Liz, I hope she doesn't mind my calling her that, has a segment, where every week - specifically Mondays - she will be doing something that she's never done before or isn't very good at - her Monday Dares. "Dares" rather than challenges or goals, because I agree with her those are rather daunting words. Coming from a previous corporate job, where we had to write our own yearly reviews and come up with goals for the coming year - the word "goal" is despised.
This particular Monday is about bragging. Bragging is viewed differently all over the world and in many cultures looked down upon.. Though I am a white Anglo-Saxon American female, bragging, particularly about myself, has never been my strong suit - now my kids are a totally different story. Those awesome kids are just that, AWESOME! As for myself, I have always seemed to think that if someone doesn't know already how awesome I am; my telling them about it isn't going to change their obvious lack of intellect. Liz (aka the Queen of Awesomeness, herself), challenged her readers to brag about themselves. So, I, being her newest BFF, felt obligated to oblige. (admittedly she's not completely aware of this fact, but she'll come around to the idea
Just over two years ago, my brags would have looked like this:
I'm proud that I have raised a beautiful, talented and smart 16 yr old daughter, essentially on my own. I'm proud that I worked for ten years at a job I despised to ensure my daughter had everything she needed. I am more proud that 8 years into said job, I finally figured out that I wasn't going anywhere, started going to college part time and working full time. Then finally quit my job to focus on school, met the man of my dreams, helping raise my step children (the youngest from the age of 9 months), had a baby and graduated cum laude (that's a good thing, really). Also, I am proud I rocked my teacher certification tests and I haven't slugged the mother of my step-kids, yet (HUGE emphasis on yet).
Then, my eldest daughter died; overdose, suicide, whatever one wants to call it, it doesn't matter the method. The child that I lived and breathed for was gone.
Fast-forward, 2 years, to the present:
I'm proud I get out of bed everyday. I'm proud that I have been able to function mostly...sort of...(ok, truth) sometimes in the real world. I'm proud that I have friends and family that can see past the facade of a functioning individual, kick my ass when needed and love me anyway. I am still proud of all of the previous entries, though I have new perspective on all of it. Mostly, I'm proud that I am raising yet another beautiful, smart and talented (now) 3 year old girl, that in many ways reminds me of my eldest, but is, in her own right, her own individually beautiful self, with a man who has been the epitome of a knight in shining armor, two (most of the time) wonderful step-kids and I still haven't decked the mother of said step-children (though she really really REALLY deserves it on occasions and LORD Almighty knows I would feel better). My step-kids have no idea how much I love them. :)
One other thing that I thought of after the fact, I am proud I haven't allowed the guilt of my daughter's death completely consume me. It really could have and sometimes I am fearful that it still will. I have to function, for my kids, for my husband and most importantly for myself. The guilt, truly, isn't as much of a factor as it was right after her death, but it does rear its ugly head on occasion.
Now its your turn, what makes you puff up your chest about yourself?
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