Have you ever been asked what your “why” is? Why are you here, why are you at the job you currently are, why are you in this moment? Holy shit right? What a tough question. I have learned, just recently, that this is the most important question and it’s even more important that you know the answer. How is it that I am just learning this? Who cares, it doesn’t matter the stage of your life that you realize this, what matters is you ask yourself the question and then you answer it. Your answer may be different today than it is tomorrow, but seriously, once you realize your “why” shit gets real.
I was asked this question in a room full of my co-workers and the first time I was asked, I shit the bed. I didn’t have an answer. I literally felt like I could die with these people staring at me awaiting my answer and I had nothing. I couldn’t even BS my way through this one. So, after I left the meeting and thought to myself wtf is your why? You have to have one. Everyone does. So after a few days of thinking long and hard about it, I took a good look at my life. I dove into my past, examined my present and looked to the future. I had to find out what my “why” was because if I was asked again in front of a room full of people, there was no way I was sitting in silence looking like a fool again.
After doing my rounds of “soul searching”, I finally discovered my why. It was a moment like holy shit, I am in my 3o’s and I think I may have just discovered myself. It’s kind of an AH HA moment. A moment where you feel like you have a purpose. There are days where you question everything. You question things you have said, decisions that you have made, things that you didn’t say, the way you made someone feel, the way someone made you feel. But, the cool thing is, that is life. We all go through this. Life is not easy, but life is worth living and living the best way possible. I am nowhere near perfect and I will never pretend I am, or my life is. But, what I will say is that I am proud of my life and it took me a long time to understand that this life is worth being proud of. So, I will own it and I am not ashamed of doing so.
Me in a nutshell- I had a child at a young age. I was a child myself. It was the scariest time of my life. How the hell was I supposed to support a baby when I was still in high school, had no money, no car and I lived with my parents? I was judged by others, my family was disappointed in me, I was scared. I was alone. I had to grow up overnight. I stopped hanging out with my friends, I took summer school so I could graduate early, I had to become a new person. I became a Mom. I now had to care for another human being and it was my job from that moment to make a life for him, for us. My life was no longer about me. I was incredibly fortunate that my family support was amazing and my son is loved by so many but, I knew I had to prove to not only myself and my son that I was capable of providing for him, I had to prove it to those who judged me on the outside. I had to prove it to those who were dissapointed in me. To those who didn’t want their daughters to turn out like me. So, my first step to better my life was going to college. During this time, my step brother was tragically killed by a drunk driver, my Grandmother also became very ill and passed not much later and soon after my son’s Dad unexpectedly passed away. My soul was crushed over and over. I didn’t make a lot of very smart choices during this time. I was lost and couldn’t figure out where I was headed. I became scared to love anyone because I was afraid of losing them. I treated those who loved me poorly because of that. But, I knew I had no choice but to pick myself up and keep moving. I had to do this for my son. I had to do this for myself. I graduated college, which was a huge accomplishment for me and the first steps toward bettering my life. Soon after, I met my husband at my first “real job” and (it took me a while) but I learned how to love again. He filled a missing piece of my heart and gave me a new purpose. Now, I needed to be my best self for not only me and my son but I had to do it for him and his kids. This became my family. A family I always dreamed about but felt I didn’t deserve. A family that could make my heart burst with the amount of love I have for them. I’m not sure they realize it, but they came into my life at a time that I needed them most.
At some point along my path, I found the world of hospice. It’s the scariest, most beautiful world. During my hospice path, my great Uncle became ill and the decision was made to put him on hospice. I watched, from the outside, the amount of love that surrounded this man. His wife, his children, his siblings, his friends were all there to say goodbye. To remind him how much they loved him and always will. He left this world knowing all of these people loved him and protected him during the time he needed them most. He was not scared and left in peace. Can you imagine leaving this world in peace? I experienced the same with my Grandmother when I was in high school, but didn’t fully understand the blessing it was to get the opportunity to say goodbye. It was what I wished I could have told my step brother and my son’s Dad before they left this world. It is what I am thankful I was able to tell my Grandfather when he passed. It hurts to say goodbye.
But… The word “goodbye” is what became my why. I have said goodbye to friends that brought me down, I have said goodbye to jobs that made me miserable, I have said goodbye to people, feelings, thoughts, emotions, judgments. I have said goodbye to yesterday. I have realized with all of the goodbyes, no matter how it made me feel at the time, I am here because I fucking deserve it. I work hard every day to be ME. To be positive about life, to be a friend to those who need one. To be a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen. I am a Mom, I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend but above all I am ME. I am not perfect. I will never be. I will struggle some days. I will be pissed, sad, upset other days. But I am here because of my struggles. I am here because I have been scared. I have been alone, sad, heartbroken. I am here because through all of that, I still LOVE life. I love being in love, I love being a Mom, I love being a friend, I love to laugh, I love to have fun, be spontaneous, work hard and cherish this life. Our time on this earth is short and you may not always get the opportunity to say goodbye. BUT, there is always opportunity for a hello that follows and both have proven to be my “why” and have guided my way, given me purpose and a sense of peace and pride in this life. Today, I am proud to be ME.
So…. Say goodbye to whatever is holding you back from being your best self. Do all the things you LOVE, right now. Discover your why, because you fucking deserve it.