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Over the years I’ve had more and I’ve had less. I’ve had extreme highs and deep lows. Along with many ups, downs, bends, twists and turns. My life often felt as if I was on a large roller coaster in the middle of an amusement park wondering when this crazy ride would ever end. As if someone else was in charge of the off button and that someone was not me. All was a blur as I was tossed about, out of control, dizzy, scared, and anxious. Of all the rides in this amusement park called life, had I really picked this one? Hadn’t I always been afraid of roller coasters? Couldn’t I have picked another safer ride?
So, what was I doing on this one? And, how would I get off? Life is made up of many choices! Some made consciously, and some not. Yet, as I look back on my life here on planet Earth, I see where many choices that I made brought me to my life as it is today. It reminds me of the year I turned ten, my parents decided to pack up our lives in Wisconsin and move to California. Almost everything was sold, including our home in West Allis, leaving only a few items that were shipped via the mail to my paternal grandmother. Left behind was my best friend, my bedroom on the second floor tucked away from the rest of the house, and the big, sprawling backyard with the huge weeping willow tree and the much used swing that I could soar high in the air – confident and assured. Overnight, all that changed. Only a long, tedious car ride across the U. S. loomed ahead with endless stretches of blacktop and windy roads to endure.
The sight-seeing that my parents so loved, I did not. The hours spent in the car, were endless and too close for my much needed personal space and comfort. I felt a sense of dread with all the unknown that stretched ahead. If only I had known back then what took me until much later in life to comprehend. That I was an introvert and what I experienced and felt were the common emotions and reactions of an introvert. Something that I thought was a fatal flaw in my personality. A flaw that often left me feeling ashamed and distraught. Over the years I would wonder what was wrong with me? Why did I not jump in with glee and enjoy the experience? What made me hold back, withdraw, and be unsure? Like the huge, rickety roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that everyone was so excited to ride, even my much younger brother who hopped right on with no fear – but not me. So many emotions battled within me. Wasn’t it scary enough to be in a state in which I did not feel I belonged? Made fun of in school for my mode of dress, my tall lanky body, and my Wisconsin accent. And, now, it seems, I am expected to get on that monstrosity and call it fun? NO THANK YOU! This is how life unfolded for me. The hesitation to dive in. The long moments of assessment before I would participate. The cautiousness that always came before the enthusiasm or acceptance of what lay before me. I would stand on the sidelines and watch. I would assess the safety of the environment, person, place, or thing before I would enter. Did I wish to make the effort to join in or would I just let it flow past without me? What I have learned over my lifetime is that we all have choices and we come to decide which ones are a yes and which ones are a no for ourselves. No one else can successfully make those choices for us. No one can assure us it is safe, fun, or what we are meant to experience, No one can say which is the right path, course of action, and which is not, except ourselves. Life takes us on many rides. Some scary. Some enjoyable. Some we swear we never signed up for. Yet, in every instance we are at choice. Not always at choice whether to move or not, as with my 10-year old self. But, how we perceive it. How we remember it. How it will mold and form us.
For me, I have come to embrace and accept that aspect of me which hesitates, steps back, and assesses before I jump in. I know this is the way I “play” in life. Have I ever hesitated too long? Indeed, I have. And yet, even in this, the outcome was what I was meant to experience. I look back on the journey my parents took us upon when we left everything we knew behind. What it took for them to give up the life they knew, for the one they did not. It took tremendous bravery and courage. They forged ahead with the determination to make our lives better. No matter what it looked like to others. They made a choice and off we went to a new land of opportunity, healthy living, and a lifestyle dramatically different than the one we left behind. Taking along this introvert, often kicking and screaming, yet it is a journey I do not regret. Your money-life does thrive in clear, open, tidy spaces. Yet, do you find you don’t have any of those? Maybe it’s time for you to step back and assess the situation — determine how you can free up space? After all, don’t you deserve to have a lush, green money-life? No need to fret about money and no need to spend it needlessly on stuff that you do not use. Don’t know how to do that? Going it alone can be scary. It begins with simply asking for help.
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