lovely art journal page i created a few weeks ago. and this is just so true. just stay close to you. not only to your dreams but to you.
i remember when Arjan and i first started dating (i was 16, GASP), i totally looked up to him (he's 4 years older than me). and soon i copied his opinion. suddenly i would hate dutch tv-shows too. it wasn't that big of a deal, but when i look back on it now, i know i simply adjusted to his opinion.
of course there was more to that. i had a rough childhood and i was feeling loved, honored and listened to for the first time in my life. but even than, i was so used to hide my true feelings, don't speak out, never let my opinion out, that i simply 'took over' whatever he thought about a situation, or was thinking.
lucky for me he's a good guy. i've honestly thought (and i know by heart) that i could have ended up way differently if i was in contact with the wrong people at that time. at that age, and in that stage of my life, i would have done anything to get away from home. anything. but lucky for me our paths crossed.
of course it was a rough few years at first. i lived at his parents house for 3 years. imagine, taking a 16-year old messed up girl in house and taking care of her. for years. his parents were truly amazing. and still are. we got our first house (rented it) when i was about 20 or 21. and slowly but steady i started noticing i could have my own opinion. i was not yelled at if i spoke my mind. my thoughts and ideas were listened to. i felt i was truly feeling alive.
and that never changed. i only had to learn myself to speak up. not to HAVE TO agree to everybody else but think for my own. and that, after 16 years of doing the opposite, was quiet the task, but i knew i would get there. at that age i now remember thinking that i would become myself over the years. it would take time, but i would get there. i can even remember a diary entry about that.
now, so many years later (gasp, 24 years together this year!), i know i'm there. i can speak up. even argue with other people without directly hating them. or starting to cry. i can stand by my opinion even if everybody else thinks something totally differently. but i can also go with the 'general' opinion if the situation (like, say, in the office :), needs it. and i'm proud of what i've become. i can say that even. proud of changing that little girl with no idea what she had to do, or how to make something of her life, into an independent woman with 2 companies (3 actually, but hey, who's counting), 2 happy kids and 1 happy husband. i count my blessings.
life is good. yes. i'm feeling alive and i climbed my way up there.