I sat down to write today, after days of thoughts circling in my head, asking to be written down but not yet quite sure what they wanted to say. As the storms rolled out and the sun broke through for another sunset on my porch that paints my life with wonder lately, the words finally started to come together. And then I found this. This blog I wrote 12 years ago, at a time when I was mostly in a dark place. And I reread it this evening, and I smiled. I’m really proud of her. Of me. How much I had been through back then and yet I was still willing to share the softer side of me. I didn’t let the world harden or break me, even though it tried. And oh, it tried and it would again many more times over those next 12 years. But she made it. I made it. I am her, and oh how I’ve grown. I am so proud of myself as I reread those words and smile in amazement at the message I left myself from back then and just how true it still is today. It’s pretty amazing.

The past few weeks have been really hard, but I got through it. I always do, even when I feel like I won’t or I can’t, I do and sometimes I just need to remind myself that. But lately it was even harder, and I was having a hard time keeping my head above water and reminding myself of anything other than that I was drowning. Suddenly, friends showed up from everywhere to save me. And I do mean everywhere. Several friends from Jersey, some whom I haven’t seen in a year, some in much more than that. Some that I’ve known for a few years, and others for decades, and even some for just a few weeks and months. And yet, some of these friends became friends with each other through me, and we all spent time together these past weeks. I went from going out alone all the time feeling incredibly lonely despite being surrounded by people, to simply enjoying life around me, and I stopped to listen.

Do you know what I heard? I heard how amazing I am. How I helped that friend. How I saved another one. How happy they are for me. How grateful they are for who I am. I heard about how some of them wish they knew me in my 20s and how much fun I must’ve been (dude, no, I was a train wreck!). And here’s where the crazy thing happened.

I started to see what they see in me. 

Read that again…

I started to see what THEY see in me!

Maybe I really AM those things? No, not maybe. I AM THOSE THINGS. I am a lot of things to a lot of people, and I learned that even when life and time and the day to day gets in the way of spending all the time you want with all the people you love and call family, they are still always close in your heart. And when you really need them, they and the universe will conspire together to make sure they are there. And they were. Each and every one of them, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, for being my parachute, and for all these years also letting me be yours. ❤️

If you read the below, I’d love to hear your thoughts. It feels like I could have written this today, as it applies to everything I am going through right now and what I see others I care about going through also. If nothing else, read the very last paragraph and know that I hope it helps you as much as it is helping me. #WordsOfWisdom

____________ original blog “halfway more” from July 8, 2010 below____________

somehow i’m feeling halfway gone, and i’m wondering how it was all these years ago i ever did anything halfway.  i live with too much love, passion, and vibrancy for that.  but there was a time that i did nearly everything halfway, afraid to commit to anything or anyone, always convinced that there was something better around the corner until the moment i felt i made the wrong decision and then i came back wishing for all that i’d just thrown away.  it was this vicious cycle that i put myself and anyone close to me through.  it was awful, and i was quite awful at the time.

somehow i’m not that person any more and i’m grateful for it.  in catching up with someone today, i realized that you can touch someone’s soul even when you are not at your best, and think you may have nothing to offer.  and then i realize that even when you think you are nothing, you are not worthy, to someone you are everything that they ever dreamed of, and more.  trust in that.  trust in that and believe in that with all your heart and all your soul.  before you wake up and it’s ten years later and you realize that you’ve missed your chance.  believe me, you don’t want to miss out on that.  i always said i never wanted to miss a thing, and somehow along the way for so long i did.

but it’s okay.  i’m better, i’ve learned better, and i know better.  i’m a better person now in so many ways.  i’ve figured out how to write for myself and to share my life and love and emotions and thoughts and dreams with the world in lieu of having someone right here to share with me.  i feel like if i write it out, then i can let it go and move on and grow.  i used to carry my emotions, especially my grief, in my pocket like a scarlet letter, something to worship or be proud of that i let it take over every corner of my existence.  now i write it down and share it, and let the world read it and know that we all have these feelings, and we all can deal, and we all can get through this, and we are never alone.  and then i move on and smile, and know that tomorrow will be a better day.  

