It’s the Way I Grew Up…

(paraphrased)

“Do you know how many people I’ve told about you? About your story? You came from nothing and here you are…”

(end paraphrase)

It’s the way I grew up. The fights. The yelling. The hitting. The name-calling. The hurting. I thought it was the way everybody lived. I never doubted even for a second that my dad loved me – I knew he did. I doubted if anyone else did.

As a child, all my extended family either died or disappeared from my life. By the time I was 11, everyone seemed to have left. Our family was dysfunctional at best. My dad tried – he tried to be the peacemaker, tried to take us to church, tried to turn us into a functional family – but the damage was already done. Everyone had left and I didn’t understand why. I hated being home – it didn’t feel like home. Yeah, I survived and I’ve even learned how to deal with my family as an adult, but some scars don’t heal quickly. 

I didn’t really have friends in elementary school. I was smart and I knew I was smart and I held onto that. There was a group of girls I would play with outside at recess – until the day they told me they didn’t want to play with me anymore. I remember walking away feeling heartbroken – these people I thought were my friends really weren’t my friends. I didn’t understand what I had done wrong. I cried and tried to have fun at recess, but my feelings were too hurt. I didn’t really make friends after that. I stumbled across one around the fourth grade – we had known each other in preschool and I feel like God brought us together when we both needed it. We both needed a friend at school and so He gave us each other. My mom would spend the rest of my school years comparing me to her. Everything was a competition and I had to win over my best friend. It made me feel like she wasn’t my friend at times – she was someone I had to win against. But she was my friend. Was being the key word – I lost her in October 2012. She’s fine – don’t worry – but I made some bad choices and we grew apart. Part of me wishes I would have reached out to her and told her what I was going though. Part of me felt an overwhelming need to protect her from my life. In the end – I lost. 

I remember wanting to try out for volleyball. I remember my mother’s words. “You’ll never make the team – only the rich kids will make the team.” Way to crush my hopes and dreams. Everything was always about money – my family didn’t have enough, we were poor compared to other people, we were in debt. However, we never went hungry. There was always food in the house. We stopped going to the doctor and the eye doctor and even the dentist annually, but at least we never went hungry. 

All the relationships around me were rocky. My dad’s relationship with my mom was rocky – to the point that I remember the day he asked me if I thought we would be better off if he divorced her. I remember the tears in his eyes – he was scared that if he divorced her that he would never find someone who would love him. I question sometimes if my parents ever truly loved each other. Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful they met and married or I wouldn’t be here and my little brothers wouldn’t be here – but I question what their marriage was built on. My mom’s relationship with everyone was rocky – there were more arguments than I could count. I remember the hitting and kicking and yelling. I remember the day I realized I was big enough to fight back. Most of the time I just wanted everyone to stop. The relationship with my brothers changed as often as the time on the clock. The relationship with extended family didn’t exist. I grew jealous of my classmates who talked about spending the weekend with their grandparents or aunts and uncles or cousins. I may not have had friends in school, but I hung onto every word my classmates spoke.

I remember my first crushes. Some of them went on to become really amazing guys. Others not so much. In sixth grade this boy asked me to the dance – I was crushing on someone else (hoping he would ask me) and so I said no. The whole class thought I was mean and that other boy never asked me. In seventh grade I asked an eighth grader to the school dance after art class one day. It had taken me days to get up the courage to ask him. He said yes and I was so excited. A day or two later he came back and said that he couldn’t take me because he had to take his girlfriend to the dance instead. Then I moved onto someone else who I would spent the majority of middle school and high school crushing on. He liked just about every other girl in school – except me. We became friends and we studied together. He started to attend church with my family. I admitted how I felt to him. He didn’t feel the same. We stayed friends for a while and then slowly drifted apart. I gave up on boys after that. Three strikes and I’m out. About halfway through college someone new entered my life. I wasn’t sure if I liked him or not – but he gave me attention and at that point in my life, I was craving some attention from a boy. We were good friends and I knew he liked me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him. He would give me my first kiss. He would become my biggest regret. I guard my heart to this day because of what transpired.

Sometimes I drive people away before they can hurt me. It’s what life has taught me – that people will leave you and people will die and then I will be left heartbroken. The people who haven’t been driven away are the special ones – they’re the ones I realized were worth fighting for and will continue to fight to have in my life. The guys I’ve dated here and there though – those are the ones I tend to drive away before they can hurt me by leaving. My heart can only take so much heartache. 

