Trying to stay unfrozen has been a feat until this week. Seriously, it literally snowed 3-4″ last week! #notcool But now spring has finally come to Wisconsin…and I’ve finally come back to blogging!
Not gonna lie to y’all–my life is pretty boring so I feel like I don’t have anything to post about regularly lol. Like, do people really care that I started buying groceries at the local Aldi? Are folks really trying to read about the new bike I bought? Answer: probably not (at least that’s what I assume). So my posts have been infrequent.
Butttttt I’d like to change that! Maybe y’all aren’t interested in what I’m doing (which is honestly not a lot) but what I’m thinking (which is all sorts of things). Honestly, y’all might not be interested in what I’m doing OR thinking lol. But today I’m gonna share a bit of what’s been going on in my brain.
Lately, I’ve been playing this mental game called “What if…” Basically, I’ve been thinking about all the ways my life could have gone wrong. Not in a morbid, “woe is me” sort of way, but just considering all the events and circumstances (great and small) that led me to this awesome life I have today.
My mom is the most wonderful person on the planet. If she hadn’t raised me, I’m almost certain my life would have gone poorly. Like, I hope I’d be a good contributing member of society if I didn’t have her as a mom, buttttttt I’m skeptical. That lady raised me RIGHT. She taught me to be caring and diligent and showed me how to work hard even when it feels like everything and everyone is against you. She encouraged me and motivated me and, most importantly, disciplined me when I needed it and called me on my bullshit. Without her, who knows who I would be?
My daddy died when I was only 13. His death could have been a trigger for my life to take a bad direction. In ways, it did create issues–I didn’t have a role model for how a man should treat me and ended up in some terrible relationships as a result–but it could have been much worse. On occasion I’ll watch the show Intervention and the stories that touch my heart the most are of women who lost their fathers or whose fathers were emotionally distant. Women who, quite possibly, could have been me.
On the flip side, what if he hadn’t passed? Would he have gotten better, fought his addiction, and been the father I needed? Or would he have continued to drink? Would I have ended up estranged from him? Would I have drunk right along with him (alcoholism does run in families, after all)? There’s no way to know. And honestly, this version of the “What if…” game hurts the most.
My best friend in the world moved to our town when we were in the fourth grade. She was a bookish Black girl just like me, and I needed her at nine years old in a predominately white school in a predominately white (and very southern) town. If she hadn’t come, I don’t know who I would have relied on to support me when my daddy died. I don’t know who I would have called when my ex-fiance was abusing me. Who knows what friends I would have made and what paths they would have taken me down? (One of my childhood friends ended up with a drug problem. I could have been right there with her.)
Even outside of the key players in my life, all the small events and decisions and interactions in my life add up too. I dated someone in college who I though was going to marry me, but ended up breaking my heart instead. If we had married, I wouldn’t have met the man I truly love and who lets me be myself. After college, I applied for a job at the Social Security Administration and was devastated when they didn’t hire me. But if I had taken that job, I might never have gotten the opportunity to do something I truly love.
Just to be clear, I don’t play “What if…” to throw myself a pity party. Playing this game makes me sad sometimes, but ultimately I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I’ve been through stuff that could have broken me, but I survived. I’ve learned to appreciate the things and people who make my life special.
I urge you to consider the circumstances of your life and how you are a stronger person because of (or in spite of) them. If you’ve got a story of triumph you’d like to share, leave it in the comments!