09 September, 2013

5 Days Before Turning 28

My life has been quite the journey.

One that had someone asked me 10 years ago, 5 days before I turned 18, if this is where it would end up; I would certainly say of course not. Full of my personal share of mistakes, that I swore I would never make; full of heartbreak, I would have sworn I'd never face. But the reality is, the culmination of the past 10 years, has created 'me'. A 'Me' I never thought I would know, because I was unable to know 'me'. Thus, first, let me define 'me'. As a lover of dictionaries and definitions (to the point of owning several dictionaries, walking around with a dictionary (like actual book, not my phone) always)... I define for you; Blair.


Blair: A Dreamer Believer. Of possibility; of hope. Of potential, in both myself and in others. In things, in places, in opportunities. A devout friend. Too Forgiving. Undervaluing of self; overvaluing of others. But refuses to ever change that. Humble. Easily excited – easily hurt. But still; nonetheless, always a believer. Benevolent.

I truly hope that somehow, in some capacity, I can be the little spark that helps someone's life to be more delightful, their adventure more worthwhile, their walk and journey worthwhile. Not by anything of value that I have to give or place; but rather by helping to inspire thought and potential for others to become believers. Benevolence is not how much I can give; but rather what I'm willing to give. Benevolence is not when it's easy, but when it's hard too. Benevolence is being able to look past my own self and what limitations or assumptions lie within myself, and see the good and value in others, always.

5 days before I turned 18: I had recently been baptized Mormon. I was beginning a semester at Anne Arundel Community College; during what should have been my senior year of high school. My father was in a nursing facility in Annapolis; that I would occasionally sneak away to and go visit him. Where we would have short, far too brief looking back now, but conversations. Something we hadn't had in over 10 years, as I had refused to speak, in any variety, to my father. These few, brief, but personal and only him and I conversations, would be my saving grace, during the next 10 years of my life; and more so when 2 months after my 18th birthday, my father left this world. Surely I wish I could go back and have a million, long, personal conversations with my father instead of a mere few short brief ones; but I am so grateful for whatever within me, stepped entirely outside of my realm of 'norm', especially as a teenager, and went to speak to my dad. Where I was given advice that I will treasure and carry with me for a lifetime; where I was given love that I had sought from my father for a lifetime – strong enough to carry with me through my lifetime. Where I was given acceptance – that I too had sought for a lifetime from my father. And where, far the most important, I was given an apology – and I learned the value of true, humbled, forgiveness, and the power that holds not just to help others; but to help our own selves heal. Thank you G-d for giving me that gift, so few ever receive. And thank you, Dad for having the love strong enough, and the humility I never thought you did; to offer it.

5 days before I turned 18, I had no idea that in less than a month, I would be moving to Utah. 2300 miles away from my family, my friends, and everything I had ever grown up around, or to know. I had no idea I would attend the University of Utah; graduate with a bachelors degree, with honors. I had no idea that in 6 months, I'd meet the love of my life; whom I would marry a year thus later, have 2 amazing children with, by the time I was 21, and subsequently experience the awfulness of heartbreak when infidelity and immaturity would destroy our marriage; leading to separation by 25. I had no idea I would end up in Frederick, MD of all places. Or all the amazing, awful, unique, stupid, but always necessary, experiences that I have had the past 2.5 years in Frederick and in my life.
I bring it up again, but because of such the shock it would have been had anyone ever told me at nearly 18; My 2 amazing children. My perfect, amazing, LOVING children. That have loved me, unconditionally. That continuously forgive me – and others. That see the world in such an amazing way. And yet have also taught me the sorrow that are so prevalant within our society and in people. Learning that I can't protect my babes from some horrors, no matter how hard I try or how much I wish and desire. But learning the importance of being able to teach another; that this too shall pass, to help them see their own values & worth, and to watch them learn and grow into their own people – my children are my everything. Children; the thing I never wanted to have, never thought I would have. My children. My reason for everything. The true testament that you may love something so much, you feel your heart may burst.

I had no idea that I would ever know what it means to go hungry, without. I had no idea I would ever understand what being homeless truly is. What feeling worthless is like. I had no idea I would have to lose everything; and somehow trust that somewhere down the road, it would make sense and find a purpose. Trust; that someday it would somehow, not be this bad. That there was a point to carrying on, despite it all.

5 days before I turned 18; I had no idea that I would truly be a testament of the entitlement of “Continuously Learning and Growing”; that my entire life would be be a growing and learning process; which meant never ceasing; and that somehow, though these things in and of themselves provided hardships; they were essential to my character, my being, and my capabilities to be truly empathetic with those who believe, act, and are different than my own self. The essential lesson that would teach me that labels have no value; EVER, in any capacity.


5 days before turning 18; I had no idea that I would have to learn one of life's hardest lessons, with time (and repeated experience reminders); no one is perfect. No matter how much you desire them to be perfect; no matter how perfect they may desire to be. No human being on this earth is perfect. Thus, you can not expect anything, but must learn to only hope for everything. Even when the world seems to be against you; no matter how many knives may be in your back; it is essential to hope for the people who give flowers; to always accept life as it was giving you flowers. Jaded and Spite only harm ourselves, and prevent us from seeing beauty in our world; in it's people, and in this life.

5 days before turning 18 I had no idea that I would lose my faith, or rather turn my back on my faith, for a long time, and take everything within me to find it again.

5 days before turning 28; I tell you this, my friends. Life has taught me the value in love, the value in beauty, and the value of trust. The first 2, Love & Beauty, are things that are always available; always possible to find in ourselves for others and of others. Even when we think it impossible. If we truly seek and find it within ourselves, we are capable of loving even the most heinous of people, and finding beauty even in the most heinous of experiences. The 3rd, trust, is something that must be earned, and can be easily broken. And once it's broken; it can take a lifetime to rebuild. It is not something that can be freely given; even if you desire such. It is never worth risking.

5 days before turning 28; I know the true meaning of value, and that it never lies with 'things', but rather with experiences and with people – friendship, relationships, family, You can take all of my possessions, and I can still remain rich, with the essential people and opportunities that I have had remaining.

I tell you, that no matter what you think -or how hard you try- you will never find self worth in the hands of someone other than your own self. No title, no piece of paper – certificate, diploma, declaration, etc, no association, no label. None of these things will ever give you any self value; ever. You are entirely valuable and worthy; however you will never discover the true meaning of self value and worth until you discover accept the reality that things that oft society tells us are important; are typically quite frivolous.

I tell you; Actions, always, speak louder than words. Always. Remember this when you are giving away your heart and your trust. Additionally, and more importantly; remember this when you choose to speak. Words are irrelevant and unnecessary; your life, your involvements, what you do – they speak for you.

So, 5 days before turning 28; I tell you this, my friends. The past 10 years, have taught me a heck of a lot. It has not been easy. I reject any premise that defined life as being easy. However, I submit to you; that life is worth it. That however hard it may be, there is always, that love and beauty – you simply must open your eyes. Would I have lived the past 10 years differently, having the hindsight I have? Perhaps; but only in ways that are artificial. The core of this past decade, has taught me so much – even amongst the heartbreak and discord, that I would never give up the essential lessons that have subsequently allowed my heart to grow, my mind to adjust, and my life to expand.

With that knowledge at hand; with my experiences, my intimate self value and worth, and the love of my friendships, my children, my family – and never ceasing to be benevolent; and never ending my definition of a believer; I face forward, with my chin held high; grateful, humbled.

But most importantly:

Hopeful.