Losing my dad ripped my heart apart. I didn’t know it was possible to be in so much emotional pain until he died. It all still haunts me. I would give anything to wrap my arms around his neck once more. To tell him I love him. Sometimes I feel guilty when I laugh because he’s not here to share it with me. Other times I’m relieved that life is working out okay. It’s a struggle.

I remember the day Allison invited me to stay at her house. I didn’t know what to say or do. I had moved out of my mom’s house a couple months beforehand. Allison cared and was offering me what I needed most – stability. I remember watching how her family interacted and being amazed. They functioned like a “normal” family should. There wasn’t the fighting and kicking and hitting going on. I saw what it looked like when two people who love each other work together to raise a family. I was amazed every single day.

Later I found out that she was worried I wasn’t going to graduate college. I had shared with her everything that was going on and she spent a while worrying about me. She would also introduce me to the college therapist and I would spend the next thirteen months trying to figure out life in that office. 

I cried a lot in therapy. I tried to work through everything that had happened. I tried to figure out how to move forward. I tried to make good decisions. It was a struggle. There were so many things to talk about, so many things to work through, so many things that I needed to say.

I was a very independent person – even back then. My therapist saw it, but he also saw how guarded my heart was. I was trying to protect it from being broken again and I was willing to protect it at any cost – even if it meant being a loner. I still hear his words to this day. “You don’t need anyone to save you, you can save yourself, but someday, it might be nice.” He’s right. I don’t need anyone to save me. I can save myself. One day maybe it’ll be nice. One day maybe I’ll be willing to take a chance with my heart. One day maybe I’ll find someone who’s worth the risk. 

My guilty pleasure from high school onward was Walker, Texas Ranger. Gosh – I still love that show to this day. But it was never the action that pulled me in. In was the way that the good guys always won. The way you knew everything was going to turn out. It was the way Walker protected Alex and how you could always tell how much they loved each other. I was never drawn to the fighting scenes – I was drawn to the way Walker loved Alex and I often wondered if anyone would ever look at me the way he looks at her. I understood it was a fictional television series, but in my childhood world of wondering what it was like when two people loved each other, Walker and Alex were the example I found and hung onto.  

I’ve loved animals since the beginning of time. Have you ever looked into an animal’s eyes? You can see straight into their souls. Each one has a story and each one has their own moods and emotions and attitudes. I wanted to go away and study pandas as a child. Then I wanted to ride free on the back of a horse. I thought about becoming a vet but science and I were never friends, I decided against it. Now I have dogs with dreams of recusing and fostering more one day. 

I love writing. Inspiration doesn’t always strike, but when it does, I can spend hours upon hours writing. Sometimes it’s a story that’s popped into my head. Sometimes it’s something that someone says to me. Sometimes it’s just how I’m feeling. I drift away from writing from time to time, but I tend to always find my way back to it. It’s the hobby I won’t let disappear, no matter how much time lapses. 

I want to get healthier. I want to finally run a mile without stopping. I want to look in the mirror and love what I see. I want to see what other people see in me. Sometimes I’m just not sure how. 

God and I have drifted apart many times throughout my life. I aim to be a good Christian, but in fall short daily. I will go periods of time without going to church or reading my Bible. I haven’t prayed daily in years. Yet, I know that despite all my struggles, God doesn’t leave my side. He walks with me and talks with me. He’s my comfort when I lay awake at night crying. He protects me when I can’t figure it out. Most of all, He loves me – despite everything that has happened in my life. 

Which leads me to here – what is the point in me writing all of this now? My friend said she wanted to understand why I’m so scared – she wanted to help. I don’t understand myself sometimes and I didn’t know where to start so I figure I’d start at the beginning. Sometimes it’s hard for me to sort through all the feelings running around my head, but it’s easier to sort through them when I write. 

I’m scared of falling into financial trouble like my dad. I’m scared I’ll marry the wrong person and have a marriage like my parents. I’m scared I’ll never have kids and if I do, they’ll lay awake at night questioning if I love them. I’m scared I’ll raise them the way I was raised, despite my promises to myself that I would never do that. I’m scared that I’ll never find a group of friends who I can rely on and will always be there whenever I need them. I’m scared of leaving my comfort zone and I’m scared of falling. I’m scared that I’ll always hear the words ringing in my head that I’ve heard all my life. I’m scared of having my heart broken again – I’ve barely survived it every time before when it’s broken. I’m scared of being in a loveless relationship. But most of all – I’m scared of missing out on wonderful things because I’m scared. 

