I decided a long, long time ago that life is what you make it.
I was a shy kid. (No, really, I was!) In fact, in second grade, I was so enamored of my teacher and so shy that I was HORRIFIED at the thought of asking her for permission to go to the restroom. So instead, I sat at my little desk and wet my pants. Not once, but twice. After the second time, my Mom made me hang a green plaid double-knit homemade one-piece zippered-up jumpsuit in my locker, and I knew that if I wet myself again, I'd have to change into that horrid outfit. I don't know if she knew how much I hated it, but the fact that I can describe it in detail and still feel the wedgie it gave me speaks for itself. So does the fact that I decided I'd rather approach the front of the room and speak to Mrs. Wright than wear it.
In 7th grade, I was still shy, and utterly miserable. There were a million kids I didn't know, and I was too shy to do anything about it. I was a wallflower the whole year long, and was disgusted at myself for it. That summer, I decided it was now or never: I needed a reinvention. On the first day of 8th grade, I came out of my shell, complete with surround sound and strobe lights and a bullhorn. I would be SHY NO MORE. I realized almost immediately that life was grand when you actually had the courage to LIVE it. I never looked back.
In college, I was the queen of figuring out how to have fun on the cheap. Everything was reason to celebrate, God was worthy of all my praise, and life was just FUN. I couldn't afford anything I wanted - or even needed, for that matter - but it was okay. Just living on my own was enough. I applied a million times for credit at the electronics store near the video store where I worked. I NEEDED a stereo system. With all my heart, I wanted one. I applied every few months, and was denied each time. (Ding ding ding on my credit report. I had no idea I was making it worse!) But even with that minor heartbreak each time, I was okay. I'd just try again! It's not having what you want...It's wanting what you've got.
As an eternal optimist, I've always given people the benefit of the doubt. I always think people can change, even after proving me wrong 12 times in a row. Some of my deepest heartache has come from believing and hoping in that. Finally, sometime in the last decade, I learned that it wasn't my responsibility to make miserable people happy, or to save people who wanted to flounder, or to join the cast of people who needed their lives to be Lifetime dramas. I allowed myself to let go. That part was easy; getting over the guilt of letting go was a lot harder. Every time I turn around I'm looking up, you're looking down...Maybe something's wrong with you That makes you act the way you do
I'm not saying I never have bad days. Word To The Mommas, I do. In fact, I'm coming off a pretty nasty streak of funk right now. But for the most part, my mantra is to soak up the sun. Sometimes I have to give myself a swift kick in the pants and tell myself to lighten up, but...
"I've got no one to blame. For every time I feel lame I'm looking up..."