I never thought I was the type of woman who put herself last. Whenever I want to do something, I do it. Whenever I want to buy something I buy it. When I have something on my mind, I express it. But I was having a conversation with someone today and I realized that throughout my life there have been times when I didn’t put myself first and I didn’t even realize it.
From the time I was fifteen years old until I was about 45 … so for thirty years I have been consistently in a relationship. I’ve always been someone’s girlfriend or someone’s wife. There were breakups but a very (I mean very) short period of time would pass before I’d be back on the horse again. During those relationships I spent the majority of the time figuring out what I needed to do to make the other person happy. How can I position myself to be the perfect part of your life? Let me be part of your dreams. Let me help you reach your goals. All the while convincing myself that it was something that I wanted too and oh look, don’t we have so much in common? I’m sure that is why I spent so many of my earlier years just angry. Angry and searching for that one thing that would make my heart sing.
Three and half years ago when I walked away from my last relationship I thought to myself, “Finally, I’m free to do what I want!” In fact, I was so excited about this freedom that I got this tattoo:
Well, the sad part of that story is that I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I spent almost my entire life being what I thought someone thought I should be and doing what I thought someone thought I should be doing and pouring myself into their lives and in the end I was left completely empty. Not remembering what my own dreams were and wondering if I ever had any to begin with.
I shake my head at the thought of reaching mid-life without having had any real dreams. No dreams of being a teacher or a ballerina or a princess. No dreams of being a famous author or singer. It’s sad in a way. However, I was reminded by a friend that some people go to the grave without ever knowing. I take comfort in the fact that I know that it’s not too late for me. I could view it as a lot of wasted time but I’m choosing not to. Everything happens for a reason – even if I don’t know what that reason is its okay. I don’t have any real regrets. I’m confident in God’s timing for my life.
I know that I’m walking into the best years of my life. The past few years have been a blast but all the really good stuff is still yet to come. I live everyday with hope and expectation. It’s freeing to know that I can do anything I want.
And I’m going to.