Monday, March 31, 2014

Miss. Independent

I've always been an independent person.  Even when I was young, I remember telling my parents I wanted to do things by myself, and on my own.  I think independence is a good thing, especially in a day and age where you often have to be.  I mean I began my own business when I couldn't find work in grad school, I became an independent sales rep for a food company when I was having trouble finding work here in Denver.  I'm finding ways to make ends meet, I'm attempting to pull myself up, and I'm doing these things on my own for the most part.

Can a person be too independent though?  This is a thought I've had for a while now as more and more people have been telling me I've become distant.  I've thought this as I realize I don't get invited out by people anymore.  And I've thought this a lot as I look back at my previous romantic relationships.  Sure I can provide for myself, I can take care of myself, I can do what I have to do...but it's sure nice to share the load.  Have I become too independent for my own good?

For so long I haven't had a choice, I've had to do things for myself.  Being away from my family, and many of my friends meant that when I got sick I had to make my own tea.  When my car's battery died, I had to either find someone willing to give me a jump, or call AAA myself.  When the trash needed taken out when it was snowing, I had to take it out.  I've only had myself to rely on for a long time.  When people ask to do these things for me, I find it weird, because I've had to do it myself. And often when they don't do it the same way I would have it's hard for me to see.  So letting go of some things that I've been doing for so long, can be difficult.

I was recently told that one of the reasons a past relationship fell apart, was because as we both dealt with a difficult situation I turned into myself for comfort, when they tried to comfort and share their pain with me.  Now this was not the only one reason that this relationship fell apart, trust me there were other reasons too.  It made me think though, how many people have I unintentionally hurt, and turned away, who were trying to help me, and I was being my independent self not seeing their offer.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of not having all the weight on my shoulders is a nice idea, but very difficult for me to grasp.  It would be nice to have someone to take care of me, friend, family, significant other, etc., but the concept is foreign to me so when people try, I guess I inadvertently push them away.  Does this make me too independent?  Am I too set in my ways?  Can I change?

My paternal grandmother was a rather independent woman.  She divorced her husband in a time when divorce wasn't acceptable, and she never remarried.  She supported herself, and my father in a career that was male dominated. But growing up I noticed things like her lack of social relationships, her strict ways things had to be done, and her her general "Curmudgeon-ness" as my family referred to it as.  I swore that I never wanted to be like her in those ways, I wanted to not only enjoy life, but enjoy the people I spent it with, and be flexible.  Part of me now fears that I'm becoming exactly like her.

I know people can change, and I'm hoping I can change.  I just don't even know where to begin this time.  I guess when you have a fear of being so far on one end of the spectrum and being totally reliant on others, you may take things too far and become too independent instead.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Tomorrow Brings

Two years ago today, I began one of the strangest, scariest, most wonderful journey's I've ever been on...and it seems to all finally be coming full circle.

Two years ago today I packed up my car, and began the two day journey from Kentucky, to Colorado.  I didn't have a job lined up, I didn't know where I was even going to live when I got here.  All I knew was that I felt like I needed to be here, so I had to follow my heart and give it a shot out west.  I can only imagine this is what the settlers felt when they went west.  Hopeful for new opportunities, and better lives.

The past two years have been challenging.  I've struggled with financial issues, and employment problems, and building a life here from the ground up.  But the past two years have been fairly awesome at the same time.  I've done things I never imagined doing like snowboarding, and learned to step out of my box every once and a while.  I know that without the struggles, I wouldn't have had the chance to do some of those things I've done, and enjoyed doing.  I also know that I wouldn't have grown into the person that I have become.

It only seems fitting that tomorrow, two years after arriving in Denver, I will begin at my first full time job since 2007.  Although it's still not my dream job, and still not enough to completely live on, it feels like the first real opportunity I've had in a very long time.  It will give me the chance to finally complete my Master's, and at the same time, become certified in early childhood education here in the state.  At first it was difficult to see this place as the opportunity that it is.  Let's face it, we all want the dream right out of the gate if we can get it.  I'm beginning to see though that this is a chance for me to finally grow, and complete some roads I stopped building a long time ago.  It's also a chance for me to gain more experience, and continue learning.  It's a chance!

Many people have often told me that picking up and moving across the country without much of a plan was brave.  My response has always been in jest that it was that or stupid, I'm never sure of which.  The fact is that there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity, and sometimes we need to skirt that line more than we often do.  Moving to Denver was both brave, stupid, and a huge gamble.  I finally feel like in that gamble though the house isn't winning every hand anymore.  Sure they're still winning a hand or two, but I'm finally winning some hands too.  Sometimes you have to take a risk, and you won't know how, or when, that risk is going to payout.  You just have to keep trying, not give up, and hang on for the ride sometimes.  I don't know if this new job is going to be the "breakthrough" I've been waiting for the past two years, but I'd be a fool to not hang on and see where it takes me.

One of my favorite sayings is, "Don't give up on today, for you never know what tomorrow may bring."  Here's hoping things are finally coming full circle, and my tomorrows keep getting better and better.  :-)