A step forward and two steps back

On my Facebook page, several of my friends have sent me this wonderful image of a sandwich board from a restaurant.  If you look past the fact that my name is ChaCha, unfortunately not my real name, my mother was not that creative!  You can see that the picture looks into who I really am.  I am an optimist.  I am not going to deny having moments of fear and anger, but overall I understand that the bad stuff is just a moment in time.  Image

Maybe all the abuse I took in school has made me stronger than most.  Maybe having my whole life collapse before my eyes multiple times has given me the ability to bounce back.  Whatever it was, I am grateful for it.  I am grateful for all the struggles that sculpted me into who I am today.

I look forward constantly.  I like to “plan” things, but I leave a great deal of fluidity in my plans.  Going to school, for example, was an idea and desire I had.  I simply began to talk about it, shortly after my last partner informed me he wanted to get his AA transfer degree and I needed to let him live with me and support him.  I went to school and worked full time the first time around, with kids! No way was I going to do that.  He supposedly had a Bachelor’s, which made no sense to go get an AA.  I digress, this is not that important to this point!

A few months after we argued over this point, I never said he could not go, I said he could not live with me and not work! No killing dreams here.  I found a school that I wanted to go to for my Master’s.  Once I stated this, I was told by many it was impossible to go to grad school, work full time and raise two kids.  There was a challenge put forth on the table.  Challenge accepted!

Once I started the process there was no failing.  There were those moments when things seemed overwhelming, but there was no quitting.  I suppose, I could be seen as a bully against life at times.  And life, she can play a mean card or two.  While in grad school, I was pushed out of the house I lived in.  It is nearly impossible to find a place with 3 bedrooms in Seattle.  It is even harder to find one that is affordable.  I was devastated.  I really thought my kids would graduate in that home.  So two quarters down in my program and I am officially homeless.  I had to let my kids live with others so they could stay in the same school as I freaked out and tried so hard to find a place big enough.

I have some of the greatest friends and support network that ever existed.  I was offered a room with my own bathroom from two of my closest dearest friends.  No charge, until I found a place, which is incredibly generous.  It took me nearly two months to find a place, still going to school full time and working full time.  I tried to see my kids at least once a week, sometimes twice if I could.  This was difficult and I trudged through.  Because I am a bully to life, I managed to graduate on time, have my own place, hold down a job and keep a relationship the entire time, a new relationship at that.

I guess maybe it is because I learned how to dance with life.  You see as the photo shows (btw this is not my photo, wish I knew who took it to give proper credit) those steps back are to regroup and change direction.  You have to understand that the path you want may not be the path life chose.  I just happen to make fluid enough plans to push through to the goal.  Actually plans is a bad word, I made goals.  Goals are so much easier to make than plans.  Goals are the endpoints with no direct route. Meaning that by making a goal and having no set plan on how to get there makes the path seem less deviated when life happens.  Instead of taking the paved path, maybe I would trek through the woods and still end up at the same place.

So in the year 2014, I plan to top 2013 by leaps and bounds.  2013 was the best year for me ever.  I quit my job, gave up possessions, learned to live simply, helped others and biked across the continent.  It will be a hard one to beat, but I suspect the dance of life with be interesting and full of surprises.  In the end I hope to be looking back on this year in a different country with a different culture still feeling the love and friendships I do today!  Here is to the ChaCha of 2014, never look back always be willing to change directions and allow life to lead once in awhile, it will make those obstacles less important.


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