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As of late, my life has been a whirlwind. I’ve been faced with some tough decisions and coerced by fate to make some semi-major moves. Aside from the occasional spontaneous happening, I am largely a creature of habit. I like routines. I like order. I like to plan things out to make sure everything in my chaotic world goes as smoothly as possible. However, my best-laid plans are usually the ones that go awry. No matter how many “to-do” lists I scrawl, budgets I make, or goals I set, things are always a little off-kilter. I guess that’s a little something I like to call “life.” It’s only recently that I’ve began to make a marked effort to leave the planning in the classroom and let the chips on all other fronts fall where they may.

While I don’t consider myself to be a control freak, I do like to be in control of my itty-bitty piece of the universe. Yes, staying grounded and playing it safe has given me many opportunities and saved me from a lot of grief over the last 24 years. But there’s this aching feeling that I’ve missed out a little — even when I wasn’t fully aware. To this day, I still carry the weight of chances and risks that would’ve been worth taking. I am a little unfulfilled. Not a lot, just a little. And no, I can’t go back in time and tell off that bitchy bully in high school who had it coming. I can’t go back and fight that fight on the elementary school playground. I can’t go back and get out of the toxic relationship sooner or tell a friend how I really felt before drama reared its ugly head. However, I can re-design the way I approach life. That way, by the time the future is my past I won’t have any regrets.

So, the game plan. Yeah, I know. I’m planning again. But let’s not think of it as a plan. Let’s just say these are things I am absolutely going to do if I am physically and mentally able. Period. No “maybes.” No second-guessing myself and being scared of what will happen if I do this or that. Apprehension is out the window. I’m not saying the idea of reincarnation isn’t chic, but as far as I know, I only have one life to live. I might as well live it my way, on my terms. Now, change doesn’t come over night. Change is a process. And no matter how much I change, I won’t let my quest for self-awareness turn me into a selfish being. Proving to myself once and for all that I am just as independent, self-reliant, strong and capable as I *usually* think I am doesn’t mean I am going to be cold, distant, unapproachable, reckless or careless. That’s just not my make-up. I pride myself on being  very loving, warm and forgiving, and somewhat easy-going, thoughtful and communal.

I’m educated. I have a career. To date, I’ve been able to pay all of my bills on time. I’ve done a lot of adventurous things that prompt a laugh or wide smile when I think about them. Most importantly, I have a great family and a fantastically fun group of friends. I have my health. I have God. Take all of that for what it’s worth. To me, it’s priceless. Just because I, and most of us for that matter, can drop a scroll that lists our personal blessings on the floor and watch it roll out the door and down the street doesn’t mean we don’t want more.

A characteristic of all living beings is *growth*. If we are not growing, we are dead (or might as well be). I am constantly seeking. I always want more. I want to be better than the me of yesterday and of tomorrow. I have never really been happy and for years I couldn’t figure out why. Then, a la Chrisette, came the epiphany. I have withheld my gut feelings and instincts too much. I haven’t been doing what I want to do as much as I should. Therefore, I’m not content. I’ve tried to find personal happiness in people close to me — what they think of me, how they perceive me, how they treat me, talk to me, talk about me, etc. has had too much influence over my state-of-being. How foolish!

“You are responsible for your own happiness.”  On occasion, I have had the NERVE to say this to other people who I thought were being too whiny, self-pitying or clingy. Never did I stop to practice what I preached. Right now, the only thing missing from my life is ME. The real me. Doing what I want to do, how I want to do it.

I have always loved to write. Poems. Plays. Hard news. Editorials. Journal entries. I like writing. And for almost two years now, I have wanted to start a blog. Nothing fancy. No special effects. No pictures of me in expensive ensembles or trashy lingerie lingering in the background. Just me, writing. I love to talk but in my opinion, what I’m thinking and feeling about the world around me always comes out better in print. So here I am, finally doing what I want to do. I vow to say EXACTLY how I feel even when it makes me uncomfortable and everyone else angry, befuddled, etc. I vow to not let *this* fall by the wayside because of any obligations — actual or assumed. I have the noble, yet non-progressive habit of letting the needs of others come before my own. I even get bogged down by my own needs and subsequently, forget my wants. You know, the *fun* stuff. The “just because” stuff. The “ah, what the hell!” stuff. The “well…f*ck it then” stuff. I have not been very attentive to myself. I think I’m over that.

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