Growing up in rural America, we are conditioned from birth to pair off, marry and have as many babies as physically possible.  As an adult—a single female with no children— I’m continuously judged —harshly.  Why do people judge negatively to those who choose a different path than the norm?

Most of my classmates went the direction taught to us from birth.   They also judged all of us that went against that grain.  2020 brought them to their truth.  Isn’t it interesting to see the perfect social media relationships during and post covid lockdown?

People want you to believe their marriages, relationships and lives are beyond perfect.  Go on social media and you’ll experience the happy bliss.  Speak to them offline—they are clawing like a cat on a hot tin roof to keep their sanity within miserable relationships.  My one question when they call for some sanity—“Are you ok with your life from now until death?”

Read that again—“Are you ok with your life from now until death?”

If the answer is “no”—do what is necessary to make that happen.

Why is it so important for people to give a fake facade?

The world has enough people who know how to paint a pretty life impression.  Who play games while thinking only of themselves.

It needs people who are honest, dependable and who tell it like it is.  Whether it benefits them or not.  People who can express their feelings—even if it leaves them vulnerable.  They can take the risk in the hope of a huge reward.

Living all over this country, I’ve observed how different people are.  Some states have an overall feel.  California was mellow.  Oklahoma a genuine salt of the earth, what you see is what you get.  Some a specific city.  Chicago and New York City are in your face with an agenda.  Boston they like to play games.

The past couple of years have been particularly hard for me.  My heart and my body were broken.  My brain had to reset and remind me of the values where I started— rural America.

Please allow me to digress:

My father had me pounding steel posts when I was 12.  It taught me to work hard for something you want.  That is a satisfying thing.

Throughout childhood, I was at the barn by 5am most days.  It wasn’t work to clean the stalls, or exercise horses.  It kept me focused—out of trouble.  Hauling hay and building fence were a necessity.  There were days my body ached so bad it wouldn’t move another inch.  My hands bled.  Water stinging like fire.  Bandages were used to cushion the next day’s work.  Blisters whether on your hands, heels or feet were never a reason for a day off.

There were few sunrises and sunsets I missed from the alleyway of the barn.  Never a complaint left my mouth.  It calmed my heart to be there.  The smell of the shavings—the sound of the heartbeats.  The barn was my escape—my church.

The grit I learned as a child afforded me the ability to figure out my focus in the hardest of times.  When my world was at its darkest.  When my body wanted to give up—my heart was shattered—and my soul broken down.  It is at these times we are the most isolated.  It is at these times we have to dig deep—find our roots—use them to regrow.

I’ve learned the physical body heals easily compared to the ache of the heart and mind.

My heart loves deeply.  It knows no other way.  When my heart realized the love I felt wasn’t returned—it bled out until open space made it hollow. That hollow aching worse than any pain I’ve ever experienced.

Back to my original point—“Are you ok with your life from now until death?”

No matter how big we blow up the bubble of denial—the truth doesn’t waiver.

Know your truth—Figure out how to communicate it even if the vulnerability terrifies you.

Covid lockdown has definitely pushed the limits of everyone.  Some grew stronger.  Others fell apart.  Some found grit.  Others succumbed to weakness.

What we should have learned through it all is to always pour our heart and soul into our passion.  Be stubborn about our goals.  Be eager to learn from others.  Speak kindness to a stranger. To that young kid who may be looking up to you.

Be soft with your hands and words, yet strong in your morals.

Do something you have always wanted to do but scared  to.

Break the mold.

Be elated with your life from now until death. Take the risk. Make the change.  The reward is worth it.

Stay healthy!