Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Canvas of Life

Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing, is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.
Author Unknown

I just turned 49, and I was feeling a little down.  My life is not the life I envisioned for myself.  What was and what I imagined it to be are two different pictures.  If I could go back in time, what would I do differently?

I was born with certain characteristics and talents, unique only to me.  These I cannot change - gifted to me from the Highest.  I do consider them gifts, and I am honored that He saw fit to bestow them onto me.

But, there are so many crossroads where I could have chosen a different path, and the road may have been different.  Better, lovelier, more fulfilling - I'm not sure.  Different - maybe.

A friend, sensing my desire to have lived a more fulfilling life, encouraged me to repaint my canvas.  It's never too late.  Just start with a blank canvas, start dreaming, and fill the canvas with beauty.  What I paint on my canvas will be one of a kind, priceless, and to be treasured forever.

How this all started?

A family member passed away.  We called him uncle because of our age difference.  He was actually a cousin.  He was one of the great story tellers in my family.  His eyes would light up when you asked him to share a story.  He was also a jokester.  As a child, I remember pretending that his car was a police car, with flashing lights and sirens (headlights and dome lights going on and off, siren sounds, children laughing, while my aunt was yelling).

That side of my family told the stories, some happy, some sad, and even some horrifying.  But, whatever the story, they shared it, letting the ghosts out, and passing their heritage on.

My dad was like that.  I miss him.  He passed away 26 years ago when my mom was only 49.  (So, that's where the age comes into play.)  There were so many life's trials that I wish my dad was there to guide me, encourage me, or push me in the right direction.  Yes, I may not have listened, but I would have learned.  Instead, I did what I believed was right, and, at times, was wrong.

What would I have changed?

This is something I need to contemplate.  To go back in time and look at the mistakes one makes takes courage.  To learn from those mistakes, and figure out how they could have been avoided, takes knowledge, understanding, and possibly a little experience.  So, without much thought, here is a couple of things that I would have done differently.

In 7th and 8th grade, I should have not tried to be cool and done stupid things that led to habits later.  Habits that I still struggle with today.

Going back 30 something years, I should have closed the door on my boyfriend's face.  Well, after he supposedly broke up with me, he came over after his first date with another girl.  And he kept coming over, and I let him for years.  I should have put up a boundary that I was not to be treated in that manner, with him disregarding my feelings and thinking I'd be there whenever. 

(The above are specifically written for some of my younger readers.)

One major thing I would have definitely changed is that I would have begun a family earlier, because then I would have had a family, whether naturally or by adoption.

The rest is yet to be decided.

Aunt Janet's Famous Quotes

You are old enough when you realize that you don't know everything, and you seek guidance from someone who knows more.

Repainting my canvas,
Aunt Janet
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