Original date: August 27, 2007
What I’m about to tell you is a true story, you might not know, you might already know, you may not want to know. You have a choice to sit and read this or just walk away.
I am a strong woman, I keep reminding myself that everyday. Everyday I open my eyes and realize that the ones I’ve loved, my family members have been taken from me and I cannot say the things that I want to say, I cannot go back. They were taken all too soon of course, too soon to see me where I am today and to see the person I have become, too soon for me to tell them once again that I love them. I finally have made peace with the man upstairs on why my father was taken from me at such a young age and have learned from going thru all the on-going legal mumbo jumbo that I am stronger than I think. There are some demons that haunt me still, as they would for anyone.
I am still a strong woman for continuing to persevere on and fight the toughest battles, whether they be between friends, family, co-workers or even my innerself. My friends have come and gone, and I have recognized who my TRUE friends this year. The ones who offer you a shoulder and support, call you occasionally just to shoot the breeze, the ones who no matter where you are in life or haven’t spoken to in a long time, can pick up the conversation where you left off. The ones who don’t judge you and who encourage you to fight the tough fight. Those are my friends. I don’t battle with my family, they are a bunch of characters who love me for who I am. I may not speak to them everyday, but we are close, are always there for each other and have an equal respect for personal life and privacy. As for work, well, its no longer a tough fight for me as I am doing what I enjoy and have security in a paycheck and somewhere to go 40 hrs a week. I am strong here at work, fought through truth and loyalty between co-workers who were friends and bosses who were friends. Truth is, can you separate the two and still be friends after a work issue? I learned that the hard way and my friends here at work ARE my friends. They are not just co-workers. I have met their family, been to their house, gone out to dinner with them, remember their children’s birthdays (as best as I can). Those are friends, not the ones who come in on Monday and ask you how your weekend was just because they want to live vicariously through your life since theirs is nonexistent. The ones who don’t interrogate you at lunch time and then talk about you behind your back to everyone else. You may think they are your friend, but in hindsight, they are just oxygen to feed the plants.
What I’ve learned this year is who I truly am (I got ‘me’ back), what I want and that I will fight to get it. The word ‘regret’ is not in my vocabulary anymore, I don’t sit here today thinking I could have done that yesterday or why didn’t I. I just do it! I had lived a life mostly with the ‘if only’ concept, but don’t misinterpret me, everything I did, I did because I wanted to, no one was forcing my hand. Before, I might have put things off, shoved people to the side and yes, I regret that. It’s a tricky line to walk but if you don’t walk it, you’ll never know.
Now, I’m trying to mend friendships from the past, realizing that I had left some of them behind to conform to part of another world that the real me wasn’t accepted in. The only way I can explain that is like this…we have a different personality at work during the day, then we leave work, we might hang out at happy hour, we might just go out with friends. We are someone else, our other personality (the not so PC, quiet-conservative one) comes out. Imagine me, quiet, conservative, not shooting from the hip, actually thinking about what I was going to say before I opened my mouth. It is easy for me to switch back and forth at work, but in real life having to shut me ‘off’ for a substantial amount of time brought me down and I brought it upon myself. I can’t go back and change it. It took a lot of digging to figure out what made me miserable and it had been me. It was entirely my fault for ‘hiding’ and being passive and I am owning up to it. If you don’t know me, I’m not wild, um not that wild, but I do know when to ‘simmer down’ and take it easy, I’m not always ‘on’ but I can’t be ‘off’ forever.
And I’m still strong and the simplest things still make me smile each day - the smallest comment, an email, a text message, a glance, a memory, the slightest touch. It took a life changing event for me to realize who I was, why I was hiding, what I truly needed and had wanted all along. It was one moment, one instance that I will never forget for the rest of my life.