Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Day. My Independence Day.

Yesterday was My Independence Day. My Day. Mine. A year ago exactly yesterday, I was freed to go find myself a new life. I may not have more fresh-start opportunities like that, and I hope that one day I'll stop craving them. But I doubt if any previous opportunities such as that have produced as much growth as the past year has.

The year before the past year...uh, so that was like two years ago...anyway, that year was a really painful and difficult year. And I'm sure there was some growth in there somewhere, but mostly, I think that year was about hanging on. I learned survival skills, I realized the strength I have, I better understood the bonds I have with certain family members and I learned a little more about what I do and do not need and want. So that was an important year to crawl through.

But the past year. The past year, I have finally become proud of myself. I've realized and accepted (and set out to improve) some of my faults. That is hard work, let me tell you, and quite tough cuz I'm sensitive. More than anything, I feel like I've realized and developed my independence. I've always been independent. But the past year, I feel like for the first time, I truly was. And I finally have a job that is personally and professionally satisfying. One that makes me feel good because I am part of making the world a better place and because I am actually pretty good at what I do. I never understood how fulfilling all that could be.

There's more work to do next year, but it's good to exhale and realize how far I've come. I'm still very insecure about some things, still have major problems with intimacy, still have fears and doubts, still get nervous and anxious too much, still need to be more responsible. Ugh. When I think about all there is to do, though, I get lost in that and can't see what all I've done. Sometimes we get focused on the logistics and stats. We want to see numbers, evidence, quantification of progress, of accomplishment. But that's just not what life is all about. Life is about all the things you don't plan, all the things you have to look for to find, all the things you miss when you're focused on other things. And life is in the feelings.

Yesterday, I felt a lot of feelings. Proud because something amazing and historic happened at work. Peaceful because I remembered what I was going through at this time last year and all the pain during that time that I don't feel anymore. Happy because I feel like I'm on the right track finally. But also sad that there wasn't someone to truly share all of that with (why do you keep missing all my big moments?!?). And nervous and fearful for all that is still unknown.

But as I fell asleep last night, after finishing an empowering book, after talking to one of my most favorite people and after thinking about the past, I watched those silly red lights blink on the Washington Monument and realized where I am now. And I saw the Capitol dome and all the hope it inspires me with and remembered that the best is still yet to come.


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