To Those That Knew Me When

It’s the end of August and in Florida school has started. The unbearable heat isn’t quite so unbearable anymore. Well, it’s not THAT unbearable before 10 and after 3 as opposed to being ungodly hot all day. Every year around this time, I start preparing myself for the inevitable fall nostalgia.

Last year’s big revelation was that time travel has already been invented in the form of music.  Give me a beautiful blue sky, the alternative rock songs I listened to in high school and I swear it’s the 00s all over again.  This year I’ve done a lot of self-reflection… There have been times before where I’ve tried to learn to love myself. Finally at 27 I am ready to live my truth and really take a look at myself. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that I became a decent person again. I say again because I remember being kind and good when I was a kid. Somewhere on my journey, I chose the wrong fork in the road. I thank God and the universe every day for not giving up on me. I don’t deserve the life I have; knowing this I will never take it for granted.

So, to those that knew me when I was traveling down that wrong path, I’m sorry. From around 18-25, I was a shitty person. I’ll say it. At the time, I couldn’t figure out why I would cycle through friends; why I couldn’t stay in a relationship; and why my anxiety and depression were getting worse.  Life is easy to live in hindsight. Now, of course, I can see what was going wrong but at the time I felt like I was doing everything right. I used to be a very selfish person. I didn’t care what I was doing or who I was hurting as long as it made me happy. Well, like my mom has always said ‘happiness is fleeting, joy is forever’. I thought I knew what she meant. I didn’t but I do now.

My life is so full of joy now: joy for my family (blood and the friends that have become my sisters, aunts etc), joy for my soon to be husband, joy for my job, and the joy for my son. Oh the love I have for him knows no bounds. I hope that he can avoid this Aha! moment that I’m having now. I hope he stays true to himself so that he doesn’t have to think back on 7 years where his life kind of sucked and it shouldn’t have.

If you only knew me from 2009-2016 I wish we could meet again. I wish you could see how that time period shaped me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t change those years, no matter how down and out I was, because I would never do anything to jeopardize where I am now. But I wish you all could meet the real me. The me that was hidden under a search for love and acceptance. The me that was buried under countless nights of being too drunk and too sad.

On my birthday, an acquaintance at work wrote this on my Facebook wall and I am so grateful that this is how someone views me: “Even though we don’t talk much you seem like such a good person with a great head on your shoulders and I’m super happy for you with all the awesome things that have come to you this past year. I can tell that you are genuinely a great person and are so loving.”

I’ve worked a lifetime on being a better person. I know the work will never stop but man it feels good to know I am making a difference in myself.

For those that knew me when I was at my worst thank you for the experiences that led me to be my best.

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” -Lewis Carroll

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