Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life Update, Fathers Day, & Love

I find it very interesting that some days I can sit down and complete a blog with very little thought, yet other days clicking publish seems like the most difficult task. I began writing this post a few days ago while sitting at one of my favorite places in Denver. A park known as Wash Park to those who live near it but it's real name being Washington Park. This park has become a spot where I escape daily life, lay with the dogs, write and read. It's the place I am at peace. In San Diego I had my "spots", the spots I always ran to when I needed to be alone. I actually was nervous about not having those places to escape any longer because I knew the meaning they held in my heart. I have been taught over time that it's not necessarily a specific spot that must hold meaning rather the memories that were shared in that place. Those memories can be remembered anywhere you are located and still hold just as much meaning as they once did.

It's been five months since I picked up and left the town I grew up in to move to a new place, a city I am falling in love with more by the day. Denver is very different than any place I have ever been. It's a place that grabs your heart very quickly. I am not even sure what makes it so unique. It could be the people, the atmosphere, weather, or possibly the peace that seems to flow through the cracks in the sidewalk. The question I always get is "why would you move away from San Diego to come here?", but the truth is this place has something that no other city has. A place filled with so many free spirited individuals and a whole lot of happiness. It has taken some time but I am slowly creating my own life in this city. I have been meeting more people and truly enjoying the sunshine. Even on bad days I am able to look around and find joy in the small things. A few months ago I found myself struggling to find purpose. I felt lost. I didn't want to be in San Diego but I didn't feel like I was meant to be here. I questioned my decision to move. I questioned my life, my future, and the choices I had made. As I took a step back and spent some time alone I realized I was closing myself off to what God has for me. Yes, I was in a new place and transitions can be difficult but I wasn't allowing myself the ability to be used. Any chance I had to move forward I nervously pushed myself away, scared of taking that step.

After spending about a week in solitude I quickly understood how my choices were not only affecting my own life but were affecting others as well. As my smile returned my personality quickly returned as well, and the change in others was noticeable. I guess I never realized that a carefree personality really does wear off on people and when it is hiding even those who don't know me are affected. It has been almost a year since I reached the point in grief where my personality returned. The year prior to that I felt lost and had no idea who I was. I went searching to find that person and I was frustrated when my answer seemed lost in the darkness. Even those around me were unable to see "the real tay", and they hoped for that person to return. Being in Denver is teaching me more about myself then I could have ever imagined. People that know nothing about me or my life see me as the person always laughing, smiling and just being a goofball. At work if I am having an off day people wonder why, which is a change because the bad days used to far outweigh the good days. Fortunately those days aren't often. I can remember when every day was filled with a face of pain and suffering. But, the positive is with time the good days happen more often and the bad days are far less frequent.

As for work, I am currently working at Nike and for those of you who know me you are probably reading this thinking "that has to be a dream come true for her!", but I can honestly tell you it is not. You should all be proud though because I am very smart about what I buy! I have only bought two pairs of shoes, one being specifically for running! ;) Anyways, even though I know this job isn't forever I can clearly see why I am in the position I am. After the initial "fun" period passed I had two weeks of hating what I was doing searching for some purpose at a place that took very little thinking to complete. I was mad that the only job I got was a job where my knowledge wasn't being used at all. However, once again I realized I was shutting myself off from what God had for me. My knowledge could be used and more importantly my heart, passion, and joy could be used to make the lives of those around me better. I began seeing a different side to work. I viewed each day as another day to change someones day for the better. I saw my days working in footwear as opportunities to use my knowledge of the body and how it moves. I have provided customers with feedback on injury prevention and different exercises they could do to help injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciaitis. I take pride in getting them in the proper shoe for how their foot moves and even question managers on shoes that advertise specific functions. In apparel, I try to make the life of the shopper as easy as possible while starting conversations about all sorts of things. I slowly began to understand that every day you can change a life just by acknowledging people and showing interest in their lives. Through those moments I was taught a lot about myself and my daily purpose, not just my purpose for specific careers. No matter where I am or what I am doing I can make a difference in other's lives just by showing love.

I am reminded each day of the genuine compassion my father had. Even on his worst days he made sure to love people with everything he had to offer. Some days it wasn't as much as others but he still gave his everything. If he could live his life in that capacity then I can to. My father is the person I hope to be. I look up to him for his ability to look past the struggles of his life to make the world a better place. I truly believe that he taught me one of the most powerful aspects to life that anyone could ever teach me. Truly loving people can be a difficult task at times but with a heart filled with compassion for those suffering gives the ability to shine light into lives filled with so much darkness. My daily goal is to live for the day and not dwell on the little things. I have a very clear understanding of what my purpose is and because of that I may not be placed in a career or position that I thought was meant to be for me. In fact, more than likely I will find myself doing something I never intended to do. The excitement in that is knowing that God has something so much bigger for my life that I can't even begin to grasp at this time. We all have purpose. That statement alone should fill your heart with such a warm feeling because it's a constant reminder that there is something greater, something you can't even begin to imagine. Take that and run with it. Be used and more importantly be open to being used. Embrace the path you are led on knowing you are not walking it alone.

Father's Day is tomorrow. For some of you it will be a difficult day because you may have lost your father or maybe your father was never apart of your life, and in reality it's never easy to be reminded of that pain. Other's will have an awesome day because you will be spending it by your fathers side showing him that you are grateful for what he has done. My hope for all of you is that you can find something to make your day special. Celebrate and remember those no longer here. Find something that makes you smile because you know they would love what you decided to do. If you are someone who is having a difficult time forgiving your father for what he has done attempt to release that. Maybe even take that step of saying even though he hasn't been a father to me I am stronger than anything holding me back from at least acknowledging this day. Last but not least, show thanks to those fathers still around. Show them how much they mean to you and how thankful you are for what they have done because at some point you will wish you had another day to tell them the stuff that truly matters. Most of us, father or not, have some sort of fatherly influence and that person deserves just as much acknowledgement as the person who was your father.

Personally, my love for my father grows by the day as I am reminded more and more of the love he held in his heart. Although he is no longer here I am experiencing a greater appreciation for the way in which he lived his life. I can't even begin to explain how cool that feeling is. That is the reason that tomorrow I will celebrate and be thankful for every single thing about my father, good or bad. I will never stop loving him or living in his shadow. I can't wait to run tomorrow morning in his honor filled with joy and a huge smile on my face. The greatest gift I can give him is to continue living to the best of my ability and keep that smile on my face that everyone seems to love.

Love you pops with all my heart. Happy Fathers Day and thank you for being the greatest father any girl could have! I am who I am today because of you.

God Bless,

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