Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Time To Live...

Even though I think the age of 30-40 is still fairly “young”, there are so many things I feel I have not done yet. I feel like I haven’t travelled as much as I should have. There are so many adventures that I have simply passed up on.  The reason: fear. Fear has always held me back in some way or another, whether in relationships, traveling, pursuing my dream goals or even to just “say no” to the things I really didn't want in my life, just because I “felt bad”. I was always brought up to be polite, saying “please” and “thank you”. I say sorry way too much when there is no need for it. If someone bumps into me, I involuntarily let out an “Oh, I’m sorry.”

All my life I have gone out of my way, above and beyond to make others happy, not because I feel guilty or “it’s the right thing to do” - but because I really want to. I’ve been taken advantage of a lot in my lifetime and mocked for the things I have done. I’ve been judged and criticized for my anxiety and depression when I was drowning in it. I was called, “crazy” or “psycho”, simply because I would get panic attacks or bail out at the last minute to an invite because I was feeling down. The thing that hurts the most is, the most important people in my life, the ones that I love the most mock me and treat me like complete dirt sometimes. (A select few mind you.) But, in the bigger scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter, right? I have learned to deal with these criticisms and tried to look deeper into other people’s motives.

My biggest accomplishment made was once bashed by someone special in my life. I had published a book back in 2005, to only see it get ripped and torn into little pieces into the garbage can, all because this person went into a jealous rage. In other parts of the world, my book has helped many people struggling with forgiveness, relationships and being comfortable with their religion and lifestyle. Their letters and emails of appreciation from my readers brought tears to my eyes; as well as the one book that was shredded into smithereens inside the garbage can. Both two different emotions of course.

This year has been a wonderful journey for me. I married my best friend and we are enjoying our life together with friends and family. Although my family couldn’t make it to my wedding, because it was six hours away, they accepted the fact that my marriage was with another woman, and finally legalized in the state of Massachusetts and recognized here in New York. My mom presented me with my grandmother’s wedding ring as a gift and wished me well with her “5th daughter”, Madelene. My closest friends and my new mother-in-law were all there to celebrate the best day of my life. It was a bittersweet moment, because I was crying over the fact that I had no family members there, yet I was so happy to be exchanging wedding vows to the person who means the most to me. I totally understand that the drive out to Cape Cod is exhausting, but it still tugged at my heart nonetheless. I dwelled over the fact that my entire family drove out 13+ hours to Ohio to see my cousin get married, and yet they couldn’t try for me. (Not even a card.)  All of these thoughts went through my head: “Is it because it’s a gay wedding? Do they not approve, when all along said they did? Do they think my relationship is invalid just because it’s homosexual?" 

I’ve learned to toss these negative thought patterns aside and realize that my wedding was an unconventional thing. It was on a private beach with about ten people there. Six more would have been better, but I don’t think my family could have handled that, especially my parents. Totally understandable.  It still saddens me to think that they didn’t get to see me get married. I did hope that I would have received a phone call from my sisters at least, surprising me of their trip out to witness the ceremony, but unfortunately I didn’t. They all are very busy with children, careers and such, so I’m totally ok with that.     My “family” was still there---they don’t need to be blood related. They drove all the way from NY to MA to be with me on my special day---and for that I thank them for. They made our day very special!

So today, the day before my birthday, I’ve decided to not dwell on the things that are out of my control, but to get out there in life and “live”! I will no longer prevent myself from seeing what life has to offer, or sit and wait for it to come to me. I’m going to travel more, take more risks, love more without expectations and most of all, always always forgive people, just as I need to be forgiven too. I’ve been too hard on myself this past year with negative thoughts and I’m going to snap the hell out of it. In fact, I’m getting my passport this week and heading out to Spain this coming June. I can’t wait. It’s time to live.   Finally.


Finding Pam said...

I came from Nick's blog to say Happy Birthday! Sometimes are family can be toxic to us, but to love them without conditions takes real courage. Congrats on the wedding. You can choose your own family now...

~Deb said...

Thank you, Pam. Nick is one of my favorite bloggers! And I appreciate your input. The friends I have are so important to me, as well as my blood related family. I just have to accept the things I cannot change...the serenity prayer has done wonders for me. Thanks for the visit and the birthday wish! :)

SJ said...

That first few lines could have been about me. :)

Happy birthday!

the walking man said...

In regards to the fear and all that that word encompasses: be well.

Fear nothing then fear will fear you; for there is the possibility that your lack of fear will show others they have no reason to accept that useless emotion. You may spread an infection of fearlessness. An infection that can kill fear.

And when you wake and read these words know that God would have for you nothing but the best celebration of your birth that you ever had. Turn the page and flip the clock over, add another year knowing that the best gift comes from God to you. Your strength in this new resolve to live free of fear.

Be kind to yourself and your wife and nothing can harm you.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Happy Aquarian Birthday, Deb!

ell said...

hope you have a very happy birthday! may everyone around you treat you like a princess!

Jess said...

Goooood for you!!! Spain! How exciting! Get out and do it girl! And happy of the happiest birthdays lovely!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Excellent plan! GO, DO, BE!

Anonymous said...

Deb: I think you said it best with the following:

"love more without expectations and most of all, always always forgive people"

Whatever the reasons for your family not showing up at your wedding, it's time to forgive and move on. At the end of the day, they are still your family. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Congratulations on your wedding.

I am good friends with m but do not run with her since we live in different geographic areas. The first time I met her was at a race and in one of her blogs she posted a picture of the two of us running together that is one of my all time favorites.

Don't be hard on yourself, think positive thoughts and "live" like you want to whether that means traveling to Spain or around the corner for a cup of coffee (I'm a coffee drinker).

I hope you have a happy birthday and do something fun to celebrate. What birthday is it?


Just_because_today said...

going out of our way to make it better for others,always apologizing, etc sounds like the little girl who wants to be loved. We all have that little girl still living in us.

Leesa said...

Wow - I had started a post last night (I don't think I will post it until Wednesday, though) that had similar sentiments.

Loved the post.

~Deb said...

SJ: Thank you. :)

The Walking Man: It’s a great way of thinking, easier said, and very difficult to grasp, nonetheless, excellent advice.

Nick: Thank you my fellow Aquarian friend!

Ell: Thanks! Although I was a bit down (literally and emotionally) it was a great day.

Jess: Going to the post office tomorrow to get my passport. I’m excited. It’s something we’ve never done before---go to a different country. Thanks, Jess!

Real Live Lesbian: I’m ready...!

Anonymous: ”You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.” I know what you’re saying, but I feel differently. I don’t think blood relation is all that important, as much as treating others with respect and love is. I have forgiven them and understood their reasonings, but I do feel a bit sad that they weren’t there to see me get married. I appreciate your advice, Kevin. I am looking forward to start traveling around the world. We’re visiting a different country at least once a year. I guess I just let fear take over all my life, which kept me idle. Thanks for your birthday wishes...I’m 35...(really 29)....ssshhhh!

Just Because Today: Totally. I think we all want to be loved, mostly by the people we love the most. Human nature...

Leesa: Can’t wait to read it. :)