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Defining Moments

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There are a million topics I can think of putting into a blog today, I feel like I'm kind of all over the place. I always wonder what the "norm" thinks. When I can't shake ideas or thoughts from my head, I'm usually left pondering "I wonder if anyone else feels this way". I don't know why but I do.

I think that as I'm approaching my thirties I am realizing a lot about myself. In my teens I was a coward. I was the most naive person you'd ever meet because I refused to believe that people I knew were "evil" or would do me wrong. It seems every year my "best" friends would turn on me and either get me into a lot of trouble for things I didn't do, or say I said things I never said, or would steal money from myself, my siblings, my parents, and much worse. I could go on for days and these are things I've never truly been able to get over. I nearly threw up the day I was invited to my 10 year high school reunion because all these incidents and people came flooding back into my mind and so did all of my regrets. Regrets that I did not stand up for myself when no one else would. I should have but it's too late now. I had very little self worth. I remember crying every day from the time I was 14 years old when my problems started until I ditched the best friend who had been stealing from my family when I was 19 years old. I remember thinking that this was normal. I thought everyone would spend all those nights crying but it wasn't until a few months ago that it hit me. I never had a single real friend until my school days ended. The ones I thought were my besties were nothing more than the people who wanted to bring me down so they could get ahead. I attribute this to the fact that I've always been kind to people. Not on purpose, not to better myself or anything, but just because I thought that's the way I'm supposed to be. It is too much effort to be a jerk most days, so it wasn't in my nature.

What I'm getting at is this... I've had so many painful realizations recently about those days. I sometimes feel like I'm being hurt and tormented all over again, and that's nobody's fault but mine. I am making a commitment to myself. I am going to leave these things behind me now that I'm entering a new decade.

I'm seeing how all these moments, the good ones, the bad ones, the painful ones... they've all made me the woman I have become. Is it bad to admit that I actually kinda like myself? If all those "friends" didn't treat me like a doormat all those years than surely I would be someone completely different. The me today would not even recognize the scared little girl I was back then, and I'm so proud. Today I stand up for myself. I don't let people hurt me, and I no longer make time for those who aren't genuine. I am proud that I'm still kind. I could become bitter, as I feel like I should be sometimes, but what good would that do? I will still treat people/strangers with respect and dignity, even when they try to take it from me, but I do it in a grown up way and won't let anyone take something from me that I'm not willing to give.

1 week before my 22nd birthday my friend killed himself and I was distraught. I went a bit crazy I think. I made up this whole twisted story in my head that if only I had baked him cupcakes for his birthday a month prior that none of this would have happened. I stopped working for 5 months. I basically just laid in my room and cried with my cat and wondered how the hell I was ever going to pull myself up and out of this sadness. When I returned to work (we worked together very closely at that job) I pretty much walked in, took one look around the room and felt overwhelmed and then I went back home. Couldn't do it. I never went back. I think of that girl. Terrified, hopeless, lonely... it was the worst time of my life, and all I could think of was how awful a person I was for not realizing he was so depressed. I didn't even know.

When I reflect on those times I remember how I mapped it out in my mind. I was laying in my bed too anxious to sleep and I told myself I need to decide how this will end up for me. I could choose A) become more of a recluse/maybe get my hands on some pills that could numb my pain/keep to myself/shut out my family and eventually end up taking the same path my friend Mike did. OR B) SNAP OUT OF IT! Get over yourself! He made this choice for him not for ME! This life is mine and I can use this to become better. Not everything is about me so stop being so self-important that some guy would off himself just because of something you did or didn't do!

I chose B and I've never looked back. I would never have been able to achieve the level of greatness that I have here. When I say I'm great, I just mean that I'm WORTHY. There isn't much that's special about me, but I'm generally a good person and if Mike never happened to me, his life, his death, the pain... I would probably be much less of a person.

These moments are what made me who I am. I am thankful for all those jerks who stole a part of me because I wasn't on a very positive path when I was young, and each of them made me realize who I did not want to become. They ruined parts of my life, but I came out on top and I'm not looking back. I am truly getting ready to put my twenties to bed.

These are my defining moments.

I want to know, truly want to know, what are your defining moments? Are there things that happened in your life that completely changed the trajectory of where you were heading? Whether they are good or bad... when did you realize these moments would shape you forever? Do these defining moments always have to be bad when they are happening? Or are there WONDERFUL things too that can happen and help push you down the right path?

SORRY IT'S A LITTLE HEAVY! You should all know by now that I am chatty lol.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Jen, first I need to say that I really admire you. I've never been through a loss quite as heartwrenching as yours and would ever able to talk about it. I believe that God, a Creator, Buddha, the spirits, life energies, whoever.....puts people in our lives to help us through it. Not all of these people are here to be our close friends, or even nice people, but they help shape who we become. It's up to us whether or not we choose the right path. And it's not always easy.

    I think I've had some life changing moments. One of them was my friend Kate (you probably remember that blog) and when my mom revealed to me that she was fighting cancer. She didn't want anyone to know and I only found out when she told me about her meds. I had never been so filled with terror and dispair in my life. At this point, I had been out of college for a while still trying to figure out what to do with or without my degree and realized that I was just wasting time...trying to sneek through life without committing to something. I was so afraid to fail that I didn't even attempt to achieve anything. When she told me this I remember thinking "What am I DOING? She may not be alive very much longer and I'm just floating into NOTHING!" It took me a while to finally "get up" and face my fears (healthcare) and do what I said I've wanted to do. Now I'm struggling trying to become a nurse and I'm almost 30, but at least I'm doing it! My mom has to face her fears This is the least I can do for her and for myself.
    1891 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/22/2013 8:53:47 PM
    My first husband was bi-polar and an alcoholic. He committed suicide when our triplets were only three years old, leaving me a widow at age 23. I struggled to bring up my five kids - yeah, one older and one younger than the triplets. Life was difficult for a long, long time in many ways. Two of my boys are handicapped and all of them were handfuls.

    I used to believe that love conquers all and put myself in the position to be used time and time again before I realized that my love for a person will not change them. It happens from the inside out for everyone and you have to want it.

    Even if I could save people from themselves, it wouldn't be empowering for them. It took me a long time to learn that. I no longer assume to know what's best for others. One of my favorite quotes that speaks to that is by Alan Watts: "Kindly let me help before you drown, said the monkey putting the fish safely in a tree."

    Glad we are on a path to be our own heroes. We can set a good example by saving ourselves and offering support to others trying to do the same. xoxo
    1893 days ago
    I remember going through that same epiphany. I am who I am NOW because of what I went through in the PAST, but the past does not define me. I define me. It was a very powerful moment.

    As painful as some of the past may be, I don't think I'd really change it. Well, not much anyway. There are a few embarassing moments that I'd really rather have never experienced! But in general, everything I went through, both positive and negative, was a learning experience, and I'm damn proud of the fact that I did learn from those experiences.

    I also lost my best friend to suicide. It's one of those events that changed me profoundly, but it took a long time for me to work through those changes to where I am now. He's still with me, in my heart and my memories. And sometimes I swear I can still hear his voice encouraging me or kicking me in the butt when I need it.
    1893 days ago
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