This year and last few months have been all about changing my perspective on things that aren’t all bad. I have a lot of stories that, when told very factually, are maybe a little dark and gloomy if not ridiculous. However, when I tell them from a different perspective they suddenly seem quite not so crazy.
Part 1: The Early Days. Facts.
I am the only redhead in my immediate family, I was homeschooled by my mom because we lived on a farm really far from town and so I never had time to go meet friends. On the farm I lived up a ladder in an attic and when I was mad at the world I could put a board over the ladder and lock myself up there. At my dad’s I made my bedroom in the basement of the house while everyone else slept up on the third floor. I can’t speak french because I instead learned Latin and German, neither of which I can speak.
The most common response to this: So, you really embraced the red-headed step child thing.
The Early Days: Awesome Facts.
I was born in the best position a child could ask for. I am the second youngest/ middle child of my dad’s family, but I am the oldest at my mom’s. Depending on how I wanted to play my cards that day, I could get away with things because I was younger or I could get more responsibility because I was the oldest, so ha! I got my own room away from my annoying siblings; at my moms I had my very own loft where I could still listen to most conversations without being seen, and at my dad’s I had the entire bottom floor to myself. It was the biggest room in the house. I was homeschooled because I was learning how to work hard and had a lot of chores. Because my mom didn’t like to speak French, she taught me Latin and my Aunt taught me German. I can remember a couple words and phrases at very useless times, but its cool because I can understand a couple things in Spanish, Italian, and French because there are so similar to the Latin.
The most common response to this: You learned Latin? So, you really embraced that awkward redheaded homeschool thing.
Part 2: The Travel Days: Facts
I was given a ticket out and I took it. I ran away to a place that spoke neither Latin nor German and very little English. I cried more times than I wanted to admit and I got severely depressed twice throughout the trip. I gained weight -the highest I’ve ever seen the numbers climb- and then I abruptly lost it by running more and eating less. The second bout of depression hit and I stopped eating all-together. I hated my self but I loved my bones and the looks I was getting. I was the crazy, skinny bitch that looked at her favourite foods and saw numbers instead. I felt in control. I was more broke than ever in LA and therefore I stayed at really sketchy hostels because they were cheap. I scared myself and couldn’t wait to get home even though I had no idea where home was. I was an A+ actress by the time I arrived back in Canada.
The Travel Days: Awesome Facts.
It was a graduation gift, the ticket out of the tiny town that held me in. I took it and I ran to the sunniest place that promised the most adventure, Barcelona. Crying became second nature to me and as much as I hated it, I also learned that its okay to cry sometimes. It releases endorphins and its actually kind of good for girls to cry occasionally. I ate a lot from stress and free hostel food but I never took photos of myself so I didn’t see it. Eventually I did though, and it made me severely depressed because I felt imperfect again. I knew exactly which people would be disappointed in my figure and who would comment on it when I went home. So I stopped eating regularly and I started running a lot. It seems so bad but I look back now and that was my growing point. I learned that I don’t feel happy when I’m empty and I learned that I have legs that can run and give me wings. Now I’m signed up for a half marathon and a full; that never would have happened had I not hit my all time low. I felt control by losing control and its made me realize that I do have control of my happiness, sometimes we just want to be unhappy and blame someone else for our problems. In LA I was happiest even though I was dirt poor. I felt rich beyond compare with my stories and experiences. Staying in cheap hostels was one of my better options and by doing that I met three of my coolest friends and learned about Jordan, a city I barely knew existed. I had a vague idea of the middle east, but they introduced me to their country and traditions and therefore I’ve learned about the surrounding countries too. I was still pretty sad when I had to come home, but I hid it and made the “fake it till you make it” words my motto. It worked. I stopped beating myself up and started enjoying who I was and was becoming. The entire trip taught me that there are two lines, one is that comfort zone and the second is a little farther and its the danger zone. I needed to start getting between those two lines and when I did, great things happened. Now it’s a matter of deciding how close to the danger-zone line I go.
Part 3: The Relationship days. Facts
Why would I trust people with my heart? I’ve seen everyone else’s get stepped on or played with. They all get hurt and come to me and my heart feels like its breaking for my heartbroken friends, but mine stays intact give or take a few chips and knocks. All good things come to an end and life will always pull the rug out from under my feet. I am always on guard when I start to connect with someone because my parents have all hurt and been hurt and I don’t want to do or be that. You like me? Cool, now stay over there on the other side of the wall.
The Relationship Days: Awesome Facts
Why would I trust people with my heart? Because its scary. Its between the comfort zone and danger zone lines and I like to push myself in to that area, right? By watching my friends experience heartbreak, I learned to keep my standards high. A broken heart isn’t always avoidable, but they are fixable. It’s okay to relax and I make a conscious effort to drop my guard on certain topics when I connect with someone. My parents have all hurt and been hurt, and I am like them but maybe I can learn from their mistakes because I don’t want to be hurt, but I am starting to trust that if He hurts me, he’s the kind of guy who’s going to fix it as well. Let’s take down the outer wall.
See, perspective. It changes me from an awkward, bitter old hag who runs from love into a creative, hopeful young woman who cautiously walks toward potential love and heartbreak. But strangely I’m doing it willingly. I like 2014. If I learn as much as I did last year and have a different outlook on it, I will be a better person for it.
Choose your happiness, world.
All my love,