Earlier today I wrote a quick thank you note to an old childhood friend who occasionally likes the different posts I make on Facebook. That seems like such a strange thing to do, but honestly the words thank you can’t even begin to express my feelings towards all of the people who were part of my life growing up. My friends, their parents, and the community that supported my family and me, and helped me have as normal a childhood one could in my circumstances, are a huge reason I am able to be the person I am today. Knowing that occasionally they are watching my life, the way I love to see what is going on in theirs, brings me so much joy.
Owning my own business, going back to school, and being a mom, all have required me to dig deep and do a lot of personal development. Part of that for me has always been reflecting. For a long time, I was sucked down into the despair of what could have been, and the anger that comes with wondering why it is that I was chosen for this particular life. Then I hit acceptance, and chose to keep putting one foot in front of the other and move on with my life. For the longest time, I pushed past the waves of emotion that would hit me out of left field, took a deep breath, and decided to reflect later. I didn’t want to begin to feel angry again. In my post about honesty awhile back, I mentioned that only recently have I allowed myself to truly look back at everything I went through and give myself credit for being where I am today. I have finally allowed myself to say out loud that yes, I had a really hard childhood. Yes, it is okay to not feel awkward when people compliment my perseverance, and to say thank you, and feel gratified that I didn’t go down a darker path. I am proud that I choose every day to put my energy towards something positive, rather than putting that same energy towards going down the rabbit hole, even if it isn’t always easy.
With all of that said, I never would have the strength I do today if it weren’t for the foundation that was laid long ago. To the kids who played soccer with me, who went to school with me, who invited me into their homes, who dreamed up tree houses we could build, pretended to be the characters from Saved By the Bell (man, was Zack Morris dreamy!), who made me laugh and be happy way more than I was sad; to the parents that made me a home cooked meal, drove me to games when my dad couldn’t be in two places at once, cheered me on at every game, and without me ever knowing your concern or worry, gave me a community of safe places and people I could surround myself with; thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There are no words that I can find to truly express how grateful I am for all of you. No matter the years that pass, or the distance that separates us, it truly takes a village, and I will never forget that. Thank you.