There are people around me who I know will always be there for me. I’ve discovered which family members will be there through thick and thin; and which ones I need to set boundaries with. I’ve discovered co-workers who have become family. I’ve discovered a family I never knew I needed but always wanted.

Sometimes I feel guilty for this – for loving the people in my life. I’m on this path because my dad died. I’ve met most of these people as a result of this death. I wish I could say I would give all of them up to have him back – but honestly, I don’t want to go back to my childhood life. I just wish he could be here and I could keep them. It makes me feel guilty most days. But I can’t feel guilty for living. 

It’s often easier for other people to realize how strong you are as a person. When I look at my life, I don’t see myself as someone who is strong. I see myself as someone who has learned how to survive but at the expense of being fearful. Other people see a strong person who has overcome so much to get to where she is. 

Perhaps it’s easier for others to see our strength. We don’t see it within ourselves because we are too busy trying to figure out how to survive. Maybe it’s about taking a step back and realizing everything that you’ve overcome. Maybe it’s about realizing that there’s still a fight left within you. Maybe it’s about fighting for the life you’ve always dreamed of.

It’s not always easy to keep fighting for what I want, sometimes I need a nap from all of it. It feels like an endless battle. I’m not sure if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. 

But maybe if I fight long enough and hard enough I’ll finally have the family I’ve always dreamed of. 

“A warrior is the woman who gets up despite the enemy trying to destroy her. A woman who declares her victory before seeing it. A woman who believes she will receive her miracle because she knows the Lord she serves is alive and by her side.”

Let’s Just Talk…

When was the last time you had an open and honest conversation with someone? How did they react? Did you have a difference in opinion? Do you felt like they heard you when you spoke? Were they upset when you felt differently than them? Did they accuse you of judging them or tell you to never speak to them again? Halfway through the conversation, did they tell you that all you’re doing is arguing when you weren’t even aware that you were having an argument? Did you feel anything was accomplished or were you left feeling defeated and emotionally drained?

I’ve always felt that the best way to solve differences is to leave the line of communication opened but also be honest with your feelings without taking offense to how the other person is feeling. If I have a disagreement with someone, I want to be able to talk it out and I want to feel comfortable expressing to the other person exactly how I’m feeling without fear that they will think I’m judging them or being difficult – simply because I have a different opinion. Likeless, I won’t take offense to what the other person’s opinion is. Do you have a different opinion than me? Cool! That’s part of life and we are free to have as many opinions as we want. 

The problem comes when the other person doesn’t understand how to communicate and takes offense to everything that is said. You’re often left feeling like you’re walking on eggshells. You try to understand the other person, you ask what you can do to help, you try to understand the situation. If you give an opinion that is different, obviously you are judging the other person and that is a reason to be cut out of their life. 

I don’t do well with threats of any kind. I’ve cut people out of my life before and I couldn’t care less if someone cuts me out of theirs. I very firmly believes that God is in control and He lets people enter and exit our lives as needed. If someone feels the need to cut me out of their life, I see it as God’s Way of removing that person from my life. Why? I’m not always sure, but since I have faith in God, I trust Him. Perhaps that’s why that threat has always bothered me – either talk to me or don’t – I believe that God is ultimately in control. 

But what about if I have a different opinion than you? Is that judgment? Should I lie to you when I feel differently simply to avoid hurting your feelings? You should never hurt someone’s feelings on purpose – that’s mean. But having a difference in opinion is normal, healthy even. It allows people to grow and understand. The problem arises when someone views a difference in opinion as a judgment and takes offense to it. Perhaps that is a battle we will always be fighting – figuring out how to communicate with people who view words spoke as an attack against them when you’re only stating your opinion. 

However, there’s another part of communication. Sometimes, you need to be blunt. If I believe someone is being a brat, and then they are complaining to me, I will tell them how I feel – they are being a brat and need to knock it off because adults don’t act like that. It’s the same way my friends and family call me out when I’m acting like a brat – they give me their honest opinion of my actions and how I’m being perceived. What I do with that information is up to me. But the point is that someone cares enough to be blunt with me about the way I’m acting, the same way I care enough about other people to be blunt with them. 

Perhaps communication is difficult for all people. Most arguments and disagreements could be solved if people were open to honest communication. The problem is, a lot of the time, people don’t want to communicate. They want people to be on their side and if they aren’t, they take offense. What happened to being able to communicate without fear that someone would take it the wrong way? What happened to have a healthy conversation and working out problems? What  happened to communication?

