What if…

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!

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Image courtesy of Maryeoriginals

 

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New Developments #100HappyDays

Day 60:  Developing new processes makes me happy.  I worked with a few coworkers to improve a process for getting trainer review for updates to our software and I think it’s going to make everybody’s job a lot easier.  No complaints there!

Day 61:  Seeing where my company is going next makes me happy.  I had the opportunity to preview some development coming in the next version of my company’s software, and it was so cool!  I never imagined I’d work in IT–especially healthcare IT–but I truly enjoy what I do.

Day 62-63:  Spending time with my parents makes me happy.  My parents were in Wisconsin for a motorcycle club event and I got to hang out with them!  I know I post a lot about my parents, but they really are the most wonderful people on the planet and any opportunity I have to see them is really special to me.  We went to a fun ’70s themed dinner and dance and then hung out in the RV talking until almost midnight.

Day 64:  Small classes make me happy.  I taught a class of 10 students today.  Most of our customer classes are somewhere between 20-30 students, so having this smaller class was a welcome reprieve.  Also, I feel like I’m able to really connect with each student when the class size is small–I like being able to answer out of scope questions and spend extra time with them one-on-one.

Day 65:  International travel makes me happy.  My sabbatical is in October, so my mom and I will be heading to…Costa Rica!  I had a call with my travel agent today to go over our itinerary and I am PUMPED!  My last jaunt to a foreign land wasn’t the best experience (Long story short:  I was racially profiled by a hotel employee and accused of being a prostitute.) but I’m really looking forward to this trip.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to traveling with my mom!  This chance to take her around the world is the least I can do to thank her for being the best mother ever.

Movies, Flea Markets, and Parental Advice #100HappyDays

Day 54: Curriculum design makes me happy. I spent most of the day working on new stuff for work, and it was…kind of awesome. Most people wouldn’t be geeked to spend a whole day in front of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, but putting together this new program to help people learn our software better makes this geeky gal pretty happy. 

Day 55: Movies make me happy. Especially when you can watch them in the comfort of your own home–DVDs from the library for the win! 

Day 56: Flea markets make me happy. Yes, you read that right:  flea markets. My daddy and I used to go to the flea market all the time when I was little; I loved seeing all the cool stuff for sale. So, when I found out a flea market was going on near my house I definitely wanted to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, but I did see some interesting stuff–I’d love to go to more flea markets now that the weather is nice. 

Day 57: Parental advice makes me happy. At least once a week, I call my parents to catch up…and also ask for advice (usually about basic adult stuff that I should probably know already, but don’t). Lucky for me, they are always willing to give it andddd it’s always great advice! Win-win!

Day 58: Being in a supportive relationship makes me happy.  My boyfriend is there for me whenever I need him, and I am so lucky (and happy) because of it. 

Family Fun #100HappyDays

Day 6: Spending time with family makes me happy. 

Most of my family is still in Kentucky, and since I’ve been living in Wisconsin I’ve often felt disconnected from them. I was born and raised in Kentucky, surrounded by family, and I miss being able to see them whenever I want and keep up with the ins and outs of their daily lives. Today though, I got to spend quality time with my parents. We sat around watching tv and talking and had lunch together. That might sound like a boring day to some, but I enjoyed every single minute with them. 

And on top of that, my parents and my boyfriend’s parents finally met! I made dinner for everyone at my house and lots of laughs were shared. I am so glad that everyone hit it off and I’m looking forward to the next time we can all get together again. 

Bonus: My mom and I got makeovers today at Sephora. I am always happy in Sephora. 🙂 (And our makeup turned out great!) 

Gladiators and Good Reviews #100HappyDays

Happiness abounds! 

Day 4: Scandal makes me happy. Are y’all surprised I am obsessed with Scandal? If so, you shouldn’t be. Fierce Black woman solving problems and saving lives while rocking designer clothes and carrying exquisite handbags? That’s got me written all over it. Yesterday was the show’s 100th episode and to celebrate, they did a “what if” storyline outlining what might have happened if important events turned out differently. I’ve been watching Scandal avidly since the first season–I am an old school “gladiator”–so I enjoyed seeing old characters and situations revisited. 

Day 5: Customer evals make me happy. These evaluations (evals) I’m referring to are submitted by customers at the end of each class. They rate the overall course, training materials, and me (the trainer). This morning my team lead called me first thing and asked if I had read my evals from Thursday’s class. I immediately got anxious that something was wrong, but they were some of the best ranks I’ve ever gotten! I appreciated the positive comments my trainees left and also the fact that my team lead noticed and called to congratulate me. 

Bonus: Today when I got home from work, I was able to sit down and eat dinner with my parents. I am so happy they came up to spend Easter weekend with me!