To live a life without regrets..
What does it actually take to live a life without regrets? or to have no regrets?
To live fully in the present moment.. To be able to make a choice.. understand it and step forward. To learn from that choice, and choose a new direction/path.
To have the ability to dig deeper.. to look inside.. to ask yourself and others questions that are important to you instead of hiding it.. and choosing not to have a conversation because it’d be easier.
This blog is about this past year.. mainly past month.. really this past week
(I am going to bring in some old info but it is focused on what I recently have experienced).
For me growing up .. I have this baby book and photo album that not only includes pictures of me.. but also of my mom, and my biological father. It has other pictures and information that includes the day I was born, the apartment we lived in and little things like my christening etc etc.
It's interesting to me that I only remember his face because of the photos I have. I didn’t have any other memories of his face other than from what I saw in those pictures.
Naturally those days in middle school would come up .. where you had to fill out your family tree. Although I filled mine out to the best of my knowledge from asking my mom questions.. I still only knew about half of me. My mom didn’t have very much information that she could pass along to me. So looking at these pictures all these years, I would wonder what he was like.. what he was going through when I was born, his thoughts, his reasons.. and if I had any similarities.
side note here: in my life I have been blessed with an amazing human being for a dad. At age five we moved in with him and at age ten he adopted me. I am beyond grateful for this man and everything that he has provided me with in my life. It wasn’t enough for him to just be there as my dad, support me and love me.. but he has helped me learn a lot of valuable lessons throughout my life.
Although I have two amazing parents and could want for absolutely nothing.. I still was curious and wanted to know more information about the other half of me. This was the tricky part.. I had no idea how to go about handling this situation. Growing up I thought about it.. but it was a sticky situation.. not something I wanted to spend much time talking about or asking my mom questions about. Instead I would crack jokes with her.. and put these feelings aside. I had everything a kid needed. A roof over her head, supportive parents, and uncles who were there to teach me other things my dad wasn’t ready or able to.
Last months thoughts..
How do you have a conversation with significant people in your life (in my situation my parents) and let them know how you feel, with out hurting anyones feelings?
How do you have an open conversation where everyone involved feels heard, and understood?
How do you get the words out?
This presented me with a bit of a challenging situation in my mind, and I had to dig deep to figure out how to handle it. I have learned in this moment, I have grown in this moment and I have also respected my boundaries along the way. My mind was so chaotic.. I lost sleep.. I stressed.. I procrastinated and had moments of panic.
How do you tell your dad.. that you value him and are grateful for everything he has provided you with (knowledge, support, love, kindness) but that you want to have a conversation with your biological father?
That the healing journey you are currently on has lead you to this moment. I of course was assuming the worst would happen with this conversation.. based off fears from seven years ago; With a personal conversation him and I had. Not only did I have the anxiety with talking to my dad about this.. I also had to talk to my mom about it.
I have always gone back and forth about wanting to know more about myself.. the whole other half of me. It finally got to the point where I had to decided if I wanted to change this or not. I have spent the last four years trying to understand and connect with my whole self. I don’t think I need to know my make up to move forward in my future but I do think that it is necessary for me to heal certain things internally or gain some clarity at the very least. There was/is so much I want to know. I wanted to be able to fully feel connected.. or to at least have a better understanding of ME.
My biological father did reach out to me when I was twenty-one.. and I did absolutely nothing with it. I let it sit in my inbox. I refused to have the conversation with my parents about it. I refused to think about it.. I had what I wanted right in front of me.. but I choose not to do anything with it. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t in the right space to understand the weight of it. I do not think I was mature enough to have a conversation like that with anyone. I was graduating college .. I was thinking about jobs.. and masters programs.. I wasn’t thinking about that part of my journey. In reflecting back on that moment I realized I just wasn’t ready then.. and so I let the opportunity go. I did however have a brief conversation with my parents about it..back then and the conversation ended just as quickly as it started… not much to it.
Although I have always thought about the conversations I would have with my biological father I let that opportunity pass. It has been another ten years now… and another opportunity has presented itself.
This past year I have had multiple conversations with people who didn’t even know me. One was with this older women at an enterprise for about 40 minutes.. she told me about her family and how they wanted to figure out their ancestry .. and in doing so they ended up finding another person who was related to them, that they had no clue about. They were able to meet and build a relationship. This conversation prompted an immediate conversation with my mom on how I wanted to know the other part of me and my make up.. that I was curious more than ever about it. Like always there was jokes.. and a subtle little conversation.. that went no where. I understand why talking to her about it always ended up here or like that… its not a very easy conversation for her to have..I'm sure.
Then the second conversation I would have was in January (this year).. with another kind human being.. what I took from this conversation was that if I had the opportunity to meet him and have a conversation with him, would I? .. and If I didn’t would I regret it?
This conversation got the wheels spinning in my mind. I started thinking of ways to find him.. to reach out to him.. how could I connect with him?
Would he even want to have a conversation and meet me?
