FYI, this recap has nothing to do with the three whole books I read in October. (Although I would definitely recommend checking out Bitter Orange. It’s creepy and amazing.) Moving on…
I remember reading a friend’s Instagram post a few years ago. She was turning 38 and marveling at how far she’d come in her life. How she moved away from an abusive home situation, fought and struggled to build a life of her own, all her own, and how she never imagined she’d be as happy as she was right now. I remember reading that and thinking, really? How is that possible? To be that sure of your own happiness… I just figured that was something I’d never feel.
But here I am. I turn 38 in just a few days. And I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been this content and excited for the future in my life. Things aren’t perfect, but I’ve been 1) pushing myself to discover and pursue the activities that make me happy and 2) gently encouraging myself to interact more with the people around me. This hasn’t been easy, but moving beyond my comfort zone has brought confidence, healing, and joy.
Sure, I still feel like an outsider more often than I’d like, but that “separateness” doesn’t affect me how it used to, it doesn’t tear me to pieces. Instead, I feel stable and secure. I feel loved, known, and accepted. I’ve built a family for myself, a real family, a chosen family, that doesn’t make me feel like garbage just for being me. When I think back and remember the time in my life when I couldn’t even leave the house for fear of turning red when I interacted with people or when I thought I would never have friends or when I was convinced that I was weird and inherently unlikeable (okay, I may still be a little bit weird…), I can’t believe how different I feel not so many years later.
And the really crazy thing is that as I have put myself out there more, I’ve realized that I’m not so strange, I’m not so different. People are just people, and everyone has something they wish they could change. We are all doing the best we can with what we have, and I can accept that. I feel love and grace, so I don’t have to feel so much anger. I’m letting go of things I never thought I’d be able to let go of. The more I move forward, the more I don’t care about the past. It matters less and less. I’m looking ahead. I have goals and plans for a better future. For me, for my family, for my kids, for my relationship. Seriously, I love my husband, like for real. How did I have the good sense to marry a man who loves me like this? I love my kids, with all their craziness and eccentricities. How did I get so lucky to be gifted these beautiful, complicated humans? And I love plants! I may be coming to them a little late, but I don’t care. I want to learn everything there is to know and then bore the world to tears when I regurgitate ALL THE PLANT FACTS.
In short, I’m grateful. I’m looking forward, and I’m taking all the good with me. All the good people, all the good vibes, all the good, good love. Happy November, everyone.