Friday, April 18, 2014

Love yourself.

One thing I have learned this past year is to trust in myself. To love myself. To know that I am smart and do not need everyone's acceptance. It is still a struggle when a family member doesn't seem to understand your choices. But, then I think about what they have struggled with in their lives. No one is perfect. No one makes every decision correctly. But, we cannot hold ourselves back because we are afraid of making a mistake.

The past year, my family has seen me struggle. They have seen me worry about what the future holds. It has been hard on them to know that there wasn't anything they could do. I understand this.

I have learned a lot of lessons this past year. I have learned that life throws you curve balls, whether you are prepared for them or not. Life will tear you down and down again, before you have a chance to get up. It is when you start to love yourself, despite all the failures, that life starts to turn around.

Back in the year 2000, I was a year away from graduating with my teaching degree. I was trying to figure out a way to do my student teaching and support myself at the same time. It was decided that I would move to Texas to live with my parents, while I did my last year of school. Little did I know when I transferred that the school would lose its accreditation. It would revamp its entire program and the result would be me having to take two and a half more years of school. A lot of personal stuff happened and I ended up switching majors just to graduate.

I had been in the automotive industry off and on since I was 18. It was easiest to make my way back into that industry, while I figured out what I was going to do. I got married, had kids, and I am now 20 years into my career in the automotive industry. Every day I regret not doing all I could to get my teaching degree all those years ago.

Teaching is a true calling. Like being a priest or a doctor or a cop. It is something that not everyone can do. It is demanding and often thankless. But it is something that is born in the heart and never leaves you. I tried to deny it, but it only left me with major regret and depression.

I have worked hard this year to learn to love myself. I suffer from depression and panic attacks. One of the reasons I have such violent panic attacks is the constant fear of doing something wrong. I have lived my life trying to be that perfect person. One that my family could be proud of. Not taking into consideration what I wanted. What I needed. By taking a deep look at myself, I was able to get off my medications and I only have the occasional panic attack.

One reason for my turn around was that I received a book from "The Money Saving Mom". It it, she discusses a lot of things to help you stop living in survival mode. One of her statements is to learn to give yourself grace. This hit home with me. I remind myself every day to give myself some slack. No one is perfect. No one can please everyone. You must love yourself enough to give yourself some grace. I highly recommend everyone read her book. It will transform how you think about life. In fact is is the premise behind this blog.

So as I sit here tonight, trying to justify to my very caring family about my choice to quit my job and go back to get my certification, I realized something. I know what is best for me. I love my family and I am so grateful that they care about me enough to want to be there for me and help me. But I am nearly 40 years old. I can do this. I will not fail at this. This is what I need to do. I have never been so sure of anything in my life, and that is saying something.

So with that, I want to send my family a big huge I LOVE YOU. Thank you for being there for me. For loving me. Just know I will be OK.