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About this birthday I’m having today…

Back when I was a 26-year-old reporter.

.............. Above photo: Back when I was a 26-year-old reporter.

Today, on the occasion of my 48th birthday, I received a link to a YouTube video of the wedding of one of my best friends in life. It was me, 26 years old and suffering through bridesmaid hell as I awkwardly walked down the aisle in the world’s ugliest dress and tightest pair of shoes.

Notice I am not providing a link so others can see it. It is so clear how uncomfortable I was with myself. At that young age, I still had many, many miles to travel before becoming the woman I am today. Back then, I worried so much about what other people thought of me. I made decisions based on what I thought I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do. I had to prove that I was smart, able, tough and deserving. I didn’t know that for myself.

One turning point came several years ago when I went camping on Cayo Costa Island with my friend Dana, who has shared adventures with me since I was 25. We were out hiking when it started to rain — hard. Biblical rain. When we got back to camp, our tents were flooded out. The other campers crowded under the picnic shelter, where it was clear they would spend the night.

I looked at Dana and said, “There is one more ferry off this island in 30 minutes. Let’s get out of here.”

We packed up our gear, gave our dry fire logs to the campers who were staying behind and left for shore. We drove home, ordered a pizza and watched a movie by my fireplace.

I’d camped in the rain a dozen times before, way back when I felt I had to prove to some unknown somebody that I was tough. But, on that day, I realized I’d stopped having to prove it to other people. I was secure being the woman I was. Period. What kind of fool camps in that mess when there is a dry bed and hot pizza at home?

I’m 48 now, and I wouldn’t go back to being the 26-year-old in the wedding video for five minutes. It took all those years to grow into a woman with the confidence I needed to set boundaries, priorities and goals that mattered to me — not other people. I grew up into someone I would have wanted to be, and that feels great.

1 Comment
  1. Yes Miss Fawn and remember that last paragraph….you are the best seesteer and i admire your confidence to set those boundaries and honor the goals you have established. can you pass that gene to me??????

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