we always push.  we always pull.  but someday you’ll open up and be my parachute, and you’ll never let me down.  somehow i’ll become your own angel, and we’ll never hit the ground.  we don’t just need these grand gestures to get by, though.  we just need the day to day.  we just need to know there’s someone else out there, listening, breathing, thinking.  looking up at the same stars as me.  smiling to the same song on the radio.  watching the same sunset.  dreaming under the same moon.  standing under the same rain wishing for that kiss that makes it all wash away.

one day at a time we will get there.  brick by brick i will rebuild what i have lost and make it through.  brick by brick these walls will come down.  day by day this house will become a home.  life by life i will be closer to sharing this with someone who sees me for me and understands who i am and why i am here.  

it amazes me how people wish for something their whole life.  with all their heart and all their thoughts.  they wish for someone different.  someone who would just understand them.  someone who just gets them and knows what their life is like, how hard it is some days to just be them.  and who won’t take advantage, who won’t push them away, who will be there through thick and thin.  and who has their own life, their own passions, and their own wishes too.  and all of a sudden when that’s standing right in front of them, they are too scared to do anything and so leave the person there waiting with the nothing they’ve said until the person life sent them eventually just walks away.  and somehow they go back to wishing for what they could have had that they were too afraid to do anything about.  blaming it on life, blaming it on timing, blaming it on everything around them.  telling themselves it wasn’t worth it.  they weren’t worth it.  it would have never worked out anyway.  it’s better this way.

you see, i promise you this – it is not better this way.  

you just missed out on one of the greatest things life put right in front of you because you were too afraid to try, and too convinced that you weren’t good enough that you let it all slip away.  that she couldn’t be real anyway.

how do i know this?  because this is me.  i have done this to the best things life has ever given me in a lesson that took me longer than i care to admit to ever learn.  i was so busy convincing the world that i needed something more that when the world gave me everything i wished for i threw it away, yelling that i wasn’t good enough, and it would never work out anyway.

i’ve lived this.  i am this.  i know this because this is my life too.  but i’m different now.  i’m smarter now.  i can live alone somehow.  and while there’s still so much more i want, this time when the world puts someone in front of me, i stand tall and i say how i feel.  and then i stand still.  and then i stand some more.  and i stay strong, patient, honest, and understanding.  i take a deep breath, and before i blame the world, him, you, or me, i step back and try to understand where you’re coming from.  what’s going on, and what else is going on outside of me.

and this time, all the while, i’m still out living my own life.  i may be patient and understanding, and i’m not running away, but i’m not putting my whole life on standstill either.  i’m sorry if i miss your call, or your text, because my phone was off because i was out with friends, or in a meeting, or focused on work, life, horses, or something else that makes my life whole.  there’s so much more these days and it seems the older i get the more i understand that.  i had a friend tell me today that he wished for our younger days when things seemed simpler, but i disagreed.  i think things are better now because i know more now and i love more now.  i’m bolder now, stronger now, and i’m not afraid to stand here and tell you how i feel, and be accepting that if you don’t feel the same way it won’t break our friendship or ruin my life.  we’ll still smile together, and laugh together.  because that’s what friends do.  no drama necessary.  because really, that’s only a means for attention and when you need to resort to that, you’re not surrounding yourself with people in your life that really care about you anyway.

i don’t want to be that girl anymore.  i’m not that girl anymore.  the me i am today is so much better, so much stronger, so much more honest, open and fun.  i want to jump off cliffs into waterfalls, run through fields chasing fireflies, go camping under the stars with some of the best friends in the world, hike up the mountainside so high i feel as if i could touch the sky, and race the wind on the back of a horse who knows me so well it’s as if we share a soul.  maybe that’s too much for you to understand, or too hard for you to see.  but that’s me.  and in the words of some great bottlecaps, i leave you with this, my friends, and my loves…

stop looking and you’ll find it. the answer is inside you. the weight is not as heavy as you think. write your own future. be here now.

i love you.


the one that got away life without a paddle cjmillar82