Stand tall with grace (part 2 of 2)

Stand tall with grace?  What is that all about?

In my last blog I spoke of the things I am most passionate about.  These are the things I consider the foundation of my soul.  It is important to recognize these things and even list them or say them out loud from time to time to remind myself that they are there.  So when day to day life gets me spinning in a routine that gets of course, I know where I want my focus to be.

Recently I have been thinking about my past both good and bad and I thought to myself that I have never really sat down and listed my accomplishments for myself.  Never really taken an inventory of my own of the things I have done (good and bad), the places I have been, and the people I have met along the way.  So here I am doing just that.

Places I have been: Inside the U.S. – Florida (Home State.  Many adventures throughout the state and lived in at least 4 major cities and many smaller ones), Georgia (vacations and family), Alabama (Roll Tide vs. UCF football), South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia (Hiking as a teen and young adult thru the Appalachian Trail 200+ miles in total completed over several summers), Tennessee (Vacations and Family), Texas (vacation), Arizona (Vacation and Family visits), Nevada (Work and Fun), Utah (Work and Fun), Illinois (Work and Fun), Missouri (Vacation and family), New Jersey (Lived here for a bit), Connecticut, New York (Vacations and fun)

Places I have been: Outside of the U.S. – Bahamas (Several cruises), Cayman Islands (Cruise), Jamaica (cruise), Mexico (cruises), South Africa (3 weeks supporting “The Simunye Project”)

Things I’ve accomplished in life (so far, I have many more years in me): High School Graduate (while in H.S., I was on the swim team and competed at state level for performing arts), College Graduate (Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration), Experienced countless music and sporting events as a result of a fun career in the event industry.  Tried my hand at wedding planning for a year (and learned I don’t like planning weddings for a living).  Became an Executive Assistant and learned I am very good at helping others to be organized and on target.  Learned to paint.  Learned that I love to snorkel.  Volunteered as a Guardian Ad Litem.  Got a tattoo (and then a few more).  Went skydiving.  Bought a house.  Got married (3 times, but divorce twice… The last one is meant to be, the others were just practice I guess).  Adopted my two amazing sons to make my family whole (as if it could have been more perfect?).

Things I have overcome in life: My addiction to alcohol and drugs (to be clear I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, you never fully recover… it is a one day at a time – life time thing), My addiction to cutting, My addiction to Chaos (This sounds silly, but for many years I have had a deep desire to muck things up for the fun of it, to make a mess of life for the adrenaline rushed it caused to have to fix it.) I have been a victim of domestic abuse and sexual violence and moved on (only looking back as a tool to better myself as a confident strong woman, not as a victim).

The mess I made and walked thru:  In short, I was married twice and divorced twice and both situations were ones that I should have avoided and chose not to.  I have caused or been a part of 20+ car accidents due to careless driving and being hungover the next day (none due to drunk driving).  I have hurt friends and family.  I have not paid bills and walked out on responsibility time and again.

The walk thru it: As I mentioned in part 1 of this 2 part blog, I have a foundation of things I’m passionate about.  My twenties were a hot mess, there is no doubt and no one I know will dispute that.  If I have a friend left from my twenties, I assure I consider them family now and they are the truest of friends.  There is a saying, “Until you hit rock bottom, you will not be truly sure which way is up”.   I had to hit rock bottom.  It was hard and flat and lonely and when I hit there I was a horrible mess from the inside out.  I hated myself and everyone around me.  It was the lowest I ever felt in my life.  So low, that I literally had no feelings left and death was all I dreamed of, all I thought of and all I prayed for.  Death was very close.  Miracles happen.  Family and friends are there when you need them and you will surely find out who they are in times like these.  But from the bottom, up isn’t as hard as it seems.  It happens one day at a time.  Before you know it there are days and weeks and months passing.

Life as a book:  Your life is a book.  Your write in it daily.  I knew my husband was the one for me when during our wedding vows he asked me to write our story together one page at a time.  (He gets me).  Your story starts as a child.  And with every good book, there are tense moments in the middle and the readers (your family and friends) are feverishly turning pages waiting for the start character of the story (you) to make choices, dodge bullets, and win at life.  My story is long with many nail biting scenes held within its pages.  Not to worry, at the bottom of each page of my book, the reader will notice a small rose.  My daddy always told me, “The prettiest of roses have to have a lot of Sh*t thrown on top of them to be so pretty”.  This saying along has helped me through my darkest days.  I’m so very grateful for the readers of my life’s book.  I’m grateful for those who continue to turn the pages with me.  I have a plan for the last half of my book.  I plan to live.  To tick of my bucket list items.  To embrace my foundation and always make sure it is strong.  I plan to have the happiest of endings.

Dear reader, I hope to see you at the end of the book.  Have a happy day.

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