For those that read my last post, Who am I? Why am I Here?, you have learned that I have recently engaged in an online course called Blogging 101, in an effort to improve my skill in the fine art of blogging. I am now on to assignment number four.
No, I’m not that speedy. The other two assignments were behind the scene improvements that you hardly notice, kind of like the nutmeg in your eggnog.
For assignment four, I am asked to identify my audience. In doing this, it is suggested that I write a post directed specifically at one person. Much like a letter, I suppose. I did do this once in my post, I Survived Having You as a Father. But, it kind of feels like cheating to simply pass that off as completing the assignment. Although, it pretty much hit every objective of the assignment like a nail on the head. (Apparently, I’m into analogies at the moment) None the less, I’m only cheating myself if I don’t complete the task as assigned….
The whom is the real problem. My audience is you. It has been you since the beginning of my blog. But, that’s pretty broad. I can’t use that. Who is “you” anyway?
One person. One specific person…. Someone close, obviously. What am I going to say to someone not close to me? Yet, I fear choosing someone too close. I may reveal too much. Speak too much. Damage too much. Hmmm….
I sit at the crossroads. The desire to be real in one hand and the fear of rejection in the other. It’s sorta funny. You’d think being real would be easy… you just, be you. But, it’s not so easy in the critically judgmental world we live in.
Has anyone else noticed the stall tactics here? Yeah, me too. That was self consciously convenient of me to do. Alright, write a post directed specifically at one person…. Here we go.
You’ve come far kiddo. Once that knobby kneed, strawberry blonde, freckle faced, little girl that scraped up her knees on the highest tree she could climb and giggled at the feeling of mud squishing between your toes. Now, you’re a woman. A wife. A mother. And, you’re good at it. But, you still struggle. I see you struggling. Doubting. Fearing. Second guessing.
Stop it already. Stop over thinking every little thing and simply enjoy what is. You’re going to regret all the time you wasted trying to live perfectly, when you could have just been living.
You stand at a fork in the road. Insistent struggling with self identity down one path. Simple self acceptance down the other. It seems like an obvious decision. But, I know it’s not easy for you. I know you struggle as you read the road signs, faded and dusty from the years they have seen.
I can’t tell you whether you decide to go back to college or not. Nor can I reveal if your current financial crises will turn out as okay as you’ve been trying to convince yourself it will. I can’t tell you if your marriage will last forever or even if your children will actually end up needing therapy when they’re older, as you fear they will.
But, I can tell you, that one day you’re going to be older. Surely, a little wiser. Shocking huh?! Wiser than you are now? I know, I know, as unbelievable as it sounds….
One day, you will be sitting on your rocker on the porch, feeling the soft breeze pass through your frail grey hair as you gaze at the beautiful scenery that stretches out before you. You listen to the whispering creak of your chair rocking against the wooden grain of the porch boards beneath it. You will sit there, going back over all that is your life. Your childhood. Your demons. Your young adulthood. Your struggles. Your older adult years. Your fears.
You’ll be reminded of those years that you struggled with your gamer son and his use of time throughout the day. Do you imagine that he still lives in your basement? Or do you believe that he turned out just fine? Let me assure you, as you sit on the porch rocking that fine summer day, those are not the questions that you will end up asking yourself. You will be too consumed with the regret of being so worried about being the perfect mother, that you forgot to make the time to actually be one. To quit obsessing over how your son uses his time, and to start simply spending time with him.
After a time, you will look back on that first heartbreak you experienced. You’ll remember how deeply it hurt. How badly it damaged you. Do you wonder if time erased the pain? Do you wonder if you ever loved again? Let me assure you, those are not the questions that you will end up asking yourself. You’ll be too consumed with the regret of hiding for so long. Of building those walls. Of being afraid of love. Of being afraid of having your heart broken for a second time. You’ll be too consumed by the regret of all those wasted years of being scared of being hurt, that you never admitted to yourself that you had already found love. A deeper, truer love than you could have ever imagined.
You will look back on your career. Do you wonder if you ever found your true passion? Or do you imagine that your life was wasted by half chased dreams? Let me assure you, those are not the questions that you will end up asking yourself. You’ll be too consumed with the regret of spending so much time searching for your true passion, that you forgot to give yourself time to be passionate. You’ll be too consumed with all those years you wasted trying to discover what you would be successful at. You poured over college catalogs. You tossed and turned through sleepless nights. You asked and inquired of others. You searched, endlessly, for happiness. But, you never just stopped, and let yourself actually BE happy.
As the sun sets that evening, casting the soft twinkle in your eye that it has since childhood, you will look back on your life. You will look back at all your fears. All your dreams. All that planning for the future. All that trying to be the best you that you can be. And, you’ll realize, that you were the best you all along. If only you had taken the time to notice.
You stand at a fork in the road. Insistent struggling with self identity down one path. Simple self acceptance down the other…. Stop now child. Focus on those street signs. I know they are faded and dusty. But, you CAN read them. Please, with all your strength, I beg of you. If not for you, do it for me….
Because, as I sit here in my rocker on the porch, feeling the soft breeze pass through my frail grey hair, gazing at the beautiful scenery that stretches out before me, there’s nothing I want more than to go back to this very moment, the moment, that I had a choice in which direction to take.
With Deepest Love,
I guess my ideal audience isn’t you after all. It’s me. The scared me. The uncertain me. The me that is hiding within, seeking guidance, understanding, connection. The me, that may not be that different from you…. But then again… who is “you” anyway?