Ten years ago began with moving halfway across the world, chasing a romantic dream in a foreign country that would most likely be made into an Oscar winning movie one day. Probably starring Julia Roberts. I graduated university in the midst of battling extreme culture shock and homesickness. I’ll call it what it actually was. I was at war with my true self….the identity of the “tough chick” I had created over the years was crumbling like dry cake and I didn’t want a single soul to know it. I even tried to hide the crumbs from myself, sweeping them under the rug and flashing a winning toothpaste commercial smile. You know, if you smile it actually stimulates chemicals in the brain that will make you feel happy, even if the smile isn’t real? I read that somewhere once. No idea if it’s true or not. But I kept smiling anyway because it was worth a try.
She was so sweet and love-able in her way, that girl from ten years ago. Not yet as brave or courageous as she thought she was. Or as she would be. But that’s ok. I love her anyway.
The next stage brought motherhood, the adventure my soul always wanted but never knew it needed. My girls are 7 and 5 now and I almost can’t remember what life was like before them. They are, of course, the most amazing human beings I know. They’re such smart, fearless, kindhearted, creative and beautiful little girls with the absolute best senses of humor. I couldn’t have received better even if I’d asked for it. They are my world. They’re my inspiration. They’re my driving force to keep doing better and better in everything I touch. My love and gratitude to those three incredible souls is endless and unbreakable.
This decade brought me the career in teaching I’d been been trudging through knee deep obstacles to get to. After years of university and years of wondering if I’d actually ever get to set foot in a classroom one day, it somehow landed in my lap suddenly when I wasn’t even searching for it. My classroom, my passion, the lighthouse to my creativity and love for children. How did I get so lucky to do this? Once again, infinite gratitude.
Healing. A decade long journey into healing that took so many forms. Nature. My yoga mat. Psychotherapy. A lot of psychotherapy. I discovered the power and peace in vulnerability. There, that space, is where true courage steps forward and our authentic self shines. Loving the little girl within me, who’s voice was barely a whisper ten years ago but now roars with the thunder of a thousand waterfalls…as long as I’m listening. And thankfully I’ve learned how to listen. I’ve learned how to ask for help. I’ve built my village. I’m so thankful for my village.
I’ve been surrounded by the most incredible people life can bring and how unbelievably fortunate I am to have the honor of calling you my friends. You’ve been by my side, pushing me, pulling me, guiding me, holding my hand, crying with me, laughing with me, getting drunk with me, watching sunsets with me, laying on beaches, climbing mountains, and sitting in my garden until the morning hours. I love you all. You know who you are because I tell you whether you’re ok with hearing the love or not.And I will continue to tell you, whether it’s 2020 or 2050 or more.
For My Favourite Viking. You were the biggest catalyst in this journey to feel whole. You continue to be. I know you can still hear me. Your words live on. You are so missed. Love. As we move into a new decade I’m so grateful to be taking all this with me as a neat little package of strength and acceptance. No baggage.
Some things I’ll be keeping in mind: Continue to be grateful. Gratitude is a practice, and I fully believe it’s our pathway to joy. Bring on the joy! I will continue to embrace my vulnerable sides. They are real. They are me. And they are beautiful. It’s ok to be courageous with fear. We don’t always have all the answers or the confidence that our decisions are the right ones, so it’s ok to feel scared as we plant our feet down and push into the wind.
Ok. Deep breath in… I’m ready!