I have always said that “Life” is defined as the sum of all experiences. That means that nothing in particular defines a person…whether you are a business owner who supports five law firms in NYC or you sell shots at a bar on some remote island of Mexico…you are always the same person based on the knowledge you have acquired at that time. This is what I’ve always told myself about the many difficult decisions I have made throughout my life. Many of those decisions have been for me to allow friends to slip away. I can’t tell you how many times in the last 5 years I have picked up the phone to reconnect with an old friend to only hang the phone up again when I remember that we no longer have anything to talk about. That friend may have once been a huge part of my life…maybe even someone I used to see everyday at work or school…and though I am the same person I was when I knew them…they no longer see me as the same person. I keep hearing about what a great decision I had made when I decided to uproot my life to move to Mexico because I had really discovered my demons before I left NYC. I keep hearing about how proud the person is of me for having moved to a different country where I knew no one and how courageous I am and blah, blah, blah.
Hello!! It’s still just me! My memory tells me I moved to Mexico to dive for 2 years!! I don’t want to be idolized or revered by anyone and I also don’t want anyone looking at what I’ve done in an envious state…how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to move here. Life brought me here…after having lost my mother, I had promised her I’d look after her sister, after she passed, I no longer had anything keeping me in NYC. Sure many people can say I had a brother…a father…tons of friends. No offense…and anyone who was truly my friend can agree with this…none of that held a candle to what I lost when I lost my mother. When I left, I was looking for something which I did not feel as though I could ever find in NYC. I had thought it was my scuba diving…God knows diving in NYC is nonexistent! But when I met my boyfriend after having been here for just less than a year, I almost immediately realized that I had found my “home.” And now, many years later, I realize that what I had wanted was a family. And it was not a short road to get to that realization or even that ability in my life…hence the selling shots bit where I had to work in a place that didn’t care I had my MBA because I didn’t speak the language. But no regrets! I would do it again if I it meant that the end result would be where I am today.
And don’t get me wrong…I’m not done yet! But I feel as though I have the same perspective on life and people as I did when I was 17…and when I was 23 and 30 and 35…plus a few experiences I’ve had along the way which have helped to define whom I have become. Could I sit here and make you feel bad for me as I retell the story of having to bury my mother when I was only 30 or how I have virtually no relation with any of my blood relatives in the States anymore? I could, but why? When what this posting is meant to be is a motivation to keep getting up every morning and moving on. I know that I have written about this same subject before in other postings (Where did I come from?), where I discussed what it felt like to be another year older. Today I should be talking about how it feels to be 40…but to be honest with you, it hasn’t really made a difference to me at all. I am still viewed by the man I met over 4 years ago as though I still look like I haven’t felt since I was 25!
But I am much more accepting today than I was then…and maybe only those who knew me when I was 25 can attest to the changes that have happened in my personality. Because though I feel the same, I look back at who I was at 25…before my mother passed, before I got my MBA, before I knew where my life was going to take me…and I wonder what I used to concentrate on back then. I have never done anything that I have regretted…and I have made my mistakes!! But I’d like to say that I only needed to make certain mistakes once…maybe twice…until I learned from them!
So what is my point? What defines me is my ability to look at today. Not tomorrow or next week…I’ve never been a great planner. Who am I today? When I wake up in the morning, I decide that today I will be happy and I will allow myself to be the person I have become based on my past experiences and I will go on…I will persist because that is what defines me…my ability to survive…based on the knowledge I have at the time. And tonight I will be able to lay my head down on my pillow with a clean conscience and tomorrow I will do it again.