Our lives are a story that keeps on getting written until our last breath. From the moment we were born, we’ve received input about who we are, what we stand for, what to desire and so on. Today I want you to take a different stand. Be more intentional with your life. Discover what really makes you come alive and go do that! Every day we wake up, we’re being given a chance to start over, no matter what we’ve been through. It’s your time! Now!
Let me tell you a little bit about my story. Growing up, I had a pretty good childhood. I was a very active child and being around people and being out and about, was what I loved the most. My curiosity took me in places that weren’t necessarily the safest, but it has taught me what to avoid. That same inquisitive trait also helped me discover what I was and still am passionate about. Helping people has been a part of me and my story since before I can remember. I recall being a young girl and dreaming about how many people I will help when I grew up. I was sitting and pondering on that thought just recently because I wondered where it all stemmed from.
As I was reminiscing, here are some things that came to mind. I grew up during communism, and even though I was very little, those are some of my strongest memories. I recall waiting in line with my parents at 3 A.M. behind 50-60 (if not more) other people, hoping that by the time the store opens and these people are helped, there would still be some merchandise left for us to purchase. I’m talking about very minimal things such as flour, eggs, milk, butter and maybe sugar.
Those times weren’t easy, but to me that was my “normal”. I didn’t know any different and I had nothing to compare it to. Then as I grew up, I started watching tv (black and white mostly) and I saw different possibilities. It must’ve been the time when I started projecting into the future and developing that strong desire to be in a foreign country (which happened a decade later- but that’s a story for another time). Watching those things on tv opened my eyes to what is possible out there and that what we have and what we know isn’t the complete story. I also started noticing how people around me struggling due to lack of food or water or any of the bare necessities.
When I was about 7 years old I experienced two deaths in my family, my grandpa (my mom’s dad) and my uncle (my mom’s sister’s husband) passed away within 6 months of each other. I felt a sudden change in the dynamic of the family. My parents (mostly my mom) assumed the role of the provider and protector of all of our families (even though my grandma, us and my aunts family, all lived in different parts of the country). We helped each other out, we looked out for one another and thus my journey to helping people started.
My mom has always been such a giving person! She’s one tough cookie, some would even say she’s mean, but her heart and her actions tell a different story. No matter where she went, no matter who she came across, no matter how little she had, she always gave things to those less fortunate. Our house has always been filled with people and her most constant way of giving was through her cooking. She has such a great gift! We’ve (my brother, my dad and I) always picked on her for not opening a restaurant! She cannot cook for two people! She always cooks for a small army (20 people or more) and it’s not a joke! Her pots and pans are gigantic and we’re still (to today’s date) serving friends and family!
My “giving” was always there too, I was just doing it differently. I’ve been the person to help another when they’re feeling down, or if they’re feeling stuck, or if they want advice or simply need a shoulder to lean on. I gave attention, I gave affection and I provided understanding. A phase I heard and still hear constantly is “you’re the only one that understands me”. I felt so great doing it and didn’t even know I was doing it. It’s a part of who I am. It’s effortless. Because I was giving so much, I’ve been taken advantage of quite a bit, in my work environment, in friendships and my personal relationships. It’s even been called a flaw. At one point I hit exhaustion. I started literally living other people’s problems and I didn’t know how to shake it off, how to help myself get out of their ordeal and out of my own struggles for that matter.
There began my journey of self development. This journey has been such an eye opener. It’s brought back my strength, my voice, my power, and the whole dynamic I had prior to my exhaustion. It’s taught me tools and strategies to not only help others, but myself too. I do believe that my own struggles and failures, were the best teacher I could have and it also gave me a new understanding of life and a common ground to share with those I come across. Now I can teach others what to do, what not to do and how to discover who they truly are.
The story you tell yourself and others about you is what dictates your life and how you live it. Since most of us want more out of life, but our thoughts are basically recycled from the past, many of us struggle about how to make a new path. Some people are even stuck on that story that they created at an early age or that other instilled by those they’ve been around growing up. A few of the elements of their stories are: how to live, when to get married, what they’re good at, by what age they have to accomplish something, what to believe in, who they should be and so forth.
Having goals and dreams is great! I’m all for it! Obsessing about being something you’re not even good isn’t! Let me give you an example. Let’s say you grew up in a family where the last 2 or 3 generations were in a specific trade or skill. Both your dad and your grandpa were bakers. Even though you grew up around that environment and you loved you family, you’ve always felt that you wanted to do something else with your life. You’re really good with cars and dream of opening your own repair shop. You’re in this big dilema now! You’re the only kid in the 3rd generation and you’re expected to take over their legacy. It’s been implied and talked about since before you were born. What can you do now? Should you stick around and just please them? Should you just be grateful for the chance you’ve been given that others can only dream of having? Should should should..
No you shouldn’t! I love families! I love what they stand for! But your story is yours! You have the pen! You write the script! If there’s nobody for them to keep their business alive, let them sell it or franchise it or do something different. You’re not obligated to live a life that isn’t your dream!
I see a variation of this scenario everywhere I turn! For a long time (as a young adult) I thought this was only happening in soap operas or movies. I’ve come to see and help quite a few people that are still facing this today! If you’re one of them, I suggest you take your life and your power back, now! You can love your family, but they have no right to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your life. If you’re a parent, teach your kid to make wise decisions but don’t make those decisions for him or her. You’ll handicap your kid and he or she will become resentful. Instead, be someone they can come to when they need advice. Both of you will benefit much more from this type of dynamic.
I really want to encourage each and every one of you reading this, to stick to what your heart calls you to do! I’ve done what my own parents wanted me to do and it wasn’t half bad. But when I started doing what calls my heart every day, I’ve discovered a life of joy, happiness and fulfillment, every single day! I’m not saying you won’t have hardship, even when you do what you love, but you’ll be much more resilient and inspired to continue because the force that keeps you going is in you, not outside of you!
Hope this got you thinking! You deserve to live your life in your own terms!
Keep me posted!