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I am quite possibly the WORST reflector ever. When I think of reflectiong, I think of drawn shades, grey walls and cross-legged chanting. In that respect, I don't really reflect. Back when I thought I "reflected" I would find a bottle of Absolut, turn on Coldplay and sob my eyes out. Ah! Yes! The head clearing process of alcohol-soaked reflection.

Not too long ago I was incredibly depressed. I would cry at the drop of a hat. All I wanted to do was cry and sleep. Oh yes! And drink. Not just drink, but drink lots--fast. Drink, cry, sleep, rinse and repeat. Everytime I drank, I felt like I was trying to fill something, hide something and drown something. (Hello! I realize I am now officially the QUEEN of cliches.) Yet, I also felt like I was trying to let the 'real' me come out. The clamoring, insecure little girl. The sadness. The darkness that was normally veiled by biting humor. I don't know what finially made me wake up. When I did, I wrote about it.

I quit drinking. I started making a concerted effort to be kind to people. I temporarily deleted Coldplay from my computer. I made my faith a priority. I realized I was missing the most inportant thing a person could want--a real relationship with God. Not just a pact where I endured an hour of church every week or ran my eyes over scripture. But a honest quest to know God. I pretty much gave myself a slap upside the head and asked myself if the emptiness I was experiencing was something I wanted to live with for the rest of my life. While it might seem logical to say the answer was a resounding no, it would be more accurate to say the answer was a reluctant no. That meant I would have to face alot of baggage and pain I had been pushing aside. It meant I would have to (cliche alert!) get real.

To me, getting real with was not something to be done overnight. Not something that I could check off a chart or give myself a gold star once I finished. It's something that is a daily decision. To be happy. To say something positive instead of snarky. To dwell on kindness instead of bitterness. To put it lightly, these things are NOT easy for me. They do NOT come naturally to me. But everytime you make the right decision, making it again gets a tiny bit easier.

I have gone back and listened to Coldplay and asked myself why the hell I felt the need to sob at every poignant word. I drank a glass of wine and asked myself why I also felt the need to chug all alcohol that came within a eight foot radius of me. Since then, I have asked myself alot of question. Evaluated my priorties. Shed alot of pretense.

I have established to myself that certain actions are only destructive with certain attitudes. That I know. I have made myself find my limits and acknowledge what they are. But, for the first time since then, I actually desire to reflect. To pause. To be sad for a moment.

I have kept myself caught up in a warm web of kindness and busyness. When your being kind to people you really don't need to stop and reflect and be sad. Kindness is good! Don't get me wrong. But you cannot block ALL emotions with kindness. Every now and then, you just need to think. Be quiet.

And dare I say it?! Be sad. Not depressed. But sad.

Just reminding myself that life changes. Maybe it's not changing right now. Maybe it won't for awhile. But life does change. A concept I have always had trouble accepting. I am reminding myself to treasure the golden memories. Remind myself that I have so much to be grateful for. I have so many people that love me. I have an amazing family. Something I wouldn't trade for the world.

For the first time in a very long time. I cry. Not out of depression. Not out of sadness. But out of gratefulness. The tears feel good. Warm. Salty. A reminder that I am human. I think about the incredible example of my father--leadership and love. The love of both my mothers--though quirky and decidedly different, they both love me dearly. My older sisters with their unconditional love, friendship and belief in me. My darling brother who brings tears to my eyes when I think of how much HE has taught me.

I have been given so much. Asked so little.

This is grace and love. A lesson I care never to forget.

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This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.

I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.

the past


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