With this new year I have been doing a lot of contemplation on my life. I have been thinking about life events and how they shape us but are they supposed to define us? Each of us has story but can we let it be or do we need it ? This is the thought I want to talk about.
It was not that long ago that I was living a very, very different life from the one I have today. A dear friend had this talk with me two years ago. I was still pretty deep into my grieving process and trying to move forward but resisting it at the same time. I had a vision for myself and this new chapter in my life but, honestly, it scared the crap out of me and I felt guilty leaving my other life. It is ironic, that guilt, because I did not choose to leave that life and never would have. It left me. So I found myself living in a new city, trying new things, dreaming and always looking back. My friend recognized this in me and she gave me this thought that helped to change the way I was thinking and living. She said you have a big story of you and Paul (my late husband) and it is meaningful and important but what about Keri? Can you step outside of that story because you are here? At first those questions cut through me and they caused pain but along with that came insight so deep that I could not ignore it. I was allowing my life to be defined as tragic, beautiful, but sad. I was/ am fully aware of the beauty of that life and a few others knew of it too but to so many I had a tragic and sad story to tell and I must be so strong because how was I carrying on. No, no, no, I did not/ do not want to be that person. I respect and love that chapter in my book but I have a new chapter to write and I respect and love this one too. It is exciting and it is mine! I do not want it to be defined. In fact, I tend to like to escape definitions and expectations. That is an underlying theme in my new chapter. My past influences my everyday but it does not define it. It is not my crutch. The guilt is gone.
I encourage you to step outside your story and let that story be. It isn't going anywhere but you might be ready to, so go on, git!