s for 2009.

Top 5 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2009!

1. Ireland!! Nothing is set-in-stone just yet, but I am hoping to FINALLY take this dream trip. Right now I am applying for some grants in hopes of finding funding. The trip will be primary research for my thesis (intertwined with Guiness-tasting sessions) and will hopefully include the Scottish Highlands as well.   If anyone has any fundraising ideas please let me know!

2. Balance: I did NOT do this very well last year. I had many many moments of pure anxiety and panic about my work load, nearing a burn-out sort of state, especially in the fall. I do not plan on repeating this, but instead I am striving to find some balance in my life.

3. No Speeding Tickets–I got another one in Massachusetts in November.

4. My Sister’s Wedding–I realize that for her, right now, this is more a point of anxiety than excitement, but I know it will all come together fine. She deserves a beautiful wedding and I love being a part of the process!

5. The Great Unknown–I love not knowing what the year holds. Likely some hard times, but surprises too.  Not just for me but my friends and family as well.  I’ll try to keep you posted on the really significant stuff!

Something Has Gotta Give

It’s after 2 a.m. on a Monday night and as dead tired as I am, I can’t seem to sleep.  Ever have one of those nights where your heart is racing a million miles an hour and your head is full of jumbled thoughts, fears, to-do lists, worries, and revelations?  I know you have.   I am actually one of the lucky ones.  Normally sleep comes very easily for me…it’s actually one of my best skills–sleeping.  I could compete with the best of them if there was ever some sort of sleep competition.  But I ramble…

Traditionally, I stray away from using blogging as a form of journaling–putting my private thoughts on public display is not generally my idea of good time. However, I am learning a lot about being honest with myself and others and understanding that with vulnerability comes great reward and great release.  Today I need to vent a bit.  It’s been building the past few days…a growing sense of anxiety and sinking feeling that resembles depression. No, not clinical, just that hopeless, down-and-out feeling when you realize that there is no good solution to the monumental problem(s) in your life.

Here is my problem. I love my job. I love my community, but something’s gotta give. I am exhausted (I know this is magnified right now due to a bad cold that has me sniffling and sneezing and thinking only of sleep) but it’s more than just doing “too much.”  It’s a deep understanding that I may, in fact, be totally crazy–totally insane for choosing this life. I am wondering, have I made a grave mistake in returning to St. Stephen?  I have taken a job that totally consumes my life because I believe in what I am doing so strongly. I believe in SSU and the education that is given here. I also believe that western culture has it wrong in so many ways and I don’t want to live the life that I see so many of my peers living. I want my life to count for something more than a job title, more than my name on a piece of property…I want to make people a priority and get back to a more simplistic lifestyle. I want to actually LIVE OUT a faith that I believe with my whole heart. That is part of the reason I chose to return to this tiny town in southern New Brunswick, and entirely the reason that I have stayed for 3 years now.  I have amazing friends, adopted family, a great social life, a job I love, and a masters degree in the works…and yet there is one thing so obviously missing.

I went to a wedding this past weekend. It was beautiful, simple and so perfectly painful to realize that, in fact, I cannot have my cake and eat it too. Something has to give if I want the whole marriage-and-family bit of life. And the truth is, I do. I absolutely do. I don’t think I could have confidently said that just a year ago.  And so now I wonder with dread if I have to give up something I love in pursuit of something I want.  The truth is I can’t ever imagine meeting anyone who is crazy enough to want this life with me.  To walk beside me though my continuing education while I work at a terribly underpaid and demanding job only to turn around and pour back into a broken town in one of the poorest places in Canada…oh yes, all the while living miles away from family (because this place is miles away from everywhere), job opportunities, suburbia, and box stores. Now there’s an offer!!

I wonder at what cost have I chosen this life. I am not looking for someone to rescue me from it. I am looking for someone to love me through what can only be described as pure insanity. But not only love me…they must love this place, these people, this God that i so desperately love.

