I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m about to quote country music at you…
“Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know.
Life’s a dance you learn as you go.”
-John Michael Montgomery in “Life’s a Dance”
So, growing up, I was exposed to all kinds of music, including 90’s country. Growing up in the Lone Star State, how could I not be exposed to more country caterwauling than any one human should ever have to endure? I digress…
This song is one of a select few that’s stuck with me my whole life since.
I’ve traveled an interesting road. I spent a couple years wandering the country, homeless and broke, with my ex wife. Spent ten years of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t for a multitude of reasons, none of which were all that good. I’ve taken part in spiritual practices that would make your hair stand on end. I remarried, to a man I met on the internet and moved across the country to be with him. I’ve made good decisions along the way, but also made a lot of bad ones. I’ve lived in seven different states and seen more people pass in and out of my life than I care to count. I’ve burned bridges that might have been better left intact; I’ve held onto people and things that might have been better thrown overboard. Each chapter of my life is full of stories, good and bad; enough to fill several books with, I’m sure.
All the time, I was learning. I was stumbling, falling down, tripping on my own feet, picking myself back up, tripping over other people, breaking down one wall, running into the next… But here’s the thing…
I regret nothing.
Most people don’t believe me when I say that. The more of my story they know, the harder it is for them to believe.
Every piece of my story, every single line, has made me who I am today, and you know what?
I’m pretty fucking awesome!
I’m smart, geeky, curious, capable, and hell, I’ll say it: I’m beautiful! I’m so many things, but most of all, I’m self-aware. I’m not afraid to make mistakes and I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve learned to do all the cliches like taking the good with the bad and getting back on the horse and… you get the idea.
Am I always happy? No. Certainly not, that’s ridiculous. No one is happy all the time. I cry, scream, flail, and even wallow in depression sometimes. The difference between me-that-is and me-that-was is that once I pull myself up by my bootstraps again, I move on and move up. I know that each experience has taught me something that will serve me well, going forward. That lesson might be something simple like, “Watch where you’re going or you’re going to kick the bed and crack your toe.” Sometimes, the lessons are far more profound. Occasionally, the lessons are life-changing.
So, this is me, World. Take it or leave it. I’m the full package, with storied past and plenty of flaws, but if you can get past that, there’s a whole lot of awesome in here that I’m happy to share.
As a wise baboon once said,
“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”
– Rafiki in “The Lion King”
Get out there and learn something, my dears.