49th Trip

April 21, 2020

Woke up this morning feeling a better than yesterday.  Sore throat, running nose, itchy and watery eyes.  Seasonal allergies are rampant here in my state.  Culminating into a Migraine and upset stomach.  I called into work last night and stayed home today.

I was awakened by a phone call early this morning from my mother wishing me a happy birthday.  She apologized because she forgot I was sleeping and at home today.  We talked briefly and I went back to sleep.

After a while I woke up and checked my phone, social media, e-mails, text messages, etc.  Sort of expecting well wishes but not seeing any and feeling partially slighted but at the same time not really bothered because I never celebrate my birthday.  To me it’s just another day.  Just a spot on the calendar to mark off.

Today was different though and the feelings of nostalgia have been there at the back of my mind since yesterday.  I went through and shared a lot of old photos of me growing up with my online friend. 

This day marks my 49th trip around the sun.  Approximately 17,885 days of living and breathing on this floating rock in the universe. That’s a lot of days/years and over 4 decades from the 1970’s to 2020.  Next year is the big milestone but times are so uncertain right now with this pandemic affecting our daily lives that today gives me pause to reflect on my life thus far.

I was born in a rural area of the state of Oklahoma.  This state is a very conservative Republican state also considered a “Bible belt” state.  If you drive through any small town here you will find there are normally more churches than stores.  I grew up in a Baptist church.  I walked away from that belief system at the age of 12 when I no longer believed in “grown up authority”.  That was a hard lesson in life to learn and still spills over into my thoughts, even today.  The therapists, psychologists, and doctors call it “trauma”.  I just take it one day at a time because in reality that’s all you really can do. There is no magic pill or drug that will make it go away.  It takes time to let the pain subside and clarity to return in the hopes that you will be stronger in the end.

The other side of that coin that I was dealt is the fact that I’m also a 1st People Indigenous/Native American female.  I’m considered a minority here.  Life for me has not been easy.  Growing up being constantly belittled because of the color of my skin and my gender. Being stereotyped, profiled, turned down for promotions, overworked, underpaid, bullied, and abused not only by other races but sometimes by my own people as well.  

Instead of backing down, I’ve fought every step of the way to make sure I was heard and accomplished every goal I set.  I was taught to stand tall, keep looking ahead, and to get back up if I fall.  These are the same things I taught my own children.

As I continue looking forward it is finally starting to sink in that I cannot change the past nor should I continue to dwell on it.  I will never get an apology from those that hurt me. The wrongs that befell me will never be rectified or receive any justice.  I cannot continue moving only halfway in the light.  There is nothing left in the darkness that can hurt me.  I’ve already dragged it all into the light the last 5 years to be seen and dealt with through counseling, therapy, and self-reflection.

The only bad days ahead are the ones that I create through inaction.  Each day we have is a moment to change our momentum and the direction we are moving.

The current situation we are living in is a perfect example of Newton’s first law stating that “Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.”  If there ever was good time to change our path it is today.  We’ve been given the opportunity to make a change not only for ourselves but for those around us in our communities.

The first step I took recently was going back to work for a previous employer but it is to be only temporary.  It’s hard work physically and mentally which affects me emotionally. It is just something to keep us going in our current time of need.  Once this quarantine is over then I will go back to the employers that were in the midst of interviewing me for their job positions which are now on hold temporarily.  Better pay, office environment, and normal hours with weekends free.  Those positions were utilizing the time management, organizational, and computer skills that I have built up through the year along with the supervisory/management experience which provide better opportunities moving forward.

Afterwards then it is time to finish up my last 12 hours of school then move on to completing a master’s degree, possibly.  Everything that I’m reading about right now indicates that unless it’s a masters in a stem field then it may be pointless.  I am weighing my options on that one.

The second option would be to pursue work in a stem related field and go back into looking at programming and coding.  That was my original higher education interest.  That field currently affords the opportunity to work under contract for yourself without the confines of walls or a cubicle.  That is an ideal work environment for me.  My oldest son is working with me in finding sources to obtain the programming skills needed.

The end goal to all this work was to save and invest enough funds to begin the process of retiring within 7 years. A lofty goal that I believe will be achievable with the right plan of action.

These are all the things I think about on a daily basis.  Where I want to be in 5 to 10 years from now and what I want to be doing.  It comes up every waking moment and even more so on the days when it’s hard to get out of bed because of the depression and anxiety.  I’m not going to let anything stop my progression in achieving my personal goals. 

Another year may have passed and the future is still uncertain but we each have the ability to make the future however we want it to be.  Your current situation can change or be changed by you.  Nothing in life is guaranteed.

The only guarantee is that no matter what happens we can either keep moving or stay where we are.

The life you have is determined by how you react to it, grow in it, or the lack of action.

The choice is always ours.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have an awesome week!

Suzanne

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