who's that girl?

Every day I spend about 30 seconds running through my TimeHop feed. Once in a while, amidst the pictures of my babies growing up, places we have traveled, parties we have attended and outings with my girls, a picture of a younger me will pop up. The 30 year old me, the 35 year old me, the 40 year old me. That 30 year old looked so young and vibrant and had so much energy. She was thinner and had less lines around her eyes, but she also had a lot less life under her belt than the 42 year old me of today.

Thinking of the last ten years and the changes that have happened puts a lump in my throat. I feel like I have aged more in the last five years than the last 20, but the aging is not just physical. Mentally, I have changed so drastically. I have learned a bit more patience, I have learned to trust in God's plan, I have learned that money is NOT everything, I have learned what real love means, I have learned to not take my blessings for granted. Instead of counting every calorie and every step, I am counting the moments that I get to have with my precious children.

Life can change in an instant. The people you thought would always be there WON'T always be there. Unthinkable betrayal can happen in your own home.

I will be the first to admit, these life changes have changed me negatively as well. I have become a bit more hard in my thoughts, my standards have been raised to the point where I don't have the energy for wasted time or games or whining. I have learned to keep my circle much smaller and to not trust every single person who walks into my world.

But, I want the people who walk into my world to know that they can trust me. With your deepest and darkest, you can trust me. There is not a human alive on God's green earth that does not have a skeleton in their closet (or two or three or ten). Those skeletons change us, they make us fearful and anxious and can weigh so heavily that it is sometimes hard to breathe.

The biggest lesson I have learned in the last few months in particular is that everyone needs someone they can trust with their hearts and with their skeletons. That young girl I see in my TimeHop photos desperately needed that person. It took me many years to find it, and somehow I found myself in the process.

I may be a loud, sometimes aggressive, over the top Greek, but I love deeply and I will do anything to protect my family and my friends. But, that feeling must be mutual for me to be able to have that relationship with another person. I have spent far too many years sacrificing my life, my happiness, my standards for someone else and, now, that someone is gone. That someone continues to haunt my thoughts and my feelings and my future. The future of my children. And it's not fair, but we all learn from a young age, life is certainly not fair.

So, I will continue to swipe through my TimeHop every day. I will see the changes in that young girl as she became the woman typing this post right now. I will know exactly what was happening in her life as each picture pops up. I will know how, despite her smiles, there was something deeper going on inside of her. That girl needed someone to help her through some of the hardest times. That girl would some day be lying in a ball on the floor of her bedroom, crying uncontrollably while her two toddlers and baby slept because she was so very alone and her world had just crumbled around her.

I never want anyone to feel those feelings. If you are feeling this way, if you feel alone despite being surrounded by people everywhere, know that I am here and you can open your heart to me.

I know exactly who that girl in those pictures needed. She needed the "me" of today. The "me" who had been there, done that. The "me" who would listen to her and not pass judgment. The "me" who could tell her that it was going to be OK even though it definitely didn't feel like it would be. That young girl needed the grown up "me".

my blue nest

a perfectly put together mess