Suffice it to say that this blog began as a mission of optimism- but let’s call a spade, a spade, it was a distraction; one that I needed desperately to find some level of control at a time where I felt as though I had none. To an extent it filled that need and predictably, by way of accountability and integrity, we were able to set goals and achieve them, learn from our missteps and plan (to the best of our ability) what we needed to do for personal and familial growth and development.
I struggled with blogs for years, it’s an awkward notion- like successfully making and serving your family’s oldest and unmatched recipe, self-indulgent yet satisfying. Something not at all natural to me but I love to write and an electronic journal is what I have viewed it most as, until my most recent affirmation. This blog is an unintended, developed, working definition of myself; an in-the-works encyclopedia of K.A.Fowler v.ii
I started at v. ii because v.i is too hard to write and will take years of retrospect, wine and possibly therapy to put into words lol.
As I have gotten older, granted I’m not old nor am I wise, but as I have experienced the infamous transition from adolescence into and through early adulthood and searched the “me” inside, I have developed an interesting yet unexpected perspective; an ability to own my shortcomings, my strengths and boldly say things aloud about myself that I have always known but feared. So, why now? Why has it taken so long? For one reason or another it seems as though I kept this all buried allowing others an open-invite to simply make their opinion and judgments. I can take criticism. I have skin like my father’s rough-leather-tough but with a few tiny cracks here and there that allow some things to unintentionally seep through.
My Dad did not hide that everyone would always have an opinion (insert his famous ” like assholes” mantra to follow) but the only one that mattered was mine. I know the real me, I know the real story. Why care about everyone else? Except that I do. The difference is that I only care about those who matter to me. In my experience the general population is more interested in impressing “the man,” (whoever that is) the woman dressed better (so presuming status)- the suit, the bartender, the waiter, the unknown person making a first impression judgment, etc. etc. To be frank, I don’t give a shit about this person. Think what you want of me, if you don’t know me it doesn’t matter; but if you do- that’s when it does and that’s how I am different. I want you to know the real me. If I take the time to like, respect and perhaps love you in any capacity I have a weakness for needing reciprocity. I do however follow-suit with my father, you don’t need friends. This is true, I don’t. Friends are hard to find and as grown-ups, slightly overwhelming when your typical playground is the local watering hole you don’t want or ever choose to attend comparable to the sandbox, who knows what’s really in there. But, what I have learned is that I do need family and my friends are my family. My closest girlfriends know more of my secrets than my cousins, aunts, even sisters, if I am being completely revealing. I want and plan to grow and grow old with my family-through the good, the bad and the ugly. I fight with and, more importantly, for my family. But what about the dysfunctional family? Don’t we all have one to some degree? What do you do then? Food for thought I suppose…I digress. The best part is that among our many acquaintances there is and will always be room for these individuals to turn into family and when it comes to family, and perhaps some foreshadowing in the years to come, the bigger the better.
Growing my family has made my perspective that much more transparent. As a parent, an aunt and a Godmother, I try to see the world through the wide-eyes of these little beings but the world is cruel and sometimes I wonder if bringing my own girls into such a place was an injustice. A bad start from the beginning? But it was a completely selfish one, as a person who was once uncertain about her family-tied future, once I committed I went for it and could not imagine my life without them or him. This may be one of the few known things I can acknowledge. The misconception of growing-up is that at some point, you do. You have a foundation and an education and are supposed know all that you need to. Don’t grown-ups know everything? Isn’t that why we are educated when we are young? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I don’t think learning even starts until you are post-graduation, real-world bound or submerged. Or at least that’s what it has been for me. Which makes mailing my lifetime-loan-payment more annoying than a black fly bite. Hence why, I don’t try to pretend to understand. I openly admit that “I do not know the answer.” In fact, I’m seriously hoping my girls realize I’m human before they are old enough for it to be a life-altering and heart wrenching awareness as it was for me. I try to tell them often “Mommy doesn’t have all the answers.” “Daddy and mommy aren’t perfect” I’d rather disappoint them now when they are at an age where forgiveness just happens and isn’t a choice, now that’s a way to live!
In summation, here are 10 things I’ve learned to accept, love and own about myself through this journey thus far.
- I’m the most extroverted introvert one may ever meet.
- The best thing I ever got from my Dad was tact. I am too honest and open, if you want me to listen only, I will; but if you ask my opinion or for help I’ll tell you what I see, hear and think. It may not be what you want to hear but even the hardest conversations can be sweetened with a little tact.
- I am the farthest thing from romantic but very sentimental
- I am stubborn and suck at being helped. At 29 I still turn away from even Brent when I’m feeling vulnerable. Heels in the mud; big girl panties and all.
- I have a few standout childhood/adolescent and even early adulthood moments that are humiliating beyond words. Some of which have been documented and the thought of trying to fit my square-self into a round hole for the sake of fitting in makes me cringe and I’m still struggling to understand how it has made me, me and how I allowed there to be evidence of it all lol. (Something I accept but the loving and owning part is still a work in progress)
- I hate crying but do it all the time; usually at the most unexpected moments #annoying
- I am loyal and unselfish- I will do anything for anyone even if they’ve hurt me. I can forgive and forget, trust and trust again- a trait that has landed me ridicule and heartbreak but to quote the highest gross Disney film and the most popular snowman (at present) on the planet: “some people are worth melting for” and the people I love or have loved, all of them, are worth it to me still because at some point I found worth in them.
- Kindness is the most important thing to me, if I can teach my children how to be kind all of the other quality traits will follow suit
- My faith isn’t about a place it’s about a relationship, a private one and when those who doubt it on their own or to me I pose this question “isn’t it better to have faith than to have none?” I believe in my God and I’m steady in my ground but if by chance I’m wrong, what harm does it do to live a life hoping and having faith that there is something bigger rather than living a life negating or finding reason to ridicule that there isn’t?”
- I’ve been accused for years of being a pessimist- I am not. I am a working optimist aka: a realist. Someone terrified of reality but energized by the mere sight of a sunrise.
Now, if you are still reading this completely self-indulgent piece, thank-you. I am uncertain as to why I am disclosing this information to what feels like such a reckless place of self-abandonment but it seems affirming. Something to reflect and keep as a retrospect to my 29 year old self in the years to come, should I be so lucky, nonetheless, thank-you for reading and I challenge you to make a list for yourself.