Full Circle

“I’m proud of you.”

An awesome emotion to express, an awesome statement to receive. Connie is one of the first friends in my life to tell me she’s proud of me. When I read a text like that from her, I feel loved. I’ve been listening a little harder when I hear about pride.

Ethiopia felt like a selfish trip until I arrived.  Wonderful in so many ways, but also challenging. In making the choice to volunteer, I did what I needed to do to make it a reality (3 years in the making). Coworker pointed out these positive patterns in my life, and at first I brushed him off.  I listened again.

Today Coworker gave me a gift of Dr. Pepper. The best. A sweet and unwarranted surprise. He said he was proud of me for the work I’ve done in my life recently. And then I forced him into a personal reflection, which left him reeling on the ground clutching a pillow for a few minutes.

I’ve come to call 2016, “the year I was depressed.” Sometimes I think of it as a year I wasted with feeling down, sad, dwelling on things out of my control. Losing Ron was awful. Losing him the day before a break up made it harder. I wanted to talk to Ron about my relationship whoas, and I wanted to process Ron’s death with a person I could no longer rely on.

I remember a moment in therapy when I was crying and frustrated he couldn’t see he was making a mistake. One day he would realize I was right, that we could make things work and our relationship was worth it. I was worth it. I don’t feel that way anymore. I’ve worked hard to grow as a person, develop confidence, and accept myself in my life.

Yesterday was finally the moment when I could have yelled, “I told you so!!” Pointing my fingers and proclaiming I was right. But when he told me the words- it was not your fault…I took it out on you…you are an amazing person…there is nothing wrong with you… I felt almost nothing. Because I already knew those things to be true (thanks therapist). And I found it in myself, I didn’t need to hear it from him. I didn’t need to hear it from a friend, those weren’t the lost words Ron would have spoke. It took awhile but it feels different, it feels good.  I am proud of myself.

I’ve worried this euphoric happiness since Ethiopia is a sneaky cover for something hidden beneath. Coworker said maybe it’s not… it’s just me.

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Celebrate

Saturday was my Colorado Party! I was surprised how many people came out to celebrate. My heart felt so full.

Today I realized it was more than “Becca in Colorado turns 4.” It was celebrating myself, surrounded by the people that showed up in my life when I needed them. As I’ve written, this year threw me overboard. While it’s hard to lean on others, I acknowledge the importance of supporting each other when things are tough, and being grateful, joyful with each other when things are great. I remember earlier this year worrying about being a burden, being a downer, looking miserable. A few things I was told: “They’re your friends, they want to be there for you,” “Most of us are therapists, everyone in this room can handle your tears,” and “Don’t worry, we’re your family.” These words came from significant, yet not expected, stellar people in my life. It felt so wonderful to invite my people together, in my home, looking happy, simply because I asked them to.

As a female, I do my fair share celebrating significant life changes as they occur for people around me. Don’t get me wrong, no emotion compares with feeling intense happiness for another person. In the same breathe, I want to celebrate other things that happen in our lives, from accomplishing career goals, performances, buying property, or simply feeling better after a crappy few months- life can have so much to celebrate.

My 92 year old Great Aunt recently said, “You better hurry up and get married.” And while yes, that is the path society tells me I should take, (darn you romantic comedies!) how can I be upset with my single, adult life? If I were to regret not having a husband, it would be regretting the multitude of adventures I’ve experienced, the people that crossed into my life, and even the plain ole personal growth that has made me who I am. How could I ask for anything more? That is more than enough reason to celebrate.

#respectmyjourney