I am a world of bad choices. I am a mess of mistakes. I am a tangle of failures.
Those 3 things have been some of my greatest allies over the years. And, although my accomplishments have helped build me into a better, stronger, more confident person, I can't think of one accomplishment that hasn't proven more sweet without a world of bad choices; a mess of mistakes; a tangle of failures.
My life has been a series of 'do-overs'.
1. I have NO problem being in front of a group of people.
2. I can improvise in a situation when things aren't going well and solve problems quickly.
3. I can deal with difficult people and smooth rough situations out due to years of working with......you guessed it......difficult people with big egos. I'm good at it.
Thank you, 10 years of working in the wrong profession.
So, at 28 years of age, my career was a do-over. And actually.....at 35 years of age.....it was a do-over again. Story for another time.
When I was 14 years old I began dabbling in alcohol and recreational drugs. By the time I was 16 I was doing my first hard drug. By the time I was 22 I was using hard, recreational drugs and drinking hard liquor on a regular basis. When I was 24 I decided life wasn't worth living anymore. I met someone who introduced me to the Jesus I never knew and my life did a complete 180 (it wasn't that quick and easy but we'll leave it at that for now!)
Fast forward 2 years.
While I was acting in a large Christian theatre, some people were one day talking about how disgusting people were who did drugs and alcohol and about prostitutes who degraded themselves with their lifestyle. 'How can people be so stupid?', one person said. And I gathered up my courage and said something like......, 'Because they don't know any better. Because they are wounded and lonely and empty and nothing else has ever worked. Because they are looking for love and don't know how to find it. Because they are desperate.......and desperate people do desperate things.'
My years of awful choices and awful mistakes created a very tolerant, understanding and empathetic person who could gently explain 'why' to people who have never been there before and don't understand (and you can't fault anyone for that). Because at 24 years of age, my life was a 'do-over'.
I feel like I've been in these situations countless times......situations where I can relate and other people can't..... because I have been there. And, there's a need for that. ( before you ask....no....I was never a prostitute!)
Thank you, God, for redeeming and using 10 years of what seemed like a wasted life.
I never intended on being a Mother. I felt like a failure as a person and I was afraid I would pass my crap to a child and ruin another person forever. But, I fell in love and married a man with 8 brothers and sisters who immediately told me after we married that he wanted to start a family whenever I was ready.
'Um.....how about never?'
But.....at 29 years of age, after kicking and screaming (inside my head.....not literally) and trying to convince the world I had nothing to offer a child....... I became a mother of sweet Lilly. And, when I was 31, I became a mother to the amazing Molly. I was convinced I shouldn't have children......but life is grand with my 2 girls. Nothing takes their place and I could have missed it. Thank goodness God gave me a man who showed me I could love another person in spite of my own dirty laundry........and I got a do-over.
I could tell you a million 'do-over' stories. Stories about my gallery, my marriage, my millionth mistake as a parent, as a daughter, a sister, a friend .......but I think you get the point.
Life is never at the ultimate failure point. There's always a chance for a 'do-over'.......and a 'do-over' can show up in a million different ways.