Those who know me know that I have an affinity for butterflies and feathers. Both remind me of my mother, who died in 2002.
She was a dichotomy, as most women are: strong, independent, yet incredibly vulnerable. Some of her most valuable lessons came in the form of not doing what she did. She always wanted what was best for me, in fact, wanted better for me than what she had. One major example was sending me to private school.
There was an opportunity for me to attend a private girl's school on a scholarship and she signed me up for that immediately. Because of that, I was afforded an incredible academic advantage which would not have been possible had I stayed in the parochial school I was in. I also engaged with people I may not have come into contact with otherwise; my classmates were from some of the most elite families in New England and from around the world. I was the a daughter of a single mom, from a lower middle class family. My mom believed that I could do or be anything I dreamed of becoming. She was my biggest fan!
Fast forward many years....I graduated high school, went to college, dropped out of college, and went to work in the service industry after my dreams of becoming a dancer were dashed as a result of a serious knee injury. I started working in retail and moved from sales to management back to sales in high end boutiques. I moved from Connecticut to California to Chicago, where I've lived for 25 years. I worked hard & played hard until my life spiraled out of control.
Thankfully, grace intervened and I found the recovery community, was able to turn my life around and learn how to live life on life's terms (most days!) I returned to school to complete my Bachelor's degree at the age of 41. In 2014, I graduated from college and completed my 200 hr yoga teacher training.
Life is a series of moments...some breathtakingly beautiful and some that knock you on your ass. I found love and experienced devastating loss (including the death of my mother), and I've managed to face these challenges sober. I've learned to ask for help and have also learned how to accept it. I've learned how to graciously say yes, please and how to set boundaries when something doesn't feel right (no, thank you). Sometimes the right answer isn't as clear as I'd like it to be and I do the best I can. Sometimes I find out later that the choices I made aren't the right ones for me. It hasn't always been easy.
I'm still learning, still making mistakes & (hopefully) learning from them, still taking risks, still holding myself back when I'm unsure, still overanalyzing my choices, still becoming overwhelmed by fear, still finding the willingness to try again, still trying to live with my heart open, still wondering if I should stay or go, if I should weigh my options or if I should "jump". Some behaviors I may never outgrow, but I'm hopeful that I will keep moving forward, no matter how insignificant those "baby steps" may seem today.
Here are a few things I know for sure:
- Change requires action on my part.
- Avoiding a decision is still a decision.
- Nothing changes if nothing changes.
- Help is always available...ask for it!
- It's never too late to start over.
And the feathers? Angel whispers from my mom....I know she's always got my back! <3