March 29, 2012

On Becoming

Cinque Terre, September 2004
When post-Christmas winter hit I felt down in the dumps!  Completely unhappy!  It was awful!  One day it all came to head.  I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  My pity party lasted all-day-long.  And my poor family had to deal with it.  I was at my whit's end with so many things in my life. I was done with myself and all my inadequacies.

I had angrily concluded that, "There is no way I will ever be able to become the person I want to become!"  I threw out tons of projects I had hoped to accomplish someday. Hoping that action of tossing stuff would stop me from dreaming of that idealistic person.  I wanted to stop dreaming of that person I thought I should be.  That perfect woman that is not me.  I had hoped that throwing out stuff would be cathartic and heal a piece of me that felt wounded.  It did not.  I still felt anger, bitterness, frustration.  I was in the depths of despair because I was not who I wanted to be!

That night I slept.  And, though, it was only the usual few hours, I felt a bit better in the morning.  The kids and Brian were still sleeping so I took some moments for myself.  I grabbed an old notebook off the shelf and sat on the sofa.  With my pen in hand I thought about what I needed to do to find myself again; how I might find peace with myself.

I opened that notebook, thumbed through some old pages, looking for a fresh one to jot some thoughts on.  One page caught my eye; a page I had written some notes on nine years ago.  It was a page full of thoughts, similar to what I was about to write.  It was a simple brainstorm of potential goals--about 30 items.  It was January 2003; I was a newlywed, living in Pittsburgh.  I had titled it Things I Want To Do & Become.

I scanned the list.  Within moments big, huge tears rolled down my cheeks.  The anger and frustration vanished.  I was humbled.  The peace came.  The answer to my longing was right on that page I had written nine years ago.
I had accomplished almost every item on that list.
I became the woman I wanted to be.
I am that woman!  

That spry, young, 24 year old, who wrote those goals almost a decade ago has become the woman she wanted to be.  She became someone greater than she ever thought possible.  I know she would be amazed.  I know she would be proud of me. 

And, so with the blessing of that forgotten page, I begin again.  I have learned a lot about progress, patience and how God works quietly and constantly in my life.  He is in the little details; shaping me day by day.  God is ever present and it is only with His help and guidance that I have accomplished so much and become who I am.*

And now I'm ready to continue to conquer the world.  I can and I will! tiny step at a time.

*I have reread (and love) Dallin H. Oaks' talk The Challenge to Become.  He says, "We must not give up hope.  We must not stop striving.  We are children of God, and it is possible to become what our Heavenly Father would have us become.

After publishing this post I decided to publish the list I had made nine years ago.  You can find that list here.

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