Of all the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the losses and the gains, the moments of absolute joy and resounding misery, some things have really struck me. Some places are among the prettiest in my world; the Boston Gardens are full of memories especially reading books on the bench by swan boats, sitting on the rocks leading into the ocean at Colt State Park while watching the sunset, eating noodles with the German in St. Stephen’s Park in Dublin and laughing at his poor chopstick skills, walking in the sleepy village of Carmel with my apple friend, eating a fruit tart alone at the top of the Skylon Tower overlooking Niagara Falls, walking the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, and eating fudge while listening to that crazy music at WaterFire.
I may have been only a few places in my life, yet I’ve met so many people. The times that were especially chaotic were often the best times of my life; being an RA at South Hall was literally insane, being a pastry chef at the Athenaeum was intense but I met some amazing- lifelong- talented friends, moving to Florida and being thrown into student housing with international students and graduates that partied every night and somehow made it to class…. these were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
There are still so many places to go and people to meet and I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t experience the things I have. I wouldn’t be the person writing this post or enjoying the people and places I’ve been. That wasn’t me. I had people whispering things in my ear very early on in life telling me I’m not a nice person, not a good person, not a smart person… I’m a bitch. No one likes me. For a long time I believed that, when you are seven years-old and someone tells you this is how/who you will be, you don’t know how to shape yourself. I’m ashamed of that.
Everything flipped upside down when I experienced my biggest loss; I’m not a bitch at all, in fact I’m the exact opposite, and I am smart, and I am a good person. And I’m not as strong or as self-serving as I thought I was. I am the person I want to be, and anyone who tells me different can hit the road. No one has that power anymore to make me feel guilt for pursuing my dreams or traveling across distances to make my own adventures. I have no one to answer to but myself, and that is strength. So maybe I am a strong person and I always have been, but my strength is that I can see my own weaknesses and appreciate them for what they are.
I am the strong person who will see new places, place my heart in the hands of someone else (and I trust he’ll keep it safe and intact too), learn new things because I can never stop learning, and I will be the leading lady in my life. Awesome dresses, bad singing, sobfests, crazy dance parties, and unbelievably good food. And did I mention a handsome boyfriend who I just celebrated my anniversary with just a few days ago? I think I have leading lady written all over me.