Today I want to talk to you about one of the most important things I’ve ever done.
When I was twenty-nine I was at a low point in my life. I was separated from my son’s father, on welfare, going to college so I could get my clerical degree. I spent over four hours a day on the bus, and I lived in a drug infested neighborhood in the middle of a major city. I was tired, discouraged and broke.
I came to the slow realization that something in my life needed to change and that something was me.
I wrote down a list of five things I wanted (material things for the un-material girl).
1. A house
2. A snow machine (even in Fresno, I was an Alaskan at heart)
3. A camper
4. My own vehicle
5. and most of all, I wanted to move back home.
Not to a specific house from my childhood, but the place I lived longest as a kid. To Alaska. It took me a year to save a pitiful amount of money.
Then I totaled my truck which I had for sale. My plan had been to use the truck money to purchase the tickets. Instead I sold it for scrap. It was a very disheartening day. A lot of people would have given up then, I refused to. (Don’t think it ever entered my mind). I told my former mother in law (who lived up here) It would take me a while longer, she paid for my trip. (I will always have a fondness for this lady, who unlike her son treated me with the utmost respect and kindness and whom I still feel I owe!)
People gave me sage advice about moving, like.. “You know, women can’t make it in Alaska,” (From one of my relatives believe it or not.) “It’s too hard, you’ll freeze to death.” “You shouldn’t be doing this to your son.”
So in 96, I moved up here anyway. I’ve left only for family vacations (3x in 16 years). My father was here for about a year, then he split, so I was without family or a support for years. I’ve spun out on ice, ruined the rim on my car (so broke, I still don’t remember how I could afford to get it fixed), had the washing machine, the dryer AND the well pump all go out in the same month. I’ve shoveled my driveway a good dozen times each winter, saw the death of several of my beloved dogs, planted flowers, and discovered new places to explore every summer.
So what about my goals? I bought a camper (it was a screaming deal, and I had no truck! It was old but so sturdy it could survive an earthquake). A few years later I got a used snow machine. The struts were gone, but it was as steady as a rock. The bank and I own my house, small dinky two bedroom, but heck, less cleaning!
Why am I bringing all this up? Because it’s life. There are times in your life where you will want to do more, and you’ll stop yourself. You’ll freeze in place, unable to move. You’ll say, no, I can’t write that book. I can’t climb that mountain, or create that work of art. You might even tell yourself not to make a snow man in your own front yard. You’ll say, what if the neighbors see? Trust me, as long as you’re not naked building the snow man, they really won’t care. They might even go outside and make one to! Or they might stay in side, toasty warm and jealous as spit.
Life is so short, and each and every one of us has so many challenges just to get through the day. I’m just saying, don’t limit yourself. Refuse to let that no, into your heart. (unless your a stalker then trust me, he meant the word NO).
There will be nay sayer’s, you will get put down. You will get bullied and pushed around. People will tell you that you can’t do whatever it is you want to, but I say, it’s your life! The only person you can guarantee to stick up for you is you! So grab that paint brush, open a new word document, or pick up the phone and make that call! It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to get started and isn’t today a good day for that?