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Friday, October 3, 2014

Twenty Years

I'm heading back to my hometown today for my 20-year high school reunion. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook and the Internet, I've reconnected with friends I honestly never thought I would talk to again, and seeing them in person will actually be really fun… or at least I think it will be.

I like to think I've changed a lot since high school, but in the last few days, I've been thinking a lot about the girl I was then and the woman I am now, and I'm not sure I've changed as much as I thought I did. Sure, I don't get drunk in the woods and make bad decisions (really, bad decisions) but sometimes I still feel like that girl who was trying to figure out who she was and where she fit. The bad decisions were a symptom of the struggle I was facing inside, and while the symptoms are now different, the struggle is the same.

I started as a very confident child, but I lost that somewhere. On the outside, I still appeared to have it together - but on the inside I questioned everything, and doubted myself constantly. It's why I never pursued my dream of becoming an actress. I was scared shitless of failing, of finding out I wasn't as good as everyone had told me I was in high school. So, I quit. I never did another show after high school. And I've regretted that every day since.

And now I continue to quit when things get hard. And the symptoms now are things like being 80 pounds overweight. Losing weight is very hard. Being fat sucks, but it's not as hard as losing weight.

I look at my daughter and wonder how I can help her be who I wasn't then, and who I am not now. Obviously I want her to make better decisions, but also how to help her have the confidence to follow her passions and be who she is.  I doubt myself constantly in parenting her. How do I discipline without crushing who she is? How do I teach her to have confidence in herself when I am still struggling to find mine? How do I help her understand that the world is going to give her a lot of crap, and she has the power insider her to rise above it?

And how do I teach myself all these things at the same time?

I've been struggling a lot lately. It's why I haven't written in weeks. The Baby Buddha's favorite phrase right now is "I stuck." Anytime he needs help or can't do something he says, "I stuck." I hear ya, buddy. I stuck too.

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