Thank you for not showing up yet.
I definitely was not ready for you to come along.
Although I hear life is wonderful to walk through hand-in-hand, there were a few lessons that I needed to learn by myself. I don't think I could've come this far with you. Not saying that you wouldn't have wanted to help or that you would have impeded me, but I don't think I would have realized these thing as actively as I do now.
Yes. Sometimes I feel pretty lonely. But I'm okay.
I just turned 30 on Monday, which is a lot older than I thought I would be before I found "the one." When I was a kid, my goal was to be married at 23 and have kids by 25. Yes...I know, I know. My birthday was on the 23rd, Michael Jordan was number 23...and that's basically all a preteen needs to set up a fantasy of their future life. I'm so thankful it didn't work out like that.
Some of these things I just had to do myself. I had to push myself without your safety net. And get up without your help.
I did some things.
1) Moved to Chicago with no money, no job, no furniture and no contacts. Made it.
2) Went sky diving
3) Quit a job without having another job. And it worked out.
4) Discovered life changing skincare for my face. P.S. Throw out your cleansers and just use a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar. It will change our life. And moisturize like mad, duh.
5) Wrote for my favorite newspaper and, at one point, had a full body image of me laying across the RedEye's page 2 in the Saturday edition. I mean...sometimes I can't believe that was an actual life event.
6) Was named one of Chicago's top singles
7) Co-hosted the KISS-FM morning show after being a super fan for years
8) Fell in love a couple times. Sometimes without recognizing it. Sometimes with realizing it much too late. Sometimes with guys who weren't really the nicest. And once with complete abandon. Always took the gamble to say something.
9) Fell down and got back up. Did my best to learn the lessons. Sometimes it took a really long time, but you've got to be patient with yourself. There have been things that were really, really tough. But nothing was so tough that it defeated me. We all are made of much tougher stuff than we may at first realize.
10) Realized that you only accept the love that you think you deserve. When I look back at some of my more hurtful relationships, whether in love, friendship or business, it becomes very clear. I believed that I was fat, ugly, not that interesting, not very talented, etc, and these situations reflected those beliefs back at me. If you don't accept and love yourself, no one else will either.
11) Started paying attention to my finances
12) Went skinny dipping
13) Discovered a career path that I didn't even know existed
14) Found the ovaries to say no to jobs and relationships that weren't healthy/right even when the other option was the scarier unknown. Sometimes your options aren't this guy or that guy or this job or that job, it's this guy or nobody and this job or nothing. Believe in yourself enough to know that nobody or nothing can be the better option.
15) I've come to realize that sometimes it's not about me. If someone doesn't love me back, a stranger is rude or a landlord is leaving me crazy pants messages, it's probably more about them and what they are going through. I'm just an event in their road. It's not because I'm not pretty enough. It's not because I'm not cool enough. It's probably because of something that happened in their life way before I even crossed their paths. Don't let them push you around or take advantage of you, but don't beat yourself up about it either. Forgive yourself and forgive others.
Now, I know that I'm strong enough without you. I can make it on my own. There was something inside of me that needed that confirmed.
I had to know my strength before I could allow myself to be vulnerable. And that is the bravest of all.
Maybe you'll show up tomorrow and maybe you'll never exist.
But thank you for not showing up yet.
UPDATE: This year, I've been following a daily awareness practice where each day I'm given a reflective quote and exercise to complete. After writing the above post last night, this is the practice I woke up to this morning. Oh, God, you and your humor!