Ever since I was a small, shy girl I would always imagine myself in one role (consistently, anyway), that was a Mommy. As most young girls do, you gravitate away from those feelings in your teen years, when you are much more focused on relationships, cars, part-time jobs, make-up, and clothes…. I could go on.. Somehow, though, the switch seems to get clicked back on- that untapped yearning that never really went away, but was overshadowed by hormones and dance songs and staying up late.
I remember clearly the day that I turned 25. Something surely clicked that day, because it brought about a series of events and decisions that changed my life 100% and eventually led me to the best friend I have ever had- my wonderful husband, Ryan. Going back to that day, I was in a long term relationship, but now, looking back, I can see that it was very one sided. Not to say that the man did not love me- I believe he did. However, now I can see that even love that exists between two people can sometimes not be the love you need or is in His plan for you. I remember thinking to myself: “I am already 25 years old, and nothing to show for it”- not even a ring on my finger or the promise that there would be one. Unconsciously, the wheels started turning in my head of what I could do to feel more alive, more enriched in my life! I worked nearly fulltime at a restaurant down the street, as I had for the last couple of years. I had friends, I had money of my own, but when something is missing…..well, you just always feel it. I felt it. I had to leave.
I had met a friend while working as a tutor- she lived about an hour and a half away, and I talked with her, visited a few times and found myself a job there before one day moving my few belongings into her home and beginning a new life. This new life would place me face to face with my future husband in less than two weeks.
Why am I telling the story of this time in my life? I guess I have been thinking a great deal about progress. (Hence the title 🙂 ) It is said that the journey of a thousand miles must start with one step. I look back at the last 15 years, and am so thankful that I took those first scared, uncertain, sometimes lonely steps towards what I believe was truly meant to be. In a card for Easter to someone dear to me, I wrote yesterday: What a difference a year can make! Truly! I do not even recognize myself sometimes. I am so proud of the transitions I have adapted to, the time I have taken to think and rethink what I am studying to be sure….100% SURE that I want to use Social Work as a means to help as many people as I can for the rest of my working days. I ask the question of my inner self, and the inaudible answer is always- YES! So, onward I chug, smiling at strangers, doing good wherever I may, and making so many wonderful and truly invaluable friends along the way. Some of the glorious women that I have the blessing to call friends just amaze me with their humble natures. The greatest people on Earth are sometimes truly the ones who have the most to teach you – yet do so in a way that it never seems like learning, just being loved.
I pass along my Faith in Jesus Christ to my children and friends every day. As I held Carter’s hand during the church service yesterday morning, an undeniable sense of peace came over me. I have Faith. The winds may blow, the storms may come, but we keep battling on…sometimes moving inches, others-miles. But, that is what progression is. Progress. One little bit at a time. Enjoy your loved ones this day and this beautiful Spring season. Stoop to smell the daffodils, take a hike, plant some seeds. Time progresses whether we want it to or not, and I chose to take advantage of every opportunity to enjoy mine! 🙂
** The photos that accompany this post are of our son, Brady, at age one (on left) and myself, My Father: Bernie Smith, our son Carter age 12, and our son Brady, now age 9) **