I was driving to work this morning and listening to our local radio station. The song that was playing kept repeating the words, "...glad to be me."
When I was growing up, my younger sister Rebecca had long wavy blond hair, big blue eyes, a pet butterfly that sat on her cute button nose, and a rightfully-earned place in the family as the good child. She was one of those kids who didn't need to be corrected very often, because she just inherently did the right things and thought the right thoughts. I, contrastly, was chubby and snaggle-toothed, with short, unruly brown hair and my own rightful place in the family as the naughty one. I believe my mom used the word "incorrigible" to describe me on more than one occasion.
In addition, it seemed in my teens that I could only find the right path in any part of my life by first traveling every single wrong one. My choices were fraught with poor logic, hampered by weak character, weighted by impulse, delayed by disorganization. I was, in short, a hot mess. My dad once confided to someone that he worried that the end game for me would be jail or early death.
Thankfully, that wasn't where the story ended. The love of my family and friends, especially my beloved grandmother Angeline, and the introduction to Faith and all it implies intervened and slowly I was able to determine the kind of life I wanted to lead and the kind of person I wanted to be. I feel as though in the past fifteen years I have come into my own, healing and improving my body, mind and spirit, blessed with a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter, working in a community I have grown to love in a position where I am privileged to learn something new every single day.
I look back and realize that while my path hasn't been straight or smooth, it has been my journey and mine alone, and it has made me who I am. It is, after all, the journey itself more than the destination that shapes us.
My sister, incidentally, is still blond, smart, attractive and good. I love her unconditionally and admire her fiercely.
But today I can say genuinely... I'm glad to be me.
So here is to all of us who took the rockier, rougher path, and to those of us who might still be on it somewhere, laboriously climbing to the person we want to be. Here's to friends, family, and close community. Here's to compassion, understanding and patience, to abiding love and unending faith. Here's to strong shoulders, helping hands, encouraging words, open hearts. Here's to those of you with great character and shining goodness, and for the example you are to me.
Have a wonderful week, and thanks for taking time out to stop by the blog.