“I worry about you. I don’t think you’ll be okay. But then I remember, you’ll have the money from the house, so you’ll be okay”. This is what I was told as my previous life was being flipped upside down. Does it sound nice? Maybe. But to me, it was infuriating and an example as to why that life was being flipped upside down. My response was “I will be okay not because of the money from the house, but because of who I am”.
I stepped away from that life, and while I didn’t have many answers to what was next, I knew that I would be okay. I knew there were dreams I once believed in, and they had been put aside, tucked away slowly over the years. Like a kid putting coins in a piggy bank, saving up for something big. Those dreams were put away and the piggy bank was labeled “one day we will….” or “once___ happens, then we will do that”.
Alone, scared, and heartbroken, I repeated these words over and over to myself; “I can, because of who I am”. They sounded like whispers at first, but over time the voice got louder and began to drown out a previous voice that for years had told me I needed someone else, and I didn’t have what it took to be successful. The same voice that nodded in approval and said ‘you’re doing the right thing’ when I tucked my dreams away into the piggy banks of tomorrow. The voice that gave validation and love when I shrunk myself to fit in someone else's world.
“I can because of who I am”. After some time, I began to actually believe those 7 words. Then, I began to feel them. Truly feel them inside my body, until eventually I grabbed those piggy banks of tucked away dreams and smashed them open. With a fire in my heart, I brought all of those dreams into the light, where they became real and I could look at them. No more “one day….” and “once this, then that”.... No. The fire was lit. It wasn’t one of revenge, instead it was a fire that came from a place of passion. Deep in my core, my most authentic self.
I made a promise to myself, to keep that voice close and let that fire burn. I would no longer tuck away my dreams, and I would never dim that fire. I promised myself I would live with my heart open and even when I didn’t have the answers to what was next, I had confidence in myself, and believed I would figure it out.
There’s been a lot of very hard days in the time that’s passed since I left my previous life. What I am most proud of is the fact that the ending of everything I knew, didn’t stop me from pursuing the dreams and life I knew I wanted. Just like a tough day on the bike; I fell, I felt lost, I limped, I cried, I crawled my way forward. I didn’t always know where I was headed, but I knew where I wasn’t going and that was a good enough place to start.
There’s still plenty of unanswered questions, and a large amount of fear, but the fear and questions have limits. What doesn’t have limits is my genuine and pure belief in the statement “I can, because of who I am”. As long as that voice is there, and the fire is lit, I will be here moving forward everyday. No more shrinking, doubting or whispering. This life is mine and when I look around at the people I’ve met and places I’ve seen in the last few years, I am filled with love and beyond grateful. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of it. I love you all.