So here I am, sitting at my laptop the night before my very first book signing. I’ve waited entirely too long and didn’t think soon enough, “oh I should have cards to give out”! So, of course, I ordered them from staples an hour ago hoping and praying the man calls me to say I can pick them up tonight (fingers crossed). This dream come true is so real I can taste it, along with the bloody mary I have made for myself. I am sitting here alone, well Bella, Bruno, and Sweet Pea are here with me (2 dogs and a cat aka my children). My mom is relaxing in her home more than likely enjoying a good book, my love is at work tonight on a double shift and my friends are probably unwinding from a busy work week. I should be doing the same after a busy work week, but nope, I’d rather be sitting here writing, sounds about right.
Where was I? Oh yes, sitting here typing away listening to The Lumineers’s song Scotland. This song is extremely empowering for me (could be because I am Scots) and I feel the strength of Mary as I listen and type. Where would we be in this life if we didn’t have dreams? What is it like to not have them? There was a very brief time in my life when I couldn’t see the brighter side of things. This time period lasted roughly 10-15 years. It was brief because at the age of 35 thinking back, that time flew past my face. Don’t get me wrong, it was rough and the time didn’t go fast during these years in the slightest. I definitely struggled and had my own ugly to work out to find myself. I’m still working on that, but honestly all that ugly made me into the person I am today full of grit and gumption, I wouldn’t trade any bad, good, ugly or beautiful for where I am today. It’s all taught me something I just had to learn to be exactly who I am at this moment.
At the age of 13-14, I was in a pretty bad car accident. The one time I got a ride to school after my mom said I had to walk (definitely learned from that). I was also attacked by a pit bull walking home from a friend’s house and the dog had been chained up on the side of a house I was walking by on the street. It had bit my lower jaw and lower lip, as well as played tug-of-war on my right inner thigh, then proceeded to follow me home peacefully until I got to the top of my backyard. As I looked back to see where the dog was, it began to growl and show its teeth. I ran as if life depended on it, literally. My mom coincidently was working on a project in the basement and had seen me crying and went to the door assuming it was neighborhood kids picking on me and then she saw the dog. The door flew open and I ran in and by the grace of the Universe, the dog slammed into the screen door as it slammed shut. The outcome as we saw later was pretty bad and the owner of the dog who had assured my mom would cover the medical expenses had moved and cleaned out their house in one day.
I also found out during that time that my father (who I had called Dad prior to this) had kept me a secret. Before then I had assumed that Mom and Dad just weren’t together anymore especially since over half of my class in school were full of split families. This lasted until I was 27 years old after countless attempts of being known, acknowledged and meeting a family I had known about my entire life. At the age of 27, let’s just say my mom was done seeing my heartbreak over this and she did what she had to. Thanks to my mom, I now know my family and have spent the last eight years working on our relationship and getting to know each other.
The reason I am sharing all of this with you is that circumstances don’t make you who you are, you do. You can wallow all day and succumb to the wrong that has happened in your life or you can choose to see beyond that and continue striving for your best life. Believe me, since then I have experienced the worst of the worst and also the best of the best. I have seen myself through not knowing where I was going to sleep from day to day, abusive relationships, family trauma, and turmoil and here I sit writing this story. I can truly say life is really what you make of it because I am living it to this very day. I have accomplished many of the goals I had set for myself due to my drive and upbringing. I am that person always reaching for the next goal, bettering each and every day.
I bring this positive attitude with me every day, sharing it with any who crosses my path. At work, at home, in the grocery store. Why dwell? It’s pointless really. Does the past still affect me, absolutely! Are there parts or memories that continue to bring pain, yes. I am a work in progress, growing into myself daily. If we don’t learn from our past, grow to inspire ourselves as well as others then what is there? If there is anything that you take from this article, please know you are not alone. Grow, grow and grow some more from each experience, hardship and use them as opportunities to better know yourself and then spread those learning lessons to help yourself as well as others. Bad days come, but guess what? We all wake up to a brand new day with fresh eyes for a whole new outlook! Please take each new day as a challenge to be who you are meant to be!
Thank you for reading!
The Wandering Soul Writer