It’s been a year since I last wrote. I did get busy with settling into my house and with the daunting task of bringing all HR and payroll in-house at work. I’ve had moments, opportunities, where I could have been writing… reasons, but no excuse, for not. One of those reasons is that I get stymied regarding topics. Then time goes by, and I start thinking that I *really* need to write. Then more time goes by, and the pressure builds, and it just embarrassing–if I write now, people will think I’m ridiculous, and no one will read my writings. However, it exhilarates me when my writing or my conversation elicits strong emotions or inspires deep introspection in my reader/listener. And so, as the song tells Michael Finnegan, I begin again.
I have a friend who has been encouraging me to write… actually, more than one friend. It seems that it’s mostly those who are closest to me, who know me best, who encourage the loudest and most often. However, it is one particular friend who asks me several times a week if I’ve been writing. After this much time, it’s becoming quite humbling. Tonight I will volunteer the news with pride that I have been writing.
Some randomly presented thoughts on this past year: I have been on a journey of self-discovery. I have learned more about myself than I thought I could in one year. Part of this revelation has come as a result of purposeful search, the rest by serendipitous stumblings. Most of my discoveries have been fun. I have come to love who I’ve become. Interestingly, I believe so much of my personality that I have learned to embrace has actually been in me since I was a little girl, but life taught me that it’s better (certainly easier) to be what others expect. I was always a “good girl,” so this was pretty easy for me. Over time, though, I forgot how to smile… I certainly forgot how to laugh. It’s still a temptation for me, the people pleaser, to want to be what people want me to be (not so much what they *expect*, so there is some progress on that), but I’ve come to a place where it’s more important to me to be who *I* want me to be!
Something about myself that I’ve recently discovered (something that at least one of you, and you know who you are, is saying, “well, duh!” about) is that my toes are very expressive of my feelings. Ok, I understand that is really weird! But it’s true. When I’m happy, my feet dance; and when I’m in a situation where my feet can’t dance, my toes can’t help but dance. When I’m upset, my toes curl under and writhe and express great distress. When I’m scared (deliciously scared, like at a scary movie), my toes curl under and hold tight. When I’m deeply satisfied, my big toes flex up while the others curl under–my toes make a “thumbs-up.” (I have very long, flexible toes–if I drop something smallish, I can usually retrieve it with my toes.) My hands are just as expressive, but I’ve learned that my agitated hands are unacceptable so I’ve learned to keep them still; but my feet are almost always out of sight so they have more freedom to express.
I am truly an optimist. I expect good things to happen. I expect people to act honorably and with integrity. When they don’t, I’m shocked and think it must be a fluke, and I continue to trust. I expect people to like me. When they don’t, I often am confused and will judge myself. But unless it’s a very harsh reaction, I can move on to meet a new friend I’ve never met before. I think my optimism contributes to my outgoing ways. My sister, the introvert, once asked me on our way out of the Safeway, “do you have to speak to *everyone* in the grocery store??” I said, “I didn’t speak to everyone. I didn’t talk to that guy. But I can, if you want me to.” She didn’t want me to. It just seems to me that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. If two people’s paths cross, it’s for a reason. I’ve discovered that my optimism is almost always rewarded with bright reality–good things just seem to happen so much more than when I lived in pessimism. So I’m generally a happy person, which beats the heck out of the blue funk I lived in for so many years.
Years ago, someone asked me what I enjoy doing. I said that I didn’t really enjoy anything. He argued that everybody has things they enjoy. I said, “no. because if I know what I enjoy, it’ll just be too hard because I won’t be able to do it. this way, I don’t know, so it doesn’t hurt as much.” Sad, I know, but my point is that it started me thinking about what I enjoy. And I discovered that I really enjoy several things. The most important discovery: I *LOVE* to laugh. I mean, it lifts my spirits for hours, sometimes days! And it thrills me to make other people laugh. I have two friends, in particular, who I’ve made it my challenge to make them laugh at least once every time we talk. So far, since I set the challenge, I’ve been successful. I tend to be shameless in my jubilation over the success, too, but they indulge me in my joy..
Life fascinates me. Everything about life–from people and their stories to the magnificence of nature. When I watch people operate in their strengths, it makes my heart sing and I’m amazed at the wonder and potential we all have inside us. If we could all live with the passion that was formed in us at creation, we’d walk around in a constant state of wonder and creativity. I have a favorite place to run–Ute Valley Park in Colorado Springs. My favorite tree in the world is in this park (someday, I’ll get a picture and post it. I don’t tend to take a camera with me on runs). The running paths are great. There are a few spots along the way that fill my soul every time I run them. I’ve never run in the park that I haven’t felt some thrill in my heart, and I usually am able to process whatever I’m dealing with that day.
I know that there are some people I care deeply about who are embarrassed by my outgoing ways (I only know because they’ve told me), and that’s really hard. I try to dial it down when I’m around them. Except for knowing that some of the people I love the most sometimes (and it really is only sometimes) wish I was much different than I am, I love the journey I’m on, and I look forward to where it will continue to take me.
Embrace life! Never waste the time you’ve been given… it’s such a gift!