My [redacted] Journey

A teacher's search for inner peace.

So, What Now?

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July 13, 2013

Dear Readers,

Two songs have been playing through my mind on a continuous loop these past two days.  Not in an annoying, “OMG, Taylor Swift, I wanna bash my head in,” kind of way.  Rather, a, “I know I’m supposed to be learning something here,” kind of way.  Oddly enough, both songs are sung by the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra.

“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race.” – “That’s Life” by Dean Kay, Kelly L. Gordon  

This song resonates with me because I have been many things in my life.  As I have written before, I am a different person to different people and in different situations.  Let’s see, daughter, sister, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt, teacher, co-worker, lover, friend.  Whew!  I know that everyone who is reading this is probably saying to themselves, “Yeah, so what?  I’m all those things, too.”  I suppose the difference is that I compartmentalize each of my selves so that one never crosses the line into the other.  It has been a difficult struggle to maintain such a rigid delineation.  However, as I have written before, I am learning to let the lines blur.  I am trying to be just, well, me.  I don’t quite know who that is right now, but I am learning.

Also, as Mr. Sinatra sings it, “Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race.”  I do.  I do get right back in the race because that’s life.  I hope in doing so, that even if I don’t ‘win’ (and who the hell knows what that means?), I at least get a prize for grit and determination.  There is a prize for that, right?

The other song that has been running through my brain is “My Way”.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way.” – “My Way” Claude Francois, Jacques Revaud, Gilles Thibaut, Paul Anka

Yes, dear Readers, I did do it my way.  I do know that my life up to this point would have been a heck of a lot easier if I had done things differently.  But no, I am hard-headed and I am stubborn (some of my more endearing qualities, I assure you).  I would like to think that my life’s mantra has hurt only me.  Sadly, I know that is not the case.  Perhaps that is why I am still single.  Perhaps that is why my children have chosen to live nowhere close to me.  No, this is not me feeling sorry for myself.  This is me taking stock in my life.

Taking stock in one’s life is never easy, if you are to really, really take stock.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • I am blessed beyond belief
  • I am loved
  • I wouldn’t change a thing

Now, that last one might be difficult for some to swallow.  However, I realize that my mistakes and my failures, along with my accomplishments have led me to who I am.  As a daughter, a sister, a mother, a mother-in-law, a grandmother, an aunt, a teacher, a co-worker, a lover, and a friend I am trying to be the best I can be.  And I think I have found the key, dear Readers.  In order to be the best I can be to everyone else, I must first be the best to myself.  I must be the best ‘me’ I can be and all the others will just fall into place.  Here’s hoping!

Peace, ~v.

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