Monday, May 31, 2010

Who I was, who I lost, and who I found again

I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach and I’m often reminded of this when I look at my beautiful and precocious young daughter. She’s full of life and spunk and she has a spirit about her that is so pure and unfettered by the weight of self doubt and critical inner dialog that she inspires and reminds me what’s most important for us as women. She’s innocent and undamaged, but I know that only lasts so long and I can only protect her from so much. For her to be a warrior of life I have to give her the tools she needs to take into battle.

I don’t give a lot of thought to who I want her to be because for me as a parent it’s about who I want her to want to be. I don’t worry about the surface things, I have those covered. She has no shortage of clothes, food, education or toys. I worry about giving her the real tools she needs to go out into the world as a girl, a young lady and then a woman. The important tools for girls are the ones that our education system cannot teach and they are the foundation on which all other life skills rest. They are tools that have to be strong enough to be able to go up against the hyper-critical superficial media machines which consistently assault women in an effort to break them down for the sole purpose of propping itself up on a pedestal of smoke and mirrors while boosting profits and all at the expense of our girls self worth.

Confidence. Strength. Independence. Fearlessness. Courage. These are the tools that matter as women.

I cannot tell my daughter to be these things, that’s not how we really learn the important lessons or gain the skills. I want her to want to be these things and the only way that can happen is if I am these things and lead by example. So that’s what I do. I look at her and I remind myself that I am these things. I get up every day and work hard to be the woman that I want her to be. I’m not perfect at this, but I do not give up… I get up. I get knocked down, I get back up. And then I give whatever idiot fool knocked me down the big metaphorical finger. Ok fine, sometimes it’s the literal finger but remember I said I’m not perfect.

As I begin dating again I’ve spent time examining who I am today, who I was yesterday and who I was when I was married. What kind of woman am I today. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I’ve spent the last three years doing this.

When I met my ex-husband in my early twenties I was a strong, capable, independent woman. I had moved from Vancouver to Phoenix and then to Denver all by myself in my early twenties just simply because I could. I knew no one, but I was going to work as a Flight Attendant, I knew I would meet people and I sure the hell didn’t know where I was going to live. I just knew though that there were bigger and better things out there in the world for me and if I stayed where I was I would never venture out and find them. So I set out to stake my claim on the world.

Shortly into my marriage though I lost the fearless girl who was ready to take on the world and knew who she was. He didn’t beat me down emotionally and strip me of my complete and total badassness - I allowed him to. You see there’s one other thing I firmly believe in (that’s a lie too, there are a lot of them actually) but I believe that no one can make you feel something about yourself that you don’t allow them to. That was my biggest regret, giving away my power of self. It’s something I will never allow to happen again and I don’t worry about it happening again because I have confidence in me this time. Dating however, brings this all back to mind so it’s time to take an inventory of who I am and who I hope my daughter wants to be.

Confidence. Nobody is going to love you or treat you better than you treat yourself. You are worth everything you think you are and more. Do not ever settle for someone that makes you feel less than who you are. You are with the right person when you are completely yourself and do not contort yourself to fit into what you think someone else wants you to be. The right man will make you feel beautiful, smart and perfect and if he doesn’t then move the fuck on because you are those things and deserve to be with someone who recognizes and encourages you. You come "AS IS" and do not modify yourself to be the woman he wants. If you do this then he will want the woman you already are. If he doesn’t then he didn’t deserve you. And DO NOT chase him. If he doesn’t chase you then he’s not worth catching.

Strength. Have the fortitude to stand by what you believe in is right and what is wrong and do not back away from those things for any man. Do not compromise your character for anyone. It is the most valuable thing you will ever own. Stand strong every day. I’m not talking about battling over dinner selections or movie choices I’m talking about the things that really matter to you. Character, commitment, honesty, whatever it is that is your deal breaker. Weakness will make you change and cave in some ways you should not. I love the old saying that some things you can change, some you can’t and some you sure the hell shouldn’t because they are the fabric of who you are. Weakness welcomes vultures. Do NOT become their prey.

Independence. Be your own woman. Do not put your life on hold while waiting to find Prince Charming. That’s a bunch of fairy tale rescue the damsel in distress bullshit that as women we’ve been sold a bill of goods as being “romantic”. You do not need to be saved and you do not need to put your life and dreams on hold while waiting for Captain Charisma to sweep you off of your high heels. Buy your own house. Go on your own vacations with friends or yes, with your children alone. Make your own money and control your own destiny. Do not sit and wait for a man to come along and give you a life. You complete you. Nobody else can do that for you.

Period. When you put your entire identity into another human being then what do you have left of you when they are gone? Don’t give someone that power... Ever!!!

Fearlessness. Life, if you live it, is really fucking scary. Suck it up and do it – live your life with wild passion. Do the things you’re most afraid of because odds are they are the things that push your limits and force you to grow as a person. This is the one tool that I’ve had to remind myself to use lately. If you don’t look at life’s challenges and give it the big finger then life will eat everything that is special and amazing about you alive. Life plays for keeps, there will not always second chances to be the person you want to be or have the life you want to have. If you get one, grab it and don’t let go. Be that person now and make no apologies for who you are. Live life in a blaze of glory every chance you get.

Courage. The right thing to do is not always, in fact it rarely is, the easiest thing to do. Make the hard choices, stand up for yourself, stand up for your children. Be the bat, not the ball. You control the trajectory of your life. Have the courage to embrace that and be goddamn proud of it. Have the courage to stand up to what’s not right or good for you or your children. Men will treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Have the courage to hold the bar high for your sake, and your children's. If you get knocked down then pull your shit back together and get the fuck back up and when you come back up you come back swinging. You are worth it. You are really worth it.

There you have it. This is who I was, who I lost, and who I found again. This is who I get up and try to be every day so that my daughter will be this person too.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Raegan & Quinn

Raegan loves to play the Piano....

Still not sure about walking on the back porch w/out shoes!

Neighbor Stu & Raegan

Rocco & Raegan

Mitzi & Raegan

Stephanie & Raegan

These are a few of the doctors that took care of Raegan when she was in the NICU.

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