While I was laying in bed trying to sleep, I kept struggling back and forth down in the depths of myself. That feeling of being stuck on the fence being pulled from one side to the other, ever have that feeling? I would fall asleep and the battle was so intense that it would wake me up.
One side of the fence is the excitement and anticipation of our new adventure. On the other side, the sadness of feeling detached and all alone when it comes to family. I talked about my family heirlooms in the last blog post and how gathering up those heirlooms has brought those feelings of saddness. The feeling of being an orphan with no family, gathering all you have in a box and walking forward to try to find happiness.
Since my first blog post, I have been taking some time to evaluate who I am. What I would need to feel like a person with an identity beyond my husband and children. I’ve spent a little time thinking about things that I would like to do, places that I have found joy and trying to recall those events that made me who I am at the core. Floating in the abyss of possibilities, hopes and dreams. It doesn’t take long for some of the baggage in my life to jump in and bring me back down to my feet.
The dead of night, when all is quiet in the house, grants way more time for self-examination than many of us want at times. I know it’s cost me more sleep than I can meassure. Laying in bed letting that baggage get so heavy that it begins to be the only scene you have replaying in your mind. When you realize whats happening, you try to snap yourself out of it and force yourself to go back to thinking on whats to come. The battle ends up raging and sleep becomes impossible.
We walk around everyday with this baggage. Some of us become so used to carrying it that we forget just how heavy it is to haul through life. Wait! Is it not our choice as to wither or not we carry that baggage? No, not everyone has the same amount of baggage. Some of us have bags apon bags, and some of us have a tote on wheels that we drag behind us. No matter how many bags you have, they all become to heavy to carry at some point. Ever try to hold a bag over your head for a steady amount of time? It doesn’t take long before your arms to begin to burn.
Do we have to carry those bags? Just how important is that baggage? I can say with honesty that not every bag I carry is at the fault of someone else. Not all my decisions in life have been good ones, and several of them caused me needless baggage. I can remember those bad decisions and use the lessons I learned through them to make better choices, but do I have to carry them with me all the time? Does our baggage make us who we are?
I don’t live in a cleche, and I am sure you don’t either. So yes, my baggage is important to remember where I have been and many of them help guide me. However I have the ability to choose how involved I let that baggage become. It may be part of the building blocks that make me who I am today at my core, but they do not define me. My baggage does not define me!
I sit here at the table battling within myself, while my husband is snoring, my children are fast asleep and the dogs chase rabbits and tennis balls in their dreams. Just how do I make those dark thoughts and memories become less powerful? Nothing is ever as simple as it sounds.
I recently gave some advice that rings true in my head at this very moment. “There comes a time in your life where you have to make a decision. Which is more important, you, or the things/people you let in that are keeping you from being happy, from living. It’s not my decision to make, it’s your life. You’re the one that has to wake up and breathe with it every morning”. Isn’t it a beautiful thing when you give someone a bit of wisdom that rings true within yourself? Life changing choices are never easy, and they never come to completion over night. Realizations however can happen in an instant.
The dysfunction of my extended family, their lack of love and compassion, doesn’t have to control my family. The damage those things leave doesn’t have to keep destroying everything I touch. I can not change the way people see my family and I but I can decide to not allow their misguided assumptions become my reality.
Our lives do not stop while we are looking into the past, but while we are looking back, life can pass us by. I refuse to let the joys to come pass me by because I am to busy looking behind me at all the things that have gone wrong in my life or reliving the damage done by those who never cared about my future to begin with.
It’s time to heal. It’s time to live. It’s time to stop letting my baggage define who I am.