Posts tagged ‘hope’

February 9, 2015

The Story of My Success.

quote-winston-churchill-success-consists-of-going-from-failure-to-759

I started out in life thinking if I could just turn 18, I would be an ADULT and things would be amazing! I wouldn’t have to follow rules, do chores and listen to parents. I knew better. If I could only get my own place. If I only had a car, I wouldn’t have to ride my bike everywhere, even in the winter. If college applications didn’t go off the parent’s income even though I lived on my own, I wouldn’t have to wait to start when most people were finishing. If I didn’t have to work AND go to school, it would be so much easier to graduate.

Life is supposed to go a certain way, right? The idyllic childhood, the partying, yet scholarly trip through college. Which of course enables you to land a perfect job, IMMEDIATELY, because that is what college is for. To ensure that you, me, people in general, succeed in life. All that money paid out, all that higher learning is supposed to give you an edge. A step up.

From there it gets even better. It’s TRUE! You just have to meet the ONE. The right person you will spend your entire life with. (But do it in your 20’s or it will be too late!)
Once you find THAT person, it will be magical! There will be singing and dancing (at least in my version) and everyone is happy and life is easy. If you really want to achieve ‘The American Dream’ , then you get married AND buy a house! To add a completely blissful cherry on top, have children. Then your life is truly complete. And apparently there are no more goals to reach until you die.

That was how the version in my head went. I’m not sure exactly where I came to have those exact standards or ideals, but it turned out it was all kinda bullshit. I lived my life in sort of earnest, trying to become something. Someone important. Once I made it to California, I would be an actress. Once I had my invitation business, I gave myself 5 years, then I was going to be featured on Oprah. I wanted public acknowledgement that I was good at what I did. If only I had more money for advertising. If only I could get more exposure. If I just had unlimited resources and time…

success-really-looks-like

I’ll say one thing for getting older, it’s like a fantastical discovery. There are no set rules, there is no “I’ve been through so much crap that I should be good and have it easy for the rest of my life’. Believe me, I wish that were true. If you are one of the few whose life has gone exactly according to plan, then kudos to you! For the rest of us, it’s about learning. Joel and I were just half-joking the other day, about how we felt like we were all filled up on Life’s massive learning experiences for awhile. Because you know, they are rather all-consuming and overall just plain exhausting.

For now though, success to me equals getting Arden to school on time, fed breakfast. Her lunch and backpack in hand along with finished homework. It’s helping her navigate all the drama of getting along and interacting with other kids. It’s getting Cam fed solids as he flops around in his Bumbo seat, then to sleep when he’s extremely irritable. It’s working on the orders I do have, while dreaming up new ideas. It’s getting the insurance to finally pay the claim that collectors have been calling on for almost a year. It’s jumping through all the hoops to file with the City for our flooded duplex. It’s getting another room in the new house repaired/organized/painted/cleaned/livable.

The secret of my success is never giving up. Forever and always, persistent, stubborn and determined. It’s appreciating what I do have and respecting how far I’ve come. It’s knowing that I’ll accomplish so much more, as long as I keep trying. It’s being thankful for the support I have from Joel, who’s always amazing. (and that there IS the singing and dancing that I’d always hoped for!) It’s excepting that while my life isn’t a made-up ideal, it is one heck of an adventure that I’m fortunate to be a part of.

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November 26, 2012

Moments I live for.

I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in “meant to be”. I love reflecting on how many times my husband and my paths may have crossed before finally meeting at the 2010 census. Everything coming together, just at the right time, like cymbals crashing at the height of a symphony. I’m fascinated by relationships and how they work. Movies, of course, play right into my mindset. The heavy disappointment when instead of explaining themselves, the girl and boy part ways, never understanding what went wrong. The elation, when someone finally finds the courage to make a move and spill their deepest feelings, no matter the cost. These are moments I live for, yet are so hard to come by in real life.

UNTIL

A couple weeks back I was waiting in line at the gas station. Prices had dropped for a minute and cars were backed up at least three behind each pump. On my left, an elderly woman waited her turn. Just as she began to roll her car and take her place as first, a pick-up truck whizzed in from the opposite direction, stopping her in her tracks. The older gentleman that stepped out seemed distracted and confused. He obviously hadn’t seen her and now was flustered by the scenario he found himself in. The startled old woman noticed his apparent distress and got out of her vehicle. Instead of admonishing him for stealing her rightful spot, she offered assistance.

At first, I thought they may know each other. A friend helping another. Totally eaves dropping on their interaction, I found that was not the case.

Gentleman: I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened. I’m so confused.

Lady: Here, let me help you. (as she pulls out the nozzle and starts to pump gas into his car.)

Gentleman: I just haven’t been right since my wife died several years ago.

Lady: Ah, huh (nods in agreement and sympathy) Is there anything else I can help you with?

Gentleman: Can I kiss you?

Lady: Oh heavens, no!

Gentleman: (Talks more about his wife and various body ailments) then asks
“Are you married? Do you want to be?”

Lady: My husband passed away too. No, I’m fine, I don’t want to be married.

Gentleman: I’m 87 and my wife died 4 years ago.

Lady: I’m 87 too. My birthday is in July. When’s yours?…

I giggled to myself, thoroughly enjoying having been a fly on the wall to their interaction. I wanted to stay and listen longer, but my tank was full and it would only be rude to continue to hold up the line. I pulled away, feeling elated and smiling. I loved how the elderly man, with nothing to lose but his loneliness, totally laid it all out there. How the lady, despite her refusal to his brazenness, still stayed to chat with him. Sometimes I find myself wondering where they are and how it ended up. Of course, secretly hoping I was a witness to “meant to be.”