I’ve Changed

I was recently given a copy of a newsletter where I was being featured that was written in the early 2000’s.  It is interesting to look at pictures from yesteryear and funny to see the hairstyles that were once becoming. It is fascinating to see how clothing and makeup trends come and go. But what really amazed me was my thoughts and projection for my future.

Twenty-some years ago, I had no idea that I would be where I am right now! Twenty-some years ago,  I was a young wife and mother and based on my responses to the questions asked of me, I was consumed with those two roles as well as working full-time and actively participating in my church.   

Reading my responses let me know how much I have evolved as a person.   The comments that I offered seem like answers from someone else.  I guess they were.  I am not the same and I am better for it.

Reflecting back, I am astonished at how linear my thought system was.  I clearly could not see beyond what was in front of my face.  I was overwhelmed with the day-to-day events of my life and could not fathom anything changing for years to come.  I had no thoughts of what I could become or the places that I would go!

A series of events some predictable like the children growing up and more independent and some not obvious at all like death helped to rearrange and break the hold of the previous thoughts of my mind.

Growing up in a small town I had a great sense of security and familiarity of all things around me.  Most people knew at least one of the Hines crew which was my maternal family and that made me feel recognized.  I had gone to school in Fairmont from Elementary through College and the understanding of the town and the people in it made me feel comfortable.  These factors are why I answered the way I had in the interview advising that I could not see myself outside of West Virginia.  But things change and one of the major changes that affected my life and thoughts was the death of my Aunt Minnie Beatrice, more affectionately known as Bea. 

My aunt Bea’s death was unexpected and dreadful.   She was a constant in my life who was a gift of light and love.  Her way of telling you the truth in love was remarkable and I still do not know anyone who can do the same.  Her departure from the earth hit me in ways I had never imagined and was the first time that significant change had hit my life and disrupted the composition of our family, and this affected me in a way that changed my thought structure.

As life continued, I suffered many losses that shaped my thoughts over and over, but also experienced many gains that aided in reorganizing how I saw my future.

I have lived outside of the state of West Virginia for almost two years now.  But the thought of leaving began many years ago (not so long after the newsletter was published).   It took many years of stretching, developing, and maturing to get me to the place where I was able to leave my home to start again.   The physical move was no small task, but the mental move had been in development for years and years.

I am an empty nester living in Florida.  I am an author, entrepreneur, a minister, life coach, a mentor and hopefully a good friend.  I am still a wife and heavily involved in my church.  There have been many more significant changes in my life since the article was written. The fact that I was unable to recognize the girl I was before makes me wonder what I will look like on the inside in twenty-some years from now.    I guess that remains to be seen.

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