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Saturday, October 19, 2013

There's a Reason for the Past

Your past is what makes you who you are.

This is so true in so many ways.  We all have things, events or occurrences in our lives that we would love to forget ever happened.  However, if you really think about it, would you still be the person you are without those things happening in your life?  I know I wouldn't be the same person.

There's no need to go into lots of detail, but it's safe to say there are lots of things that I remember from my childhood, teenage and young adult years that are not great memories nor were they positive experiences.  However, as I look back on them as a 33 year old adult, I realize they all happened for a reason and have had a part (big or small) in shaping who I am today.  Now, I won't say that all the results have always been positive.  However, I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason.  For example, there's a reason that I've always struggled with my weight.  I have no idea why and throughout my life I've always complained that it isn't fair.  But, I wouldn't be who I am today without that struggle.  I think this particular difficulty has made me a pretty sensitive person and really in tune to how people feel.  Probably one of the reasons I enjoy being a counselor.  I know what it's like to feel like you don't belong, whether it's true or not.  It's a very difficult place to find yourself in but there are ways to work through it.  Just takes the right time and the right people to surround you with love and support.  

During my childhood, I always felt like I had to compete with my brother and sister.  My parents never made me feel that way.  For some reason, it was my mindset.  I think, well, actually I know, that feeling significantly contributed to how I've felt the last few years.  Although it's been a difficult road, again, I know I wouldn't be the person I am without going through those difficult times.

The other thing I take out of this quote is family.  Your family will always be a part of your past.  If you're lucky (like me), they will be a huge part of your daily life and you will be secure enough to know they will always be around in the future.  I grew up surrounded with a ton of love and support from two amazing parents.  To this day, I still have that kind of love and support.  My family is just bigger.  I wouldn't be the person I am without my amazing parents and all the wonderful memories and experiences I have with my brother and sister.  They have shaped who I am, the qualities and characteristics I possess and so many other things about my life. 

As kids, we were lucky enough to spend a week each summer with our grandparents.  They both lived about 8 hours away from us so the time we spent with them was incredibly special to all 3 of us.  The time I was able to spend with them allowed me to develop such respect, love and admiration for everything they brought to my life.  Only a few people who read this will understand this next sentence but, that's okay.  Because of the time I was able to spend with my grandparents in New York, to this day, every time I hear a train or drive across railroad tracks, I blow a kiss up to the sky and say, "I love you Grandpa".  I know he's up there watching over me and I take the trains as a sign of that.  

There are so many more (countless) ways my past has shaped who I have become.  I am forever grateful for all of my experiences, good and not so good.  There's a reason for all of them.  I know that in my heart.