This past year has been one of great personal growth for me. I have learned so many new things, discovered hidden talents and realized true self-love for the first time in my life. Some of the things I learned happened by the conscious choices I made to learn things that would take me out of my comfort zone. Others were due to situations over which I had no control. And still others were from people who shared their wisdom with me.
After my breakup in March of 2017, I decided that I would never again feel that I “needed” anyone else to make me happy. I had to do a lot of work to remember who I really was and what was vitally important to me. When I say a lot of work, I mean a LOT of work. There were times I felt like giving up my quest to recover the real me, but I persevered and I have never looked back. I am living a very joyous life, filled with wonderful people. I have never had as much fun as I am having now. I have never laughed as much! I have never felt more loved or valued as a person. Every single day I do things that make me happy. Every single day I do whatever I can do to add joy to the lives of the people with whom I interact.
I have learned that although having a partner…and by partner I mean a romantic love interest, is wonderful (or at least it should be), it is not something I feel I am missing. I like men…a lot…and there are many important men in my life. I enjoy the company of men every day. They bring me great joy! Every one of them has taught me something special. That being said, I must say that I am very glad I do not have to live with one! I have found that I DO need my own space…my own home. I can have company whenever I wish, but I do not have to change my life to suit anyone else. If I ever do fall in love again, and I am not ruling that out, I will never share a home with anyone full-time. I have seen relationships like this work for so many people and I know that it would work for me.
I thought I knew everything I needed to know about friendship, but I was wrong. I don’t think anyone can ever know everything about any subject. Recently I was reminded that there are many different kinds of friends, but the one thing about true friends is that they are always your friend regardless of how often you see them or talk to them. They are not influenced by what others think about your or say about you. I feel so very lucky that I have many true friends in my life. I am a very social being and I need others in my life. I also need those people to understand that there are times when I also need solitude. Again, I am so lucky to have this.
Sometimes I am absolutely stunned to realize that there are people I know, who I thought were strong, smart and very self-confident, who turned out to be exactly the opposite. They let others bully them and control them. I wish that I could understand how that happens to people, because in understanding, maybe I could make a difference in their lives. Sometimes, you just have to walk away and hope that these people will see that they deserve to be treated in a respectful way and be allowed to make their own decisions about their lives.
The two people who have taught me the most in the last year are my grandchildren. Sadie is four years old, going on forty. She is wise beyond her years. She has taught me that one never has to fear change. Change is an adventure, to be cherished and regarded with great anticipation for whatever it may bring. Sadie taught me that it is possible for lives to change in major ways and yet still be wonderful. We can learn so much from little children!
Little Cooper, just over 19 months old, and completely non-verbal right now, has also taught me that we are all resilient, that we can adapt to whatever happens in our lives. We may take a while to get there, but we can, quite quickly, adapt to almost any change in our lives. All we need in order to do that is to expect a great adventure and look at everything with the excitement and joy that little children exhibit when encountering new things in their lives.
Sadie also taught me that there are “real” people and “not real” people. She taught me that gratitude is so very important. She gave me a “gratitude” rock and told me to rub it every night and to say “out loud” at least three things for which I am grateful. When I told her that I have kept a gratitude journal for years, she told me it was okay for me to write these things down since nobody lives with me and there isn’t anyone who would hear me if I said them out loud.
Every single day that I spend with my grandchildren, I learn something about adapting to change and also about how to find joy in the most ordinary things. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.
Remember that we all can learn valuable lessons about life from almost anyone…keep your eyes and ears open, all the time. Most important, keep your heart open to everyone you meet as they are in your life for a reason. Live…Laugh…Love every single day…as much as you can.