A friend of mine asked me tonight what I wanted to be “when I grow up.” I started listing off all the things I wanted to achieve. He said, “Ah, so you want to be everything.” I thought about it for a minute and we continued on our conversation. As we talked, I thought about this. What do I want to be? I used to want to be everything, but then I realized something. What I want to be, I already am and I’m continuously becoming more of who I’ve worked so hard on up to this point. What I want to be is me. I want to be me to my fullest. Who is that woman in the mirror? She is a mother, she is a writer, she is a healer, she is a giver, and she is a leader. She knows how to hurt, she knows how to suffer, she knows how to laugh, she knows how to cry and most of all, she knows how to love. It’s not from a title, it’s from an inner knowledge of self.
This woman in the mirror has been broken to the point where she has been shattered. She has learned to pick up the pieces time and time again. Each time she finds a way to pick up the pieces again somehow and love with that much more power and that much more intensity. How is that possible you ask? Well, it’s because this woman in the mirror believes that she can. Even in the moments of despair where she is down on her knees begging God to help her find the way, she knows that she has got to keep moving and she has got to keep the hope that the pain that is consuming her heart will eventually transform into what she needs to rise again. She knows that she will, because this is not the worst it has been…
At 39 years old, I have encountered many forms of loss. I learned different forms of heartbreak. I learned what it felt like to be abandoned and shamed. I grew up fast and learned that I could make people smile. I could feel love if I put on a show, so I did. I sang, I danced, I performed, and I created happiness, even if just for a moment. It gave me hope that it was possible to make a difference by being larger than life and giving my all to fill my world with joy.
So, that is what I did and it came from my heart. I also learned that when you do this, you find what it’s like to feel deeply. When you want to make people happy, you teach yourself that the only time you are happy is when you are pleasing the crowd. When you are not able to make people happy you are at a loss. You don’t know what to do and your heart starts to feel loss and it becomes as easy to cry as it does to laugh. You also learn what it takes to pick yourself up and keep going. Some people get jaded by this, and some take it and use it to start to understand the value they bring to the world. I did the latter. I started to see how powerful it was to love with my whole heart, knowing the likelihood of getting hurt was very possible, but the hope that I would eventually succeed was my driving force. It also gave me the motivation to start to try anything and everything possible to make not only other people, but myself happy. I have lived lifetimes of experiences in this single life of mine. I have felt pain, I have felt pleasure, I have been broken and I have been full. I have loved and I have lost. Each time it was different, each time I found a way to become stronger, because I believed I could.
All of these experiences have given me an understanding of love, loss, devastation and triumph that few can understand. I have wandered the streets with beer bottles and blow, and have danced in mansions with martinis and musicians. I have been able to tap into my gifts, talents, and stories which have become the treasures that I take to create me and I will never stop believing that anything is possible, it just might not look like exactly how I planned it, there will be surprises that throw me off my path and that will be the beauty in it, because the entire journey will be my very own. It’s like when you break a bone. Yes, it will heal. It will be weaker and maybe even heal a bit funny and it will never be quite the same. It’s the same way with a heart. When it breaks, it changes you. Each time you will feel it. Each time it will hurt. Each time it will look different than the last time, but each time it will eventually heal. You become more than you ever thought you could be and more.
So, what does this woman in the mirror want to be when she grows up? Everything she already is and more. She will have the scars and the stories to prove it. And you better believe she’s going to guide as many people down their own path of truth as she can so they too can be everything they are as well. If you should ever be willing to cross her path, be brave enough to let her take your hand for the dance of your lifetime.