Resolutions and Such…

Five years ago I had just survived the worse year ever (no, 2017, that is not a challenge). In addition to losing my dad, I had broken my promise to God, failed classes, moved, and tried to figure out how to make it in my new world. I had started therapy. I felt lost. 

There was this website I used to be involved in – moreloveletters.com – the normal objective was to write letters to strangers and send those letters to them. However, at the end of 2011, the creator of the site issued a new letter writing mission for January 2012 – write a letter to yourself, mail it to them, and they would mail it back in January 2013. Craft the perfect love letter to yourself. It was exactly what I needed to do at that time. 

I spent a good part of January working on my letter. For me, it wasn’t just a letter, it was everything that I wanted for 2012. I mailed it off at the end of the month and wouldn’t see it again for a year. 

I don’t remember the exact contents of the letter, and I know I have it somewhere. It wasn’t really a letter – more like an art project – I made a book, filled with hope for the new year. One part that I held onto, even after I mailed it, and I still hold onto to til this day. “This year – I didn’t wish to get a boyfriend or to save money or to lose weight – I just want to be happy.” Although the order I listed those three things in might be off, those were the ideas I most often associated with happiness when I was younger. However, as 2011 became 2012, I found myself not wanting any of those things, I only wanted to be happy. 

Happiness seems like such a simple idea from the outside. Of course anyone can be happy, but when you feel like you’ve lost all your happiness, when you can’t even figure out how to be happy anymore, that’s when you find yourself starting from square one. That’s where I was – I spent the year focusing on taking care of myself and doing things that would make me happy. I began to learn to love myself and the new life I was thrown into. And when things started to drag me down, I reflected on my only goal for the year – be happy. 

I made some big decisions in 2012. I prayed about them a lot. I talked to my friends about them a lot. I thought about what was best for everyone else. Then I asked myself what was best for me (and my dogs). I chose the things I thought would get me to where I wanted to go, while refusing to let my dogs go – somehow, someway, all three of us were going to make it through 2012 and I would determined to always give them, and myself, the best life possible. 

I stopped making resolutions after that year. Instead, every New Years, I think about the resolution I made so many years ago – be happy. When something in my life has me down, I reflect and decide if it’s truly making me happy, and if the answer is no, I make a change. When my only resolution is to be happy, all the other changes take place when they need to, not just on New Years. This year, while I stopped making resolutions years ago, I continue to reflect on the last one I made – be happy. 

Teacher’s Pet | Golden Child | Chosen One

The things that people feel the need to call others is mind-blowing. I’m not talking about nicknames or names that your friends call you – both of which are typically good natured or an inside joke, showing that you’re familiar with the other person and comfortable with them. I’m talking about the names that are said to aggravate you – not directly negative but that cut at your soul.

I’ve been called a “teacher’s pet” for as long as I can remember. I was always a good student – straight As – I knew the answer in every class, except Science, but even then, I studied hard and made an A still. I grew up knowing that studying was my one way to get a better life for myself. My parents didn’t graduate college, my dad dropped out and my mom never attended. Their parents didn’t either. My dad and I had talked about me going to college since before I could remember. My education was very important and he wanted to make sure I got to where I wanted to go. I was setting an example for my younger brothers. Some subjects came easy to me, others not so much. But I studied. And my dad helped me study. And I participated in class and my teachers knew they could count on me. Did that make me a pet? Debatable. I always saw it as being a good student. I wanted to succeed in life. I wanted a better life for myself. I wanted to get away from all the bad things that had happened. My education was the key to that and I wasn’t about to let that go – even when people called me a pet. 

In college I was too busy with work and school – I barely made it by because I never had enough time. No one can consider you a pet when you’re average like the rest of the class. It was a refreshing change, but one I struggled with. Although I enjoyed no longer being referred to as a pet, and I liked being able to blend in with the crowd in college, I knew by slacking in my studies that I was not living up with my full potential. I walked the line between needing my full time job and needing more time to succeed in school. I passed college, barely at times, but I passed and I made plans to go back for my Masters degree when the time is right – ideally the next two years. 

Entering the workforce as an adult proved difficult at times. Although I had been working since I was seventeen, I wasn’t prepared to deal with some of the attitudes the bigger city had to offer. People once again saw me doing my job as being a pet. I’ve never understood that notion and I don’t think I want to. If you do your job and get along with your coworkers, your boss will get along with you. If you prove that you can be trusted and relied upon, your boss will in turn trust and rely on you. If you go the extra mile, it will pay off. 

