Hello My Dear Darling Friends!
Doesn’t 2020 have a nice ring to it? We have just 5 days left in 2019 and I would like to spend this time organizing my life and letting go of the baggage I have been dragging along. This last decade from 2010-now has been very heavy, but also full of lighthearted moments that I will treasure forever.
I think this is a good time for me to create a to-do-list. First, because it has been forever since I have made one. And secondly, because it will keep me from getting too overwhelmed. Right now, I feel completely overwhelmed to a nearly paralyzing point. I better implement some order before I end up in bed with the peppermint bark 🙂
I want to deep clean my home, purge the kitchen, fridge, bedroom, and closet. I also want to reflect on this past year then set some goals for this new year. I need to let go of the guilt that I have been feeling so that I can free up my mind and energy.
I have been feeling guilty. In recent years, around the holidays, I found myself choosing to participate in most of the family festivities, but not all of them so that I could have some time for myself. It was empowering and freeing to set those boundaries.
This year felt different since our new home is so far away from family. I guess I am lightly homesick not for home (the building), but the familiarity of home. My home town in the pacific northwest has been my stomping ground. I have my favorite places to shop, meet friends, and walk. The “problem” with my home town is that it makes me somewhat complacent. There is no doubt that I could get into grad school or find a job and make a living, but I left to find an even better quality of life.
Big, bold changes also take a toll, but they are worth-it. I am happier than I have ever been and this place feels like home. A home where I can learn, grow, thrive, and become my best self.
Is it bad to want more?
Many people (including my immediate family) probably say that it was selfish of me to move away. My Dad’s health is still rapidly deteriorating. This year he got both shoulders replaced. Dialysis is a part of his life and it helps him stay alive. I could do a lot to help my family by being there and supporting them.
Also, traditionally, it is expected for people to take care of their parents. I really love my parents, but I have had to love them from a distance (for years) so that I could start loving and respecting myself.
That may sound harsh and I do not know if you have heard me talk about my strained relationship with my parents in the past, but I accomplish so much more when I love them from a distance. For most of my life (at least when I was under their care) my role in my family was to take the blame. I noticed in 2012 that everyone was blaming me for the bad things that were happening even if I didn’t cause them. They have seen me as the black sheep and it seems like they look down on me. It makes me sad because I have been doing my best.
I don’t think that I am doing bad for myself… I am 31 and I just completed my college degree. I am also in an amazing relationship with a partner who brings out the best in me and uplifts and inspires me everyday. I run a couple of businesses that bring in significant income. We also own 3 houses. One house is in New England and we own in in cash free and clear. And the 2 other houses are here in Hawaii. I am also finally getting healthy and feeling more confident.
I want to be close to them, but I also need to be respected and appreciated. I still talk with and txt my parents, but the messages I get often have an odd ring to them. Also, in recent times when I was struggling they were not helpful and it often seems like my mom gets a strange sense of satisfaction to know that I am struggling since I am not doing things their way.
It is a double-edged sword because life is precious and when I am far away it makes me feel like we are missing out on memories that could be made together. None of us know if we will be here tomorrow. At the same time, this is my life too and I deserve to live a life that brings me joy and fulfillment rather than guilt and shame.
Maybe it sounds like I am throwing a teenage tantrum and I should “just get over it and be there for my family.” But I promise that is not it. I went through hard times in the past when they were not there for me. They were working against me and making things more challenging. There were many times they told me that it was my fault and I got myself into that situation. Or I “failed because I didn’t try hard enough.” Or “Alana you are tired because you are so fat.”
I need to make peace with all of this and I know that it starts with forgiveness. I need to forgive my family for blaming me for the choices of others. I need to forgive them for shaming me when I was victimized and just needed encouragement and a hug. Most importantly, I need to forgive myself…
I want to forgive myself for all those years I was afraid to pursue my goals and dreams.
I will forgive myself for thinking that I was a failure all of those years.
I thought that this was going to be one of those classic to-do-list posts, but it took a swoop in a different direction. I guess I needed to get it off of my chest. The to-do-list will just have to happen on another day.
If my family needs me, I will be there in a heartbeat, but I also need to be here for me.
Is it wrong to want more?