Now do you see why I feel so depressed?  I can’t ask that of someone, and soon I need to decide what I can really ask of myself.  Do a hundred good friends make up for lack of romantic connection? I know what it is to feel alone. I also know what it is to push through that feeling and find that I am stronger and more capable than I ever imagined and for that I am so thankful.  It really is not a matter of need. It is not even a matter of faith (I am not one of those people who thinks God has a perfect person for everyone…I am far too practical), it is honestly and truly a matter of want.  My “simple” life has become incredibly complicated, and my passion for learning to love and live well is causing me to spread myself so thin that I give inadequately to everyone, including myself.

And I am so very very tired. And I think I am too young to feel this way.

So what do I do?

I have no answer…just a growing sense of dread that something’s gotta give.

A Decade in Review…

I reached a milestone this week–a day that I never actually imagined would come, and yet it is here and gone already. I had my ten year high school reunion (gasp! gag!). I know what you are thinking…aren’t you too young to have been out of high school so long? YES! That’s what I thought too!! But it turns out that ten years is, in fact, a decade, no matter how much you try and rework the numbers. I figure this is as good a topic as I will ever get to blog about so I might as well take advantage of it.

Rightly so, I have been spending a great deal of time lately in reflection. What have i learned? Where am I going? What the heck have I been doing for ten years? I think it’s actually really great to have these moments in life…these milestones that keep us in check and encourage us to go forward. My reunion was actually (to my surprise) quite poorly attended. I figured Facebook would have come through for us, but I suppose even Facebook isn’t strong enough to overcome the utter dread that some people would have felt in attending such an event. Fortunately (or stupidly) I am not one of those people. Sure, I approached it with some anxiety, that is to be expected, but I found I was really looking forward to seeing old friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Those who know me have probably figured out by now that I love social events. I figure I don’t have many marketable skills, but one is that I love to socialize so I might as do it to the best of my ability. In fact, in my graduating year i was even voted “Friendliest Girl.” …and no not in the way YOU’RE thinking. I think many people are insecure in their life status, which, I would like to say right now is completely silly. One thing I realized this weekend is that we are all at totally different places in life and no one is better or worse than another. Some people are married with three kids, while others have just started post-secondary school. Some have been in school since they left, while others settled into a career straight away. Some have travelled, others still live in Summerside. Some are married to their careers, while others still have no idea what they want to do. I cannot stress enough that there is NO MEASURING STICK! Who makes up these ideals anyway? My philosophy is “screw them!” (…and no, not in the way YOU’RE thinking…).

O.k…that is my rant to those who did not come to the reunion because they felt inadequate. For those who did not come because they are bitter, I say, “get over it. Life is too short.” To those who could not come but wanted to, I am sorry we missed one another. The truth is that I had a great time! I did not know what to expect but what I found were adults (when did THAT happen?) who were genuinely happy to see an old friend. Nothing beats that. We watched our grad video (YIKES) which was probably the most painful portion of the weekend. We read the prophesy that predicted where we would all be in ten years, which was humorous. I fell short of mine which predicted a nobel peace prize for international development in Africa. Give me another ten years…

So, that being said, upon reflection, here are the things I have learned in ten years of adulthood…

1. Everyone is better looking at 28 than at 18. WITHOUT EXCEPTION. It’s actually quite bizarre. I doubt I will say the same in another ten years, but hey, it makes me happy to be 28 right now which is a reason to celebrate and not give in to feeling old.

2. Bitterness is a poison you drink and expect the other person to die. A good friend who has had more than her share of suffering told me this and it has stuck with me. Hanging onto grudges is something that only hurts yourself. It might be the cruelest jokes of God…or life’s hardest lesson–that we have to love other people when they hurt us, but I firmly believe this is the secret to joy. My new motto is “I will do whatever it takes to let go of bitterness.” It’s hard, trust me, but the truth is I don’t want to look back on my life and realize I spent a huge percentage of it being miserable.

