I often wonder how my view of this small town, my home town, where I returned in 2003, has changed for myself or is different than the views of friends who left long ago. I used to only see the the poverty all around me. It's still there, and I still see it. But, I'm going to sound Pollyanna here, I now see more.
Don't get me wrong: Moving home felt like failing. Felt like the universe pulling me into a fate it had in mind for me all along and that I might even have known subconsciously but thought I would escape. I felt swindled. Cheated. Disappointed. And all I saw were broken places and people all around me.
Ah, the education I have received since then. I came home in a flury of importance and dreams, for myself, my husband and my new baby. I was used to city living, drove a new car, worked at a corporate office and just bought and sold our first house within the last year. I remember standing in our new driveway thinking, "This is success."
My home town hasn't changed perhaps as much as I have. And the "me" since high school is strong enough to take just about anything - even moving home - that life throws at me. After a few years of serious soul searching, first brought on by moving home and later by my son's diagnosis of epilepsy, I think I'm here because I'm supposed to be here. At least for now. And I'd like to think I haven't come to these conclusions out of mental necessity, but rather because I've learned a little about life and myself in the process.
I used to live to work. I now work to live. I used to define myself by my profession. I now try not to put myself in a box of definition and strive instead to do the best in all my roles - wife, mother and yes, employee. Such colloquial wisdom - do your best - is more powerful than I thought.
I've been wandering over to the previously shunned self-help section of the bookstore these last few years, trying to find answers, solace, something/anything, and one of the best books I've read is The Four Agreements, found here on Amazon. It suggests we all make four agreements with ourselves:
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don't take anything personally
3. Don't make assumptions
4. Do your best
I'll explore the whole do-your-best theme in a follow-up post, but it goes along with another theme I've adopted - the it-is-what-it-is concept - which also goes a little deeper for those with an open mind and heart willing to explore what it means to be truly present in our life.
So, this is where I'm at today, August 11, 2010. And it's miles from where I started. 7 years ago and 38 years ago. Where I've been or where I'm going isn't today. And today, I'm just going to do my best.
So, if my first post is a little reflective, my next probably will follow suit. However, I promise to get into all that other, more fun stuff you find in a small town - 4x4s, hunting/killing, diners, mullets and so much more in future posts. Join me for the journey ...