The other day I babbled on about the ‘Other Woman’ in reference to Hurricane Sandy (or cyclone Sandy depending on who you listen to) and I tried to convey the message that our best and worst qualities come forward in a crisis situation, that our partners pick up our shortfalls and run with them to keep the family (or group) together… that people automatically go into this survival mode where everyone’s most useful and best qualities emerge and fit within the space they are most needed. I also took that moment to reassess the last 20 years of my life and really think about the choices I’ve made and the effects they’ve had, both good and bad, leaving me to realize that I can’t let the next 20 years be a repeat of the last with the way I’ve come to do certain things, think certain ways and react to certain situations.
Not all of us believe we get second chances to do things over, but in fact we do all the time; Finding Mony again was not a do over, but a second chance at true love and happiness, winning custody of my children wasn’t a do over to fix the mistakes I made with my oldest but a chance to be a better parent to my youngest, surviving Hurricane Floyd when it hit Lodi, NJ and the Passaic River crested dumping 6 to 14 feet of water into the town and coming out unscathed was another moment I had a chance to do something better and didn’t take advantage of that. Even the small things we fail t o see are messages that we can have another chance to do something different, something better, what we want and do it the right way for ourselves. There were many other instances in my life when I was facing a huge circumstance that should have life altering choices as part of the aftermath, but I didn’t choose to see that opportunity; maybe I was to young, to stupid or to smart for my own good…. regardless, whether it is me or everyone, we all have these moments to make a change.
I think for me to see this opportunity this time it took me being older, wiser and having lived through some horrendous times (some of my own creation), and of course being sparred the devastation that so many neighbours, friends and townsfolk were handed… Annnnd…. Mony being here at my side for this. Since I found her again I’ve taken second looks at many things, rethought and considered things I may not have only a year ago, she inspires, supports and believes in me; this is why I finally saw this tragedy (one I was sparred) as a pivotal moment to effect change.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, for me personally, wasn’t as tragic as so many families around me, (I still have my home and all my memories), but it is an aftermath that will have lasting and profound effects on my life from here on. Finding Mony a year and a half ago and had a huge impact on me, going through the growing and learning process with her has been amazing and I have become wiser in that time; her being with me through this disaster and us coming out of it unscathed has opened my eyes even wider to my life and what needs to change. That change isn’t something so profound as hiking the mountains of Tibet to meet the Dhali Lama and ask the meaning of life, however it is time I did things the way they work best for me…. do the things that my gut and heart say are right for me and my family… follow the paths that make me feel strong, safe and secure.
Sometime in 2006 I lost me, I once told someone; “I was the afterbirth of who I really am” and that statement now resonates loudly with me because I’ve sat here for the last week and re-evaluated choices and what those choices brought me… I stopped following my gut instinct and heart back then and started listening to people who thought they knew what was best for me… fact is my rise to success so many years ago was built on the back of my gut instinct and when I started listen to all the great advice and being given choices as if I had no other, I fell from grace and success was lost to me; put back where I started more than 20 years ago… The bottom. But as I sat here for this week and realized that there were signs of change all around me, that things had to change and the opportunity to change was upon me, I realized that a year and a half ago, I got a second chance to do things over… I found my one true love again and was given that chance to experience the true love I’d only found with her when I was an 18 year old upstart… Last week Sandy came into our lives and as much of a deadly trail as she blazed through the homes and lives of other, she opened my eyes to the fact that it is time to go back to doing what my gut tells me is right for me.
If you’ve ever read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, there is a small segment that tells you that nothing you do for you is wrong for you because you know you best (or something to that effect), and it is true… my earlier success in life was because I was the rebel, I did it my way and outside of the box of the norm or standard and I always beat the odds… when I stopped doing what I felt was right for me, I lost all those great things I worked hard for… Finding Mony again and reaching out to her to tell her I loved her, had been in love with her and was sorry I ever left her, was the first right thing I did for me in 6 years, with her at my side for the last year and a half and being here for this monster storm, I realize that I have to make the change to doing what is right for me.
I hope you readers take a minute to truly reflect on what you do that makes you happy, healthy and successful both in your personal and professional lives, as well as in your relationships. Keep doing what’s right for you and what works best for you, but also reach for your passions and hold on to them with both hands, only to let go with one hand to smack the person in the head that tells you to drop your dreams. After you smack that person, you can grab the person that loves and supports you and plant a big wet kiss on their lips and thank them for being there… But never let go of your dreams, passions, what works for you and who you are… I did, and I failed at being someone else.
Thanks for reading