I’m a writer. It’s in my heart and, quite frankly, I’m convinced it’s in my blood. My father could write, I had a grandmother who wrote a book of poetry, and now I know that my daughter can write as well. She’s always enjoyed writing and has been very good at creating wonderfully descriptive, fictional stories when asked to in school. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I truly heard the inner writer come out.
I was running late, getting in the shower and she wanted to show me her grade on a paper she wrote for Honors English. I didn’t want to blow her off, but I REALLY needed to hurry or we were going to be late. So, I told her to read her paper to me once I was in the shower, and consequently, I’m glad I was already wet because it made the tears fit the scene. As she read her 3-page paper, I was convinced that she would continue to do just as I have, creating a bond between herself and writing, even if only for her own strength and comfort. She could go on to do more with it but, like me, I believe she’ll use it to impact whatever or whoever it is she’s helping rather than having it as a lifelong career. She’s passionate about people, even if she doesn’t feel comfortable with strangers or making new friends; which is quite opposite of her mother I might add.
Her story was self-reflective, talking about who she is, where she came from and explaining why she is the way she is. She is confident. She is awesome (she says so in her paper!). And she knows how to make her momma cry. She talked about me in a way that I hadn’t heard before. She said things that I only hoped she had felt. And she understood that, even though life is difficult at times, we are who we are because of what we do with the situations we are presented with. It was the best thing she’s ever written and I am proud. I don’t think it’s fair to get into all the details but I will tell you one thing, she’s going places.
Last night, I confessed to a room full of women that I’m scared about letting her go. On one hand, I’m worried that she’s going to make the same mistakes I have in the past but on the other, I don’t believe anything I’ve ever done is a mistake because it led me to right where I am; and let me tell you, this place is pretty cool! I explained something that I tell Aubrey often and that is, as parents, our job is to raise our children to be better than we are. When I look at her, at almost 15, I know I’m doing something right, yet I worry that she’s going to make the wrong decision. Here’s where the tears came, in front of that group of amazing women…I’m so afraid that she’s going to make a bad decision that I don’t let her get into a situation where she CAN make one.
At some point, I’m going to have to let her go, little by little, knowing that I did a good job. I know I’ve made an impression because of what she wrote yesterday and the choices she makes each day. It’s just a matter of convincing myself that, even if she makes a poor choice, it will be her choice to make. However, I know that she’s already far stronger than I was at her age. I pour my knowledge into her. I’m open, honest and a little less than discrete with her at times. I don’t want her to question things, or wonder, “what if?”
I can confidently say this morning, that I have done a good job; not to get a pat on the back, but just to be honest about all of the “what if’s” in my life. Like…
“What if I would have not finished college?” “What if I wouldn’t have put my all into being a mom?” “What if I wouldn’t have been a single mom for so long?” “What if I would have stayed where I was for so long because it was comfortable?”
What if, What if, What if?
Then, this morning, I continued to read a book that I’ve been getting up early for lately. I didn’t make it very far before something jumped out at me.
“Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.” ~Lysa TerKeurst
It brought me back to all of those “what if’s” and suddenly, I had the answer I didn’t even know I had been searching for. People say that we are the product of our circumstances, yet I sit here, reading this sentence understanding one very important thing…we CREATE our circumstances. Sure, there are unavoidable things that happen to us in our lives, but they do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT, dictate what our choices will be. My life would have been so much different had I not made the conscious choice to step out of a path that would have taken me down a road that I would have not allowed me to be who I was to be.
That’s it folks. It’s really that simple. My amazing daughter, is a product of the circumstances that I created for myself and I’m pretty darn proud of that. Knowing what she knows, sharing what I know with her and being surrounded by people that she is, I know that no matter what situation she’s in, Aubrey will make the choice that is best for her. Regardless of whether I think it’s wrong or right, it will be what she needs to bring her to a similar point in her life, 20 years from now. I envision her sitting on her bed, typing away in the wee hours of the morning, sharing her understanding of life as she knows it.
We have to believe that whatever it is we’re going through is either A. directly reflective of a choice we made or B. something that we will later look back on and see as an opportunity to grow, to learn, to have a story to share with someone going through the same thing later on.
Don’t feel discouraged. Don’t feel stuck. Don’t feel like you can be anything less than the best YOU. We can all make a difference somewhere, doing something but we have to first make a difference in ourselves, then in those around us before we can impact the world. As Stephen Covey once said, put first things first.
I really have no idea where this came from, but I’m certainly glad it came out here. My heart to write is evident, but it’s up to me to make the decision to share it. I choose to share. These words keep coming up everywhere I go so I’m going to repeat them again – BE INTENTIONAL. In all you do, in all you say, in all you are.
Thanks for hanging in there. Hope this helps someone today. Praying for you all.