Recently, I saw the above car commercial and it hit home for me. Not because I loved the car, per se, or even because I'm a commercial nut, but because I identified with the message that--after all the roles we play in life--we're still the same people who began this journey. At the end of the commercial, the voice over says, "to remind you of when you were you." LOVE THAT!
I AM still me after all these years and after all the roles I've played--sometimes unwillingly. More than the realization is the knowledge that I'm free to be me again--without anyone holding me back.
For almost two decades, I've been cast into roles that sometimes made me feel disconnected from my authentic self. I loved being a wife, but I had no idea how hard marriage would be at 28 when I said, "I do." I didn't realize how many compromises we would make--or how different we would become from the adventurous, fun-loving people we were when we first met. We allowed other people's expectations to interfere with our lives--I own that. I regret that. I've learned from that.
I never anticipated being a widow--a role I was unprepared to accept and another disconnect from the life I imagined living. But I own that identity, too. It has made me stronger and more grateful for everyone and everything in my life.
Even though I understand that I am a mother for a lifetime and I love my kids, my youngest will be graduating from high school soon and I see my "active" parenting no longer being needed. The other day I signed consent forms for the last time. My son will be 18 in December and will be able to sign his own "consent to play" forms. My daughter is a sophomore in college who plans on studying in Europe next year through her university. I've done a good job parenting them through life and giving them a foundation for being extraordinary human beings. Now I'm their confidante--not their chauffeur or disciplinarian. Our relationship has evolved. I'm ready to let go because I know they are amazing individuals with huge ambitions--and that we all love each other even if we end up on different continents one day.
People I have loved and adored as friends have either moved or drifted away. That's fine. I wish them well. I'm not sad about it--in fact, I can't wait to meet new people in my near future. For everything there is a season...isn't that the saying?
I am truly at a crossroads with nothing standing in the way of me living the life I want. The other day I became almost giddy thinking about all the possibilities in front of me. I laughed out loud at the plans I've been silently making alone.
And I do have a plan. It's a good one--but I'm not sharing it with anyone until it's a done deal. Why? Because I've learned that people love telling me how hard something is going to be or guilting me into compromising my true desires.
The truth is that all of us at any given time can make a new choice and create a new beginning. We all have the power of saying, "now I'm going to do something different with my life."
People come and go, our lives evolve, and too often we lose sight of that person we always dreamed of being. If you look at where you are in life right now and it's not making you happy, then let it go. Truly release it, empower yourself to act, and choose a new path.
We all have an authentic self that's dying to breathe in the open air. Yes, we have responsibilities that change us, but when the time comes--when the opportunity is once again handed to you to BE--seize it without hesitation.
Life's not over until we breathe our last breath. Every day is an opportunity to reconnect with who you really are beneath the labels of wife, husband, daughter, mother, worker.
Live where you want to live.
Be who you want to be.
Let go of the roles that you've outgrown--this allows others to grow as well.
Trust the Universe.
None of us were put on this earth to live someone else's dream of who they think we should be.
I feel like a dog shaking madly after jumping out of the water. All those droplets are my past flying away from me in a wild spray. I am as happy as that dog, too! Happy that I jumped in, got wet, swam around, and am back on dry land ready to tackle the next great adventure.
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.