Surviving. Living. Thriving. Blooming. Words that I have used to describe myself in the past two years. But there is another one that is very prevalent. Daring. I have never really liked this word. Before, I would have never played truth or dare. It was too iffy, too vulnerable, too risky. I didn’t like risky. I could expose my fears and failures and lack of risk taking to others. I liked secure, the known, safe. I liked safe. And perfect.
I was once a shell of a person. One who sought out perfection, safety, control. I pretended to be what I assumed everyone wanted me to be so I could belong. I could keep the image of a good marriage, good mother, good person, good everything. I never looked for adventure, focused on dreams, or acted on impulses because I didn’t know the outcome thus I had no control and could be hurt. I was scared of failure, pain, humiliation, and being left out. I was half living and I didn’t even know it.
I hit rock bottom. The rug was pulled out from underneath me. Shattering my perfect little world I had created. I am emerging with new scars and new outlooks. My writing has been the biggest influence in many ways. My first significant impulse. I just had to do it. Leading me on a crazy, wild, fulfilling, hard, scary, vulnerable journey. The thoughts and words in my head push me daily. Can I write this? Can I share this with the world? Can I handle whatever it brings me?
Maybe it all started when I realized that no matter how hard I tried to keep it all perfect, shit still happens. Pain is unavoidable. People walk out of your life. Control is out of my hands. All of these things are really really scary. But experiencing it made me stronger. Braver. Bolder. If I made it through XYZ then let’s see if I can make it through ABC.
I am playing Truth or Dare with my life. I am owning my truths and sharing them to the world. Not always easy. Down right terrifying at times. But in the end glorious. I am daring to experience what this one life I have offers me. Because did you know how exciting and fun life is?! I didn’t. Damn it’s a pretty cool place this Earth. The people, the places, the food, the beer, the voices, the love, the tenacity. It’s beautiful. Inspiring. And I almost missed it.
My divorce is the worst and best thing that has ever happened to me. There I said it. My divorce is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. And now I want to cry. I am mourning what was lost. But I am now living.
I am not immune to hard. Right now, I am knee deep in depression. I am numb on the inside. I am lonely AF. I may be pushing myself, daring myself to do anything that might make me feel. Feel something. For many years, I wouldn’t allow myself to explore what life had to offer me due to feeling anything. So maybe I am making up for lost years. But, I am not frantic with the living part. I know when to pause. I know when to ask for help. I know when to seek help. I know when to say no. However, I am more apt to say yes.
My beautiful friend, Ashli (who isn’t afraid to say the good and hard stuff to me) introduced me to a song. A popular hit. She sang it to a group of us and I really listened to the words. The chorus is the anthem to my daring life.
I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
Yeah with every broken bone
I swear I lived
I Lived – OneRepublic
I know that this might not make much sense to some of you. My actions and decisions might even disappoint people. How I look at life now may baffle you. And that’s okay. It would probably me too if I was watching me.
But I don’t want to live with regrets. I have many from my past. Too many. I have allowed my fear, my depression, my anxiety to live for me. Sometimes they still do. But not for long.
This is Katie 2.0. I am never going back. Honestly, I don’t even look back.
Why do I keep sharing this with you all? I don’t know. Maybe it is to reiterate to myself that I am no longer who I was. Maybe it is for me to see how far I have come in two short years. Maybe it is for me to keep going. Not to stop even when the hard is overwhelming and it feels like it will never get better. Maybe because this is actually what life is all about. Sharing truths. Taking dares. Laughing. Loving. Learning. Growing. Making mistakes. Falling down and standing back up. Being alive and grateful. Maybe it is for you. Maybe you struggle with all of this too.
Or maybe it’s my own revolution.