Rolling with things isn’t my strength. I like plans. I like order. I like to be in control.
This year, I began committing to do a few things every day as my promise. Of course, things happens…life happens and the plan changes. My promise has changed.
The fact that my promise has changed makes me feel like I have failed. I feel like I continue to demonstrate all of those characteristics that I am scared that everyone uses to describe me–flighty, flaky, frivolous, foolish.
Yet, there’s a small part of me that knows that I haven’t. There’s a smaller, quieter voice in my head telling me that I’m none of those things. Why can’t that voice be louder?? I’m just a girl searching for her story.
For most of my life, my story wasn’t too different from most other young girls from the Chicago area. I lived in a nice middle class house in a suburbs. My parents were loving and supportive to me and each other. We had family and friends all within a few minutes and few hours away. Things were good.
Then we moved to Memphis. Now family and friends were a bit farther away, but we made new friends. Family would come to visit, and we went to visit them. I went away to college. My parents continue to work and live in our house. Everything was good.
During one visit back to Chicago after I had graduated and landed my first job, my world was shattered. Within an instance everything that was good about my life changed forever. Nothing was the same after that moment. No one in my family would ever be the same after that horrible day in March 2002. Everything was awful.
The story that I was beginning for myself in Washington DC was lost. Just as I begin to discover myself, I lost myself for almost a decade. Life happened…and I had no control over it. I was left without a story.
My new promise is simple and hard and challenging and scary…I will write every day to figure out what I want my story to be. After everything that I lived through and survived, I know that I can’t control everything but I can influence things. I can influence my story. I promise to honor myself by doing that this year.