(Considering ten years ago I essentially ..blew off that opportunity)
I asked myself .. what would you do differently this time if you were given another opportunity? .. and with that question in mind, I sent a message.. and I put it into the universe. If it was meant to happen it would happen.
I have spent the last four/five years trying to figure myself out as I have mentioned. I have been on this journey of growth, healing, and learning. There has been a lot of change, conversations and choices (good and bad). I felt I needed to start being a little bit selfish in this area of my life if I wanted to heal myself fully. I needed to step out of my comfort zone. I felt I needed to make an effort to try and figure it out.
Which brings me to last week.. I sat with both my parents and honestly full disclosure .. things got emotional on my end. I had an open conversation about me potentially meeting up with my biological father. In this conversation with my parents I wanted my dad to know that I valued him, that I was grateful for everything he has taking the time to show me, and teach me in my life. I wanted him to know that no one could or would ever replace him in my life. He was in fact irreplaceable.
Again I am incredibly grateful for my dad, and that he wanted to adopt me… that he chose me. I am honored to have his last name attached to mine and I’m grateful for the ability to tell (think of) the same silly dad jokes.
In having this open conversation I wanted it to be known that his feelings were important, that I cared about what his thoughts were on this. I wanted to make sure at the end of the conversation he felt understood, and heard. I didn’t need his blessing or approval to take the opportunity to meet with my biological father, but I wanted him to know that I valued him enough and cared about his feelings enough to have this conversation with him.. and hear anything he might have to say.
Honestly .. my main focus was on my dad for the majority of this conversation .. which sort of led to putting my mom on the back burner.. (because I was afraid about her reaction). I was afraid of her in this moment (I even discussed this with my two childhood friends because I was so nervous and unsure).
I don’t ever want to disappoint my mom.. (I understand that I am not perfect .. and I do not wish to ever be). I absolutely dislike upsetting her. She is so kind, (yes we all know she is and can be tough) she is very selfless, and she can be stubborn.
I assumed 100% that she would take this conversation the wrong way and not understand where I was coming from. I didn’t want her to think that she wasn’t enough for me….or that all her hard work …and everything she was able to provide me with, on her own.. wasn’t good enough. That is all I kept playing around in my mind. My mom is one of the strongest women I know, and I am forever grateful for everything she has provided me with ..opportunities, to experiences.
Bottom line my parents are both amazing human beings, so this conversation weighed on me heavily.
After the conversation with my parents.. I was finally able to have breakfast and a good conversation with my biological father. This moment was a good starting spot, I think. I was so unbelievably nervous.. my mind was chaotic.. I kept thinking the absolute worst things would happen. I kept thinking and worrying about my boundaries that I have created over this past year .. the ones that I have in place to protect me from giving to people who constantly just take from me .. who only use me and do not actually want to be present in my life.
Not that I assumed he would do that… but honestly I didn’t know to much about this man.. and I didn’t want to be hurt in anyway. Once we sat down and he started talking .. all the questions I wanted to ask.. slowly started to fade away… I sat there listening and asking little question here and there. But my focus changed.
This whole last week I was reminded to focus on the present moment..
What are you doing presently in your life to help you step into the future you want for yourself?
What action steps are you taking?
What steps can you take?
All I could think about was, after twenty-one years I was finally in the same room as him again. I was capable of being fully present and talking to him. I was now able to fully understand what I really wanted to gain in this experience.
What's interesting is that I had hundreds of questions I wanted to ask.
I told myself if I was given the opportunity again, I would ask all that I could.. all that I felt like I needed to know.
but it's crazy.. because in that moment I made another choice, that if we were to get together again.. and I still wanted to know anything more I would ask the questions then. For this moment I would much rather enjoy it for what it is/was.
My first questions were more focused on his favorite sports teams.. (those are my “ice breaker” questions, I guess).. asking about those provided a way for me to relax or find a calm in the chaos of my mind. I realized in the middle of the conversation that I didn’t need to know the whys anymore or the why nots. I would much rather learn about who he is now, but with a little bit of background questions on his family (the other individuals I am related to). I honestly do hope to have more conversations with him moving forward. I took the opportunity that was in front of me and just listened .. and took it all in.
To be able to find the words to say to my parents.. to have that conversation with them.. it in-turn only created more appreciation in my heart and soul for them. With this challenge there was growth between us as a family.. there was a sense of change and it ended with so much love.
The things that challenge you have the ability to change you if you allow them to.
How often do you step out of your comfort zone and find growth?
How often to do you allow yourself to learn from a tough conversation?
..to Find understanding .. or to see another perspective?
I am grateful and blessed to take the steps necessary to heal, and connect with myself on a deeper level.
This Journey of healing hasn’t been easy.. it has been challenging .. and I wouldn’t of wanted it any other way. It is beautiful to be able to connect with myself in this way and figure out more and more. I am grateful for the clarity, and the ability to communicate and be understanding.
Give Love. Remember just Breath.
Value yourself & those you surround yourself with.
.Appreciation & gratefulness.
Be kind.Be real.Be you.
[Love your Journey]