I Am Here

In true avoidance of the label “Hoarder”, I have decided that being crushed to death by a bookshelf, is probably not as glamorous as the folks in Hollywood want us to think.
Imagine….  it’s late afternoon.  The dust floats on the streams of the sunlight coming in through the single window in the average sized room.  The scents of the room are mixing… vanilla, no…lavender, yes, definitely lavender.  What’s the other smell?  Books? Is that a “real” scent?

This room hasn’t been opened in quite some time.  I love this room, yet it appears neglected.  A few magazines strewn on the desk and my favorite pen is right where I left it after I signed the document -which is changing my life.

I need to box it all up and get it all organized.  The books, the wall hangings, the files and folders, the pictures.  Aaahhhhh the pictures.  So many friendly faces fill those frames.  Some include me, others were taken by me.  I think it’s the proof that we all need to feel -like we mattered in our lifetime. 

 I was here.  

See, I have pictures and phases of my life which led me through the photos on the walls.  I really have had wonderful people in my life.  Some photos feel as if we are still laughing, we were so lost in the moments, I am glad that those moments were captured.

I was there.

Other photos and certificates (also framed), contain the details of my struggles and triumphs.  

I was here.  

More proof!  Right there!  I’ll bet you didn’t know that I was on the Girl’s Varsity Diving Team in High School… for two years.  Add Varsity Dancer for four years and you’ve got my academic hours accounted for.  Until July 1989.

I was there too.

In July 1989 I was sent to Taipei, Taiwan as an exchange student through the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission.  I was one of five students who earned this privilege.  I have quite a few photos and trinkets from there.  I just about remember it all.  Most importantly, Peanut Butter and loaves of bread saved me from starvation.  I guess I just wasn’t filling up on Shark-fin Soup.  Eeeek!  
So I was there too.

A huge influence in my life was The International Order Of Jobs Daughters.  In order to qualify for membership a girl has to be eleven years old, a descendent of a Mason in good-standing and a baptized Christian.  We joined the Bethel in the early 1980’s.  As with any legitimate group, we had a ritual based meeting on the first and third Wednesday each month, incorporated Robert’s Rules of Order, elections, fair communications, a Treasurer and a Bethel Guardian with their Council.  

I went through the rungs of member positions, memorization of the ritual, and I was elected through the approval of my peer members to become their lead representative.  I can thank this entire organization for teaching me manners, how to be a friend, how to be an effective leader-teacher-student and public speaker with the Bible as my guide.  
Again, I was there.

I’ve traveled physically, emotionally, intellectually, and with a purpose to just find a way to know that I matter.   That I was there.  I was lucky enough to find my way home when I needed it the most, and still lucky enough to take on the world in my own way.  All of this is true because 

I WAS HERE.

The best part of it all is that I know I gave people a reason to smile, laugh and sigh.  I’ve experienced so much -from being a tiny part of something so much bigger, or being the leader of a start-up project.  I have proof.  

It’s in the photos, the memories, the trinkets, the books of fiction, poetry and history.  It’s in the eyes and smiles when former students see me out and about.  It’s in the love from my family- human, furry and feathered.  I hear the beauty of nature in its song or whispers on the wind.  It’s in the taste of my favorite foods and drinks. 
I WAS HERE.

I was there for each of my nieces and nephew as a sort of support person.  I am a part of a family which provided me a childhood some would envy.  Seeing things through the eyes of a newborn or helping raise a toddler, reminds me of what is taken for granted.
I felt amazed and lost.

I went to Universities with specific programs and obtained their special degrees. I have held the future in my captive audience -as a teacher.  I was good.  I was appreciated.  I had just as many up’s as downs in my career.  I was born to teach, and so I did for at least twenty years.  Given that I’m not dead yet, I’m sure I will have some more fantastic teachable moments.  So I won’t consider the door closed.

I was there.
I have had lovers and those whom I love.  The differences are known in the privacy of my heart.  I’m lucky you see.   My past lovers and loves have brought me to where I am now. My heart has been broken, regret has haunted me, freedom has offered much needed relief and I have taken a chance to fall into love all over again. My husband is my everything.

I am here.

So it’s time to organize and tidy up. I’ll still have success stories to put in frames and hang on walls which won’t ever be a barrier.  Yet I know my life is not determined by my circumstances. I have thanked God for my blessings and (even though I know better) I have cursed him while the tears and sobs overcome me.   I have found that living within a universal truth is more sacred and powerful and I am not hinged on any single religious sect.  

I was there.

Beyoncé has a song titled ” I Was Here ” (hyperlinked to YouTube for you) and when I first heard it, I wondered if I was here.

I haven’t saved a country or anything else that would earn a spot in the history books. I’ve just been here and there, up and down, lost and found, weak and wrong, tired and then triumphant. I love that I was strong enough to take chances, fail and see the humor in life. I even love that everything I have worked for can be enjoyed now.  

Yep, Queen B (Beyoncé) I am here. Maybe not in your grand way… I have my own way.

                                Sincerely,

                                Queen B2

                                 (Brande)

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