I’ve thought about it for a while now. It seems that things are always changing, whether its my focus or things slowly evolving in me. I notice it, but have a hard time putting words to that feeling. I guess it’s a good thing that as I get older, I still try to find the words, I try to understand more about myself, and I try to continue to grow in little ways, despite not always feeling that I have enough time to slow down and just exist. I have found that life can most often be so very amazing. Right at this moment, we are not the person we were yesterday and we are not going to be the same ever again. Sometimes, on looking back… it is amazing to think about how far we have come. What we learn, what we see, and what we think and who we are – evolves just as the days evolve, moving slowly from day to night. At least, that is where my thoughts lead me today.
I don’t always know why I desire so badly to pick up the pen (or in this case, lift the lid of my laptop) and write. There is something about it that seems so powerful, it is difficult to explain. When I was younger, I was a curious child. Everywhere we went, and everything I witnessed… I asked questions. I’d ask why and when I got the answer, I’d ask why to the response. I have a child like this now, and while the response I’d love to give some days is “just because!” (you know… moms have bad days too) 🙂 I know how important that curiosity is. Somehow, after all these years, I have not lost that insatiable desire to understand or to see things more clearly… and then, to capture them in words.
I guess that’s why I’m writing them now. I don’t know if it will help anyone – entertain anyone – or even if anyone will read them, but I write the words because they so desire to be brought to life. In my mind, at least, thoughts are always swirling around and at the rate that I forget things, I always worry I will forget to say them, or write them, or give them the opportunity to speak. So I thought that I would write out my thoughts, no matter if they lead to anything more than being written. I want them here – so that someday my children will have a way to remember who I was at this very moment. I want to make sure that they will not be able to say they did not know me like so many people I can say that about. I want to answer their questions, even if they haven’t thought to ask them yet, and I want my words to still be able to breathe life into what I stood for. So bear with me for a while, or feel free to turn the page. There are many other things I will celebrate here – from poetry to photography. This one (at least for now) is for me.
I have thought about quieting my voice at times, I’ve wondered why anyone would want to hear what I have to say, but then I take a closer look at myself and I realize how important other people’s stories are to me. I want to understand other people – to hear their struggles, to know what makes them happy, to understand what makes them strive. To me, I feel it helps me learn more and grow as an individual. I don’t believe I can be the person I am meant to be while containing myself in a box. I cannot grow or thrive only surrounding myself by my own ideas or my own people (who ever they may be). I see myself more as a global citizen. There are no fences. If something affects someone somewhere else, I am also affected… even if I can only mourn their difficulties in my heart.
I truly wish the best for all people and I know it can be strange, but I also feel bad for those people who don’t think that others deserve rights (even if the person’s rights they are taking away are mine). I can’t say that I understand them. I was never raised that way. I was taught to love all people. I was taught that we are all one community, whether you are down my street, in my city or state, or even in another country. Everything that affects us affects each other. That is true, whether we realize it or not. And one thing I have realized is… I really don’t believe that people who fill their hearts with hate and anger towards other people (no matter their differences) are really very happy people. You cannot place those thoughts and feelings in your heart without it affecting you.
I have seen the happiness that people can give one another in kindness. It can be life changing. Sure, I’ve grown in a home that was abusive. I’ve had difficult times in my life. I don’t think that gives me a right to do the same. I think that if there was one thing that I learned from my experiences, it is that kindness can save lives. It can give people hope and a desire to work toward the common good of all.
There were times in my life that I wanted to give up. There were times when I didn’t believe in myself, but I was fortunate that there was always someone willing to lift me up. They did not have to. It was not their job, but somehow their hearts could not rest seeing me struggle. Even something as small as a smile has made a difference. There were times that people didn’t even know I was struggling. Still, they always showed up, willing to show me things in myself that I could not see. They believed in me and over time I learned to believe in myself. It has made such a huge impact on my life and I truly believe that I would not be the person I am today without it.
Sadly, in these difficult life experiences, I know that I am not alone. I have heard stories that make me wonder what continues to keep the spirit alive in people? How do they continue to struggle and smile, despite their pain? It is such a blessing that they do, however and I truly believe that they make the world a better place. They truly are a testament to the strength and perseverance of the human soul.
I can truly say that I would not change anything from my past, no matter how difficult it was at the time. I am grateful for where I am, who I am, and the beautiful family that I have now been blessed to be a part of. I am blessed to have wonderful friends, both online and offline. I could not ask for more. Had the past not happened, perhaps things would not have turned out the same. It’s too high a price to pay. Instead, I choose to celebrate where I am and where I have been, by trying to be a light for others in the same way that others have been for me. I am not always perfect, I am not always right – but I always try my best.
I guess that’s why I don’t understand the current climate that we live in. I know that the behavior of many still does not reflect the behavior of all, but I guess I could say I am surprised to see the extent of anger and prejudice that so many people hold in their hearts. I don’t think I’m alone in the fact that sometimes I walk into a room or a place and wonder, will something happen here? What if someone comes unhinged? You just never know when someone will have a problem with who you are or what you represent… or perhaps they will have a problem with the person sitting near you. I feel bad that people have a reason to fear interaction, or perhaps it is just my thoughts that dwell down those lines. Well, I don’t completely fear it… but it makes me apprehensive and I guess that’s not always a good feeling to have. Not too long ago, I would not have said I felt the same.
Despite this, I still believe that there are good people out there and I still hold out hope that people will realize that there is much more that unites us than divides us. If anything, perhaps we can get it right in the following generations… if not now. I hope that other parents are learning the importance of raising their children to not only be tolerant, but to try to be understanding. I hope that they teach their children to not only be accepting, but to embrace and celebrate the beauty that differences can make. Overall, I hope that we all learn the importance of trying to understand one another as individuals, with different stories and backgrounds, but similar hopes and dreams.
Positive change always has to start somewhere – and I do realize that with every good thing that we celebrate in society, it came at great price and sacrifice. We should never forget where we came from and what we have struggled through. Beyond that, we should never stop struggling for the greater good for all.
So I hope you will join me in striving to improve and if things do not change in our lifetime… then all I can hope is that we can be a part of the beginning of that change. It should be one of the basic desires of all of us. If I can change something, I will. If I cannot change something, then I will use my voice to show where I stand and if I cannot have my voice, then I will continue to hope and pray that all people will someday be treated equally, no matter who they may be (even those people who would happily take away all those same rights from someone like me).