3. I am the luckiest girl alive. Every so often, I am completely dumbfounded by this simple fact. It’s true. I have amazing friends, and a family that loves and supports me. Am I rich? HELL NO. Not even close. But i love my job. I love my poverty-stricken town. I love my two bedroom apartment in a run down building. Last month I got to see John Mayer live in Boston. He has been my #1 favorite artist for about 6 years (judge me, it’s o.k.) and I finally decided that it was time to make one of my small dreams come true. How many people in the world get to see their icons? The fact that I am able to make that possible is astounding to me. I have been to 3rd world countries and I do not take the fulfillment of my dreams lightly because i know that so many people do not get to experience a fraction of the things I do. Going to the dentist is another thing that causes me to realize I am the luckiest girl alive. What percentage of the world’s population can afford to pay someone to clean their mouths? I suspect less than 1%.

4. Get Over It. Things don’t always work out the way you want…hope…expect, but there is no use dwelling on that which you have no control over. This goes back to the bitterness thing. I am learning that it’s important to find the support you need (however you need to do it) and to role with it. No one said that we would get everything we ever wanted. No one said that life OWED us anything. It does not. But hope for the best and deal with the worst when it comes. My colleague has cancer and she’s had to lose her breasts and her hair, but she teaches me all the time to tackle life’s blows with flexibility and joy.

5. The purpose of life is…to live. I think it’s that simple. My personal goal is to be good at living. When I die I want people to say “she lived and loved well.” I know i have A LOT to learn and I fall very short but I am working on it. I think joy and hope are also big factors in this one. My 2nd motto is “Do whatever you have to do to hang on to hope and joy.”

6. Friends are the family you get to choose. The point here is that we get to choose them. Your family, you are stuck with so make the best of it, but friends…you get to decide so choose wisely! My friends are like a big cusion that catches me every time life throws me off a building (life is mean). I am so grateful because i know without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be the person I am now without them. They have brought SO MUCH healing into my life…so much wisdom…so much support. I have seen other people whose friends are backstabbing and gossipy and suck the life out of them. This is not friendship but some twisted co-dependent relationship that they should run like hell away from. Once again…life is WAY TOO SHORT for this. I think this is the one lesson we should have learned in high school. I have somehow lucked out and found people that I can be real with which has been more important than even I will ever realize. In return I want to be a good friend.

7. It feels good to break the rules. I grew up Catholic and then was pretty Evangelical for awhile so I know a lot about guilt. Now I believe that God is a God of freedom and it’s a privilege to exercise that. There is freedom to try and fail; freedom to choose what we WANT. Shockingly, it turns out that I cannot fit myself so easily into a box. It is only by stepping outside the lines that I began to discover myself and God and you know what? I love it. It turns out that God hangs out past the lines we created to keep him in. He’s way more flexible than us. I spent far too much time afraid of doing the wrong thing. Now I figure I spend way more time doing the wrong thing but also way more time experiencing the goodness that God gave us in this life. Some people need to learn how to break those preconceived ideas of what their lives were going to look like in order to be happy.

8. Marriage is worth waiting for. I already know several people who have been married and divorced in a decade. Sure, I want to get married, but i haven’t met someone worth marrying yet…and to be honest, I was not worth marrying for a long time (it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted). There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with those who found the right person at age 20. I thought i would be self-conscious about this at the reunion. So many people starting families, and there is me who is on my own. But i wasn’t. I have no reason to be ashamed of that and neither does anyone else. Sure, some family members are starting to ask if I’ve ever thought of becoming a nun (I’m really not good with rules), and I wonder how it’s possible that i have 500 Facebook friends of which none are more than just friends (i need to meet MORE people?), but i’ll figure it out eventually. I am not worried. That’s a generational thing, i know. We are unconventional these days, but we can’t help it. We don’t know how else to be.

So those are my top “8”…i realize 10 would be a better number but I can’t think of 2 more things so this will have to suffice. I know it’s a bit sentimental and mid-life crisis-ish…but that’s just who I am. I don’t want to wait another 20 years to figure this stuff out. For now I will concentrate on the fact that my big sister just got engaged!! I am beyond excited for her and her fiance, Brian and they deserve a beautiful wedding (next September). I think it is time our family of four expanded and I couldn’t think of a better guy to invite in.

…and I will try not to wait until my next high school reunion to blog again!

