“As You Think So Shall You Be” ―
Today I woke up and I felt good! This is not a “normal” thing for me. Like many others I have come across hard times, had my heart broken too many times to count and at some point seem to have lost myself, my dreams and my want to. But right now today, in this moment I feel positive, hopeful and ready to take on my goals for today!
I’ve been watching motivational videos and something that was said in the one I watched Saturday morning really made me think. The speaker was talking about our ghosts, what haunts us and then asked “How many of yours dreams are going to die with you?” I’ve often felt a tremendous sadness wash over me when I think about all the things I used to dream about and how many of those dreams will never come to pass. But this time it made me grab a pad of paper and I decided to list “My Ghosts.”
So here are “My Ghosts” that haunt me:
- Quitting – jobs, relationships, hobbies, sports
- Self-sabotaging – running from commitments
- My failures – bad decisions
- My dreams – childhood fantasies about life that got lost along the way
I’ve heard it in movies and in life “Once you quit you’ll always be a quitter”. I also believe “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits”. But I also know this first hand because I have been both. I have seen both sides to this coin. I can tell you to beware because once you fall off the edge and lose a part of you by quitting something (or someone) that has become a part of you it may haunt you for the remainder of your life and affect the decisions you make along the way. It can change your whole life.
The oldest ghost in my closet, where it all began…
I had quit cheerleading in high school over a boy putting peer pressure on me and convincing me to skip school. He was a schmuck for doing that but I am to blame for the actual act of skipping school and quitting the squad. I never felt the same pride in myself as I did before that day. I felt shamed, I got dirty looks, my “friends” disappeared. I always looked back on that and felt a tinge of pain and regret. Now I look back and I think I was right for quitting the squad. Everybody was fighting and acting hateful, staying up at the school til 6pm at night and for what? So I could say I’m a cheerleader? If you are not happy then change your story! Do something different! My regret is choosing a boyfriend that didn’t really care about me. My true regret is that I took the coward’s way out and skipped school instead of marching right in there and say “I’m done with all the fighting and bitches!” But I did not. Instead I carried that regret and shame with me when I graduated and quit every job and relationship since then. Never really feeling like I “fit” and self-sabotaging every single good thing that came along. At some point I believe I just gave up. Quit trying. And sank to the bottom. That was the year 2014. I spiraled into a deep depression, quit my job, went through a horrible divorce and lost touch with reality. The reality was I needed help would not accept it. I just wanted to crawl into a corner and hide from the world. I worked from home being a reseller on ebay so I had no reason to go anywhere but the Post Office. Cut off from the world a year went by, then another, then another and by about the 3rd year I started to fight back. I started to tell myself it is not up to anyone else to make me happy, I have to choose to be happy. I have to want to live if I expect to have a life. So I started the long process of forgiving myself for all my bad decisions I had made the last 30 years. Another year went by and another, now it’s 2019. I feel more like myself, the me before life happened! I like myself again. I still have a lot going on under the surface but I have hope now. Hope that I will make it out of this black hole I fell into. I started making plans, budgets, figuring out how much I need to list each day to reach higher goals instead of just barely making enough to get by each day and praying it will sell. I was lazy, unmotivated and did not believe in myself for far too long. My inventory had become death piles and filled my entire house. My daughter was calling me a hoarder. My mother looked at me like she knew something was wrong with me but didn’t know how to fix me (and yelled at me a lot to “get rid of that shit!” and “get it out of your life and get a real job” and you know what… she was right. I didn’t like hearing it. But now I not only had fear, regret, a broken heart, resentment coming at me from my mom, my daughter living in a house full of totes and garbage bags of inventory I was bringing home 3-5 bags at a time and doing nothing with it because it was the thrill of being out and feeling productive when I was buying it (finding all those great deals!) that made me want to keep going out and buying more 1-3 times a week. There was no way I could list that much that fast but I kept going. Now I have guilt because my daughter couldn’t, didn’t want to invite friends over being embarrassed about the house. I let my problems pile so high that literally was turning into a hoarder too. Then I started watching those Hoarders videos on youtube and I was like wow, they are just nasty people! I told myself all my stuff was at least organized and clean. And it continued for almost two years from about 2016-2019 all together. Here comes the shame spiral! In order to get past the self-sabotage I needed to not only like myself again, now I needed to believe in myself, forgive myself and add self-discipline to the list! Self-discipline has been (by far!) the most challenging of all the personal goals coming out of this depression. It is the one thing that has kept me down, broke with little money, kept my house from being a home and quite frankly a lack of self-discipline will cause your health and looks to resemble a homeless person. Correction, some homeless people may take better care of themselves than you do! So now I hear myself say “just finish it” and “I need to finish that” and “I am my worst enemy”. I have to constantly remind myself to finish what I start. I also constantly tell myself to “do it because it is the right thing to do whether I want to do it or not”. And you know what? It’s helping! I try to keep a little distance from people that just want to bitch and complain about everything and everyone in their lives because I am not a victim. I take responsibility for my own actions. The past is history, the future is a result of what I do today. Today is the present, a gift, and I am grateful to be here, to have made it through all that I have and I have hope, love for myself and my family and I feel good. Oh yea! Want to know what happened to that boy where it all began? We broke up right after high school graduation and last I heard he ended up being a wife beater. Imagine that. The boy I changed my world for was not only a loser but also a violent loser. My advice is to stay true to yourself because nobody else should tell you who you need to be. You are the only one who knows what’s inside of you and what you truly need. Listen to advice, read books, watch videos, let family and friends try to help but in the end listen to the little voice inside of YOU! Because You are the only one who has to live with your decision for the rest of your lives. It’s way easier to make a good decision than to try to repair yourself after 30 years of bad ones.
My commitments to myself:
- Take care of me.
- Take care of my family.
- Believe in myself.
- Stop being a ghost.
- Stop waiting for “some day”
- Be the person who I want to be
- “Normal” is settling, be Exceptional!
Leaving you with a question to ask yourself:
What dreams will die with me?
When I am 60, 70 or 80 what will i look back on with regret that I never did that I can no longer physically do? Don’t wait till some day to do what you can today because some day may never come!