When I switched jobs and started working in a different department for a company, I found myself lost in a sea of individuals who had at least a decade of experience on me. I felt intimidated – I was the youngest one in the department and I felt I always had to prove my worth. I had been the youngest person at my first job for five years, but that was a small town restaurant, this was a big city company and I had a lot to prove. I threw myself into learning everything I could about my job and the company and I threw myself into helping to fix problems. I knew I had good ideas, but as the new and youngest person, I knew I had to take the time to build trust and respect. I did those things. I put in the time. I came up with the ideas and implemented them. I went the extra mile. When someone asked me to help with something, I always did whatever I could to solve the problem. I asked questions because I genuinely wanted to know the answer and how to fix my own problems. I spoke up and let my voice be heard, but I also learned to pick my battles and I learned when to back down and abandon a project. I also learned when to keep pushing a project until someone heard me. 

I did everything I knew I had to do to set myself up for success. Where did it land me?

“You’re the teacher’s pet.”

“You’re the Golden Child.”

“You’re the Chosen one.”

I’m sorry – but what world have I just been transported into. These people have children my age and feel the need to say that. How would they feel if someone said that about their children?

In the next sentence they would tell me that I had earned whatever good things happened to me and they knew I would succeed and do well. It was confusing. When someone calls you a pet, it makes you feel like you’re being handed something – that you didn’t earn it on your own. When that same person tells you that they know you’ve earned something, it contridicts itself. It’s complicated. 

Are they upset about something not related to me at all?

Are they frustrated because they feel like their hard work hasn’t paid off?

Are they discouraged because they feel my voice was heard and theirs was not?

People are always going to have opinions about everything. It’s not always easy to listen to them – especially when someone you view as a friend has an opinion about you that seems harsh. You can’t control how others feel about things and trying to fix it won’t get you anything if they aren’t willing to let you in. 

It’s at that point that you’re left with two options. You can either let their words eat at your soul or you can shrug it off and realize that as long as you’re doing what you need to do and not hurting anyone in the process, you’re going to be just fine. 

It’s not always easy to shrug it off. Words can cut at a person’s soul. But it’s important to not let those words ruin your life. You have to keep being true to yourself. Everything else will work out. 

“You are not your dad. You’re Chelsea.”

How often do we find ourselves comparing ourselves to our parents? I feel it’s a daily occurance in my life. Conversations drift to how I don’t want to be like my parents. Don’t get my wrong – my dad was the best dad I could ever ask for. My mom – we’ve had our struggles but I’ve finally come to a point where I except our relationship for what it is. 

However, I still find myself referencing how I don’t want to be like them. 

For my dad, the common topics are:

  • I don’t want to have financial trouble like my dad.
  • I don’t want to have heart problems like my dad. 
  • I don’t want to die young like my dad. 
  • I don’t want to struggle with my weight for my entire life like my dad. 
  • I don’t want to ever question if my spouse loves me like my dad. 
  • I don’t want to miss out of my kids growing up like my dad. 
  • I don’t want to worry about my health like my dad. 

For my mom, the topics are more emotionally based:

  • I don’t want my kids to ever question if I love them. 
  • I don’t want to rely on someone for every aspect of my livelyhood. 
  • I don’t want to be desperate to be in a relationship. 
  • I don’t want my kids to ever feel like I’m discouraging them. 
  • I don’t want to not pull my own weight in my future marriage. 
  • I don’t want to ever treat anyone the way my mom treats me. 
  • I don’t want anyone to doubt me when I’m telling the truth. 

And then there’s the biggest “I don’t want” of them all:

  • I don’t want to get married or have kids because I refuse to ever take the chance of turning out like them. 

That last one is also the biggest lie on the face of the planet. I do want to get married and have kids – one day – when I’m ready, when God knows I’m ready. I’m no where near ready and sometimes I get tired of being asked so I revert to the aforementioned lie. Not that I promote lying – sometimes I just get tired of having the same conversations and claiming I don’t want to get married or have kids is easier than admitting I’m scared it might never happen. 

Then there’s the bigger issue – I spend so much time comparing myself to my parents and how I don’t want to turn out like them. I don’t want the health or financial problems of my dad. I don’t want the emotional distress of my mom. I have made so many life choices based around it turning out like them, that sometimes I question if I’m happy with my life or simply trying to avoid repeating the past. 

Eating healthy and going to the gym to avoid health problems is a good decision – any doctor will tell you that. Is keeping a second job because I’m scared I’ll fall into a financial hole like my dad a good decision? Am I scared of having a relationship with a guy – or heck, a good relationship with family – because I’m scared I’ll become completely dependent on other people?