The Pieces of Me

the view from the driver's seat of my car

I fully admit that I have been a terrible blogger. I know, i know…i keep saying I’ll change but have i? no. You’re right, i’m sorry. Please forgive me.

I guess it just seems like i have nothing to say. This tends to happen to me every so often. I would call it writer’s block, but the truth is i don’t have anything to say because I haven’t taken the time to think about anything very important. I will attribute that to brain-overload with work, school, and social life. I have always been anti-journal blogging.–as in, making your blog like a personal journal–HOWEVER, in an attempt to write a new post, I just might have to resort to such measures so that you know what I have occupying my time with the past month (isn’t that what facebook is for?). I’ll try to be entertaining by providing pictures.

me and my guitar

1. END OF TERM!! This is very exciting for me for two reasons: A.) I am a student B.) I work at a school. Both of these reasons give me cause to be excited about the end of term. I love students and I love being a student but there are reasons that it’s an eight-months-of-the-year thing. After many long late nights INew River Beach finally finished my online Gaelic class. Let me just say that “no”, i do not recommend taking a language online (if you say “i told you so” i will slap you). I am still doing some school work throughout the summer, but the workload is far less. Highlights of our famous SSU convocation week included campfires, beach days, and of course, pub night which featured three very awesome SSU student bands and a packed house. I also got to play at convocation (accompanied by good friends Raymond Funk and Shannon-May Pringle) and performed the song “When it Don’t Come Easy” by Patty Griffin, a personal favorite of mine.

Didgedeguash Lake 2. Bye bye Europe-bound friends..

SSU once again saw another travel-study term leave this spring for Wester Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, and England). Some of my very best friends are on this eight week trip and although I am so very very happy for them (and not at all jealous), it is hard to see them go (o.k. like 90% happy and 10% jealous). I spent most of May sucking up all their free time in my needy fashion, trying to make up for the rest of the summer without them. Dear friends, Shelley and Kendall, won a Nintendo Wii. Enough said. That, in a nutshell, explains where most of my spare time went (and might I add, I am AWESOME at Wii boxing).

Shelley and Kristi drinking beer3. Boston…AGAIN!
Simply because i absolutely cannot get enough of this city! Kristi and I wentShannon and Kristi at EarthFest ventured south to visit my sister and Future-Fiancee. As usual, we had a smashing time and even attend EarthFest…which is basically an excuse for an all-day outdoor concert under the guise of loving the earth. It was a vegan hippy’s dream day!

4. L’Isle de Prince Edward!Melanie and Baby Aiden close up

Last weekend took me back to the motherland for my friend Christina’s wedding. Christina used to be a consecrated sister of Regnum Christi, but about a year felt her calling was to the sacrament of marriage instead. Sure enough, she met Thomas and they are now happily wedded! I had a great time at the reception dancing everything from the Salsa to the Polka, eating yummy maritime seafood, and seeing old friends. It was a short weekend but fun. I plan to be back for a longer period around the end of June which I am very much looking forward to.Christina and Thomas at the reception

Christina and Thomas Black and White close up

The happy couple, Christina and Thomas Yep!! Aren’t they cute?

Shelley Kadatz walking on the St. Andrews BeachShelley laughing5. The rest of my time?? A mixture of family stuff (a funeral, a sick aunt, and time at home), wine-tasting nights on a friend’s patio, essay writing, reading, and some great live music….

Kristi drinking wine by candlelight

(sigh) I am SO glad it’s summer.



I went for a drive a few weeks ago. Everyone is talking about social justice issues these days and I can’t help but wonder where the justice is in my own community. The pictures below are just a few of the ones I took on my drive through “the ridges”. Charlotte County, I’ve been told, is economically the poorest county in Canada and just a few minutes drive on some rural back roads is found the evidence. Looking at some of the conditions people live in makes me wonder are we really any better here in Canada then some of the developing nations we criticize?

I spent some time in South Africa a few years ago and one thing for which we heavily criticized the government was the dramatic gap we saw between the rich and the poor. In the midst of Cape Town or Johannesburg we could convince ourselves we were in any 1st world, Western city. But just a few miles out into the rural area were massive townships where thousands of people lived in destitute conditions.

