Sat in stake conference today and just started a list of things I am grateful for today...won't weigh you down with the list--its just something I do every now and again when my heart is full--but then I started rambling on and on into this sort of letter to myself. It will probably interest no one but myself (and probably won't make that much sense) but then no one really reads this anyway....I'll start with item #12 on the list:
12. I am grateful for all those who have loved me--Michael (the ex) loved me in his own way and I need to remember that and let go of the rest. Both my grandmothers have brought so much love to my life. Grandpababy who loved to tug my ear and made me feel special. My sisters who made me feel as if I was needed, wanted and loved. Jason who paved the way for me to come down here to this new home and life which I have come to love so much. Dad, who tried when I was growing up to show his love--he bought you a horse, traded wood to get you a refractor to look at the stars--try to remember the good instead of focusing on the pain. Mom, who talked to the principal when Mr. Leaf was cruel in algebra. Yancy, who never doubts in you, even when you're seriously screwing it up. Simon--I can't wait to meet him but I've felt him there. Silly to say but all the animals I have had in my life who loved me--especially Elise and Basil--animals I still feel with me even though they are gone.
Friends--Cynthia and clan have brought me into their fold and accept me at the oddest hours with open arms; 'Netta has DEFINATELY made me one of the family--nice to know I have "brothers" out there now willing to beat the crap out anyone who hurts me--Mikey, who has gone out of his way to try and teach me patience (good luck honey--and bless you for trying!) and has taught me to feel better about myself as a person and less self-conscious about how I look.
Guys who showed some interest--Tyler liked hanging with you, Tim wanted to date you (silly girl for panicking!) and Chad really did like you and tried to stop you from going into a bad marriage (even if you were too clueless to notice at the time). The Lord for loving me no matter how dumb of choices I make--He still blesses me and watches over me even when I really don't deserve it. Thank you for showing me a glimpse of Eternity and allowing me to feel a grandfather I'd never met's love.
I am so grateful for the people He's given me in my life--with so many around me who love and support me, why do I doubt myself or my worth? Lord help me to keep that in mind when I want to get down on myself. Help me to keep in mind how truly loved I am and how many people I have rooting for me. I can accomplish the goals I set for myself--I need to remember that. If I want to write--then write--for myself if for no one else. If I want to draw and design then I need to do it. If I want to find someone then I'd better start attending singles functions, going out at night and put myself in places where I can be seen rather than go home, hide in my room and cry cause no one has found me yet. I have the intelligence to do whatever job I set my mind to--whether I stay at my current job or somewhere else. DO NOT feel unworthy of what blessings come your way and have the courage to ask for those you want. If the answer is no, do not dwell on it but find a new dream to pursue.
If you want to be healthy, then DO something about it--dance, move, walk, whatever. Do not turn to eating as its a poor comfort when you can do more.Don't worry about being a clutz-take whatever steps you can handle as you go. If you feel graceful inside, try to let it show on the outside--be confident--even if no one else notices YOU WILL! You can get a degree--it may not be through some great university but so long as it helps you to do what you love who cares? Don't forget the lessons learned along the way--just because no one has given you a frade or credits do not discount your experiences and interests...they help define who and what you are and even if it isn't something that will gain you wealth or recognition girl you are always willing to learn and do so so eagerly and with a willing and uncomplaining heart. Do not be afraid to go back to school--believe you can do it--its graphic design--you'll love that--you're artistic so get your butt in gear and GO TO SCHOOL! Accomplish one thing you've started and you'll be amazed at how wonderful it will feel--it will be worth the long hours. Search for a program for your drawing tablet and get that CS book back from Mike so you can begin to work on that dream. Begin your own craft businesss--believe in your dreams--even if it never comes to fruition you still need to do it for yourself. Believe believe believe girl--you are worth so much and have so much to offer. Again, even if no one else sees it you will. Don't be afraid to be happy, even if you are not dating for you are not alone--you have too many people caring for you to ever be truly alone. Don't be afraid to believe in the beauty of your dreams. Do not be afraid to laugh, dream, sing...be.
You do not have to feel guilty for your dreams--do not feel you have to take things on that you do not feel comfortable with just because someone tries to guilt you into it. Do NOT be afraid to let go--do not cling so tightly that you strangle that which you so desperately want to hold on to. Do not be afraid of change--it can bring you so much good. Do not be afraid to dare the world. DO reach for the brass ring, enjoy life to the fullest without compromising your morals and beliefs. Do not belittle or demean yourself for ANY reason--you believe in it too easily.
Don't confuse strength for being something you are not. Inner strength does not equal crude mannerism and a loud voice. You can be quiet, humble and strong without crossing that line. Don't be afraid to be attractive--dress like a girl--go to dances and other functions where you would normally feel unworthy. Dare to approach others at activities and be their friend--others are scared too girl--don't be. The worst thing that can happen is they don't want to be with you--so what? You wouldn't have talked with them anyway if you'd just stayed in a corner being a mouse. Be proud of the moose you are--be the best moose you can be. Do not be afraid to put yourself in others' circles, join in the activities even if you aren't good at it--give it your all. Put aside your comfort zone and get yourself out there...even if you don't meet people you can still have fun, be active and do yourself good. You are there because you deserve to be there--not so you can sit around like a kicked puppy waiting for someone to like you.
Do NOT listen to others when they belittle you--they do not know your heart, your desires, your struggles. If they are unhappy with their lives do not let them throw that on you. Do not expect others to validate you--validate yourself. Learn from your mistakes and then move on--stop dragging them around like millstones, allowing them to punish you and punish you and punish you when the Lord has already offered you love, mercy and forgiveness. Stop beating yourself because of your past choices. Keep seeing the beauty around and within you (and there is beauty within you girl). Some days you may struggle to find it but look anyway until you see something to love in yourself if only for that one day--find it and carry it with you--hold it tightly when you're tempted to feel bad about yourself--but do not be afraid to share it with someone else for love is meant to be given away, not hoarded but most of all, remember you are loved, even if you don't always see it.