Then there’s the biggest dilemma – I have spent so much of my life doing things simply because they are the opposite of what my parents did. I remember being a child and making a pack with my younger brothers to never treat our children how our mom treated us. And I’ve continued to make packs with them, and with myself, ever since. 

The question becomes – how much time and energy am I spending doing the opposite of what my parents did? Or doing something out of fear that I’ll become them? Am I letting fear run my life?

I like to think of myself as a strong independent woman with a mind of her own, so the thought that I could be letting fear run my life scares me. Perhaps it’s time to stop thinking of life decisions in “I don’t want tos” and start thinking of them in “I want tos” – instead of “I don’t want heart problems like my dad” it becomes “I want to have a healthy heart” or even “I will have a healthy heart.” Changing how I phrase the statement and setting my mind to that. Change it from a negative into a positive. 

No one wants to repeats the mistakes of the past. Sometimes it’s hard when we feel like the mistakes are all around and a part of everything we are. It’s hard when you had a rough childhood, not as tough as some, but still rough, and feel like people don’t understand you because of it. 

The important thing is to remember we are all individuals. We are in charge of the choices we make and the things we do. All it takes is wanting to make a change. 

I Wonder if Dreams are a Gift from God

I don’t remember all my dreams. I could count on one hand the number of dreams I remember having. Sometimes I’ll remember a dream right when I wake up, but it slowly fades as I start my day. 

Then there are the other dreams – the dreams that never leave my mind. One dream I’ve held onto for years, the other occurred just the other night and I have a feeling I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. I know there have been other dreams throughout my life – we dream every night – but most don’t make sense or we simply can’t remember. 

Sometimes I wonder if the dreams we do remember are sent from God as a way of comforting us. Perhaps they’re just figments of our imagaination, but yet, I can’t help but wonder. The dreams I remember are the ones that leave me with a new sense of hope and promise for the future. 

The first dream I recall vividly occurred a couple weeks after my dad died. I dreamed my dad, mom, brothers, and I were all driving to a nearby town. My brothers and I were crammed into the backseat of the car – we hadn’t all ridden together in years and I didn’t understand why we were now. I sat directly behind my dad. I was very confused. I remembered him dying, but his body was before me. Dream me asked him about it. “Dad, you died. I know you died. How are you here?” I questioned him. He glanced in the rearview mirror back at me. The words dream dad said still comfort me to this day. “God knew you needed me so He sent me back for the day, but I can’t stay, I have to go back.” Dream me accepted this answer. I awake with a new sense of peace. Like everything was going to be okay. And it was. Overtime, everything was okay. 

The other dream I vividly remember occurred the other night. I’ve currently been knee deep in this book all The Single Woman by Mandy Hale. It’s a great book – very empowering and uplifting. While I love being a single woman at the moment, and that book helps me remember why, deep down in my soul I still long to be a mother – one day, when the time is right and if God chooses to bless with marriage and children. As I fell asleep that night, I dreamed a wonderful dream. I was in the hospital. I was standing and looking over the bed where this beautiful baby boy was laying. I knew immediately that this precious bundle was my son. I stood there – completely amazed. Dream me took in every detail about him and was amazed – everything that had happened in life had led dream me to that moment – and dream me was sure she would do it all over again. I didn’t see my husband. I couldn’t tell what hospital we were in. I wasn’t sure when it was. However, I awake completely content with a new sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, my dreams would come true one day. 

Now, I’m not saying God sent either of those dreams to me. They very well could be figments of my imagination that my subconscious created to bring me a sense of peace. I just awake feeling better than I had in a long time. 

And so sometimes I wonder if dreams are a gift from God – reassuring us that everything will be okay, our dreams and hopes for the future will come true – we just have to hang on a little longer and perhaps a little tighter. 

Almost

Almost is one of the saddest words ever. 

I almost got the job. 

You almost finished the race. 

He almost loved her. 

She almost made it. 

They almost saved that person. 

Almost. 

So close, yet so far away. 

Close enough to reach out, not close enough to touch. 

When your best truly wasn’t good enough. 

But almost can also be the happiest word ever. 

I almost quit – but I didn’t. 

You almost failed – but you didn’t. 

He almost lost her – but he didn’t. 

She almost didn’t make it – but she did. 

They almost didn’t cross the finish line – but they did. 

Almost. 

You were so close to not completing the task, but you did. 

Quitting was not an option. 

You can try and almost make it, but then you’ve failed yourself. 

You can try and almost not make it, but you do make it. 

Almost – the saddest and the happiest word.