How can everyone just ignore such a huge problem? I wondered. How can the government justify allowing so many people to live in such poverty? Now I understand that there was a plank in my own eye and that we live in the same sort of denial here in the Maritimes. Sure, it may not look like a South African township, but some of conditions here, when combined with harsh winters, no electricity/water, and the rising cost of fuel, mean that many New Brunswickers live in 3rd world standards. I know it’s not just Charlotte County, in fact it’s a country wide problem and very much a wide spread problem here in the Maritimes (I have seen some similar areas in Cape Breton, Western PEI, Northern Aboriginal Reserves, etc.).

Please do not misinterpret what I am saying. Believe me, I think it is beyond necessary that we all move toward a way of life that consumes less resources and I would never want to criticize someone for choosing to live simply. But we all deserve the opportunity to make that choice. I do not think that this perpetual cycle of poverty is of many people’s choosing.

I can’t seem to escape the nagging question playing on repeat in the back of my head asking “Why do we allow this? How do I allow it?” I know there is no one, single, solution–nothing so simple or else we would have fixed it by now. In part the federal government has taken much and given back very little in return; in part it is corporations like Irving that we have allowed to run our province, take our land, and determine working standards; and in part it is our own “poverty mentality” and inability to step up and assume responsibility for our neighbours. As Maritimers it is all we have ever known and therefore we do not know anymore what is and is not acceptable.

Let me say this now.

This is absolutely not acceptable.

I don’t know what the answer is but I will continue to seek for one, and I hope and pray that as we all become more aware of the plank in our own eye we will stop ignoring our own economic problems, convincing ourselves that we are “making poverty history” because we verbally encourage our government (and Bono) to give more of our federal dollars toward eradicating 3rd world hunger at a G8 summit. There are plenty of justice issues next door and we need to stand together and figure this one out.

Whispers of Change

“I don’t know nothing except change will come…” -Patty Griffin, “When it Don’t Come Easy”

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. As much as I would like to, i can’t seem to get away from it. Change is in the air, and I have come to realize that change may be the only constant thing in life. The only thing that you can really count on happening. I have never been one to embrace change but I am finding that there is comfort to be found in that thought.

We had our 30th convocation ceremony this weekend here at SSU. It’s a season of change in the SSU community and in some ways it feels representative of things to come in my own life. I just wish I knew what those things were. It is a bizarre thing to be walking down a road that is clearly going somewhere but have no idea where, exactly, it’s taking you. Part of me feels like I have never had so much direction in all my life, and part of me has never felt so very lost.

Change is coming.

I am scared.

But I have faith.

It has occurred to me that security lies not in knowing where you are going, but rather in knowing who you are. It means that the road may take you anywhere it likes and but your confidence is found in the knowledge that whatever happens, you will be just fine.

I will be just fine. I am telling myself that as much as I am telling you. Perhaps more. I cannot get away from who I am and it looks like I am finally giving in. This is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that I am quite sure that my life is not going to end up looking the way I thought it might…or the way you thought it would for that matter. The good news is that the possibilities are endless and I can breathe a sigh of relief–relief to know that it will be my own choice that takes me this way or that, rather than following someone else’s lead or push because I am too insecure in my own ability to decide what is good for me.

Confidence is a tricky thing. It comes and goes with complete unpredictability and you are never quite sure if it’s going to be there to back you up. I’ve been working hard at not losing it. It’s not an easy thing to do. It means not compromising when I normally would, and not listening to all those voices in my head trying to tell me that i just can’t do it (no, i don’t mean literal voices, i’m not THAT crazy…yet). It also means looking at people and saying, “thanks for the input/advice/direction, but I choose not to follow it.” It feels bad to let people down, but it feels good find my voice. Being all things to all people has, for me, meant losing myself–a price I have realized is no longer worth paying.

So bring on the change. I am afraid, but i will be just fine.

Good Advice

"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things"

Currently reading…

"'Tis" by Frank McCourt


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