The date is Jan 1, 2010. I’m 25 years old, sitting at a restaurant in Paris, France, with my then-boyfriend — a guy I referred to almost solely as “Muscato” when we dated and how I continue to refer to him online.
The day before found me in a hotel in Lille, France, with some sort of bug that hit with the force of the Hindenburg — that is to say, it was explosive. Your relationship goes to a whole new level when you ask your significant other to walk your puke bag to the lobby trash can so as not to further stink up your room. You’d do it yourself, but you’re strapped to the toilet. So, ya know, thanks Muscato.
What ten-years-ago Jamie didn’t know was what was just around the corner and along the winding road. The death of my dad just three months later, an engagement and marriage, a son, secondary infertility, and a whole new career path I couldn’t have even guessed at the time.
In contemplating all that’s happened during this timespan, it all boils down to this:
Life is two parts: what happens to you and what you create. (And ps: you don’t have to be a “creative” to create.)
In other words, life is what you make of it and what you make.
If you’ve had a lot of hard knocks, I get wanting to stay under the radar as much as possible. If life’s throwing punches, why risk further blows by being daring? Why not play it safe doing exactly what needs to be done and very little else?
Here’s why: Shield yourself from life’s risks and vulnerabilities and what you wind up missing out on is joy.
I don’t know what the next decade will hold, or year, or 24 hours for that matter. But I do know that life will do what it is going to do without asking my say in the matter.
Phone calls will come saying your loved one has passed. Some women will birth babies while others will give birth to infertility. Terminal diagnoses will be given. Bank accounts will bottom out. Tragedy will occur.
You might not experience all of those things in your life, but you’ll likely experience at least one. They’re givens. However, that they’re givens isn’t reason to stay home and hunker down. It’s all the more reason to focus on what you can create and make for yourself that brings you to life — a career, a family, a home, a business, a really great place to unwind, the perfect cup of coffee, or allotted time to enjoy the sunset.
The past decade has held occurrences that have required me to dig deep in order to come out on the other side a decent human being. And when life hasn’t been happening “to” me, I’ve been making life happen via tons of creations including a home, a family, an ebook, this blog, even by donating 11 inches of hair to Locks of Love. I know I know, talk about growth.
To the past ten years, thanks for helping to shape me into who I am today. I’m better now than I was then, and I hope to say the same come 2030.
I hope you can say the same too.