I had the hardest time getting to sleep the other night. My brain just wouldn’t shut off. No clue what triggered it but I kept asking myself in what way was my being on this planet making any kind of difference. Will the world be any better for me having been in it? What will the ripple effect of my life be in 50 years? 100 years? Will there even be one?
When I was younger – during the so called “formable” years – I didn’t have much adult direction. I’m the product of a “broken” home. Great label, isn’t it? I didn’t realize how much that defined me at that time in my life until I typed it just now. I lived with my mother, as most did in that generation, even though she wasn’t the most capable of raising us. Now, looking back, I realize that she was doing the best that she could with the tools that she had. I was never really told that I could be anything I wanted to be when “I grew up”. My mom was just trying to survive another day. College wasn’t even a thought in my mind. Definitely not something that was encouraged. Funny how we tend to rise only to the heights that are expected of us. If the bar is low, that’s our goal. Simply making it out of high school was my main objective. College was for the “other” kids that came from affluent homes. They could afford to have bigger dreams. How naïve I was at 17.
Now, having seen 17 three times, I believe I have a bit more wisdom. I used to be convinced that if I could have a “do-over” I’d be a teacher or a doctor, some type of career where you can see the impact that you’re having each day. But I’m beginning to recognize that maybe the experiences I’ve gone through, the family that I was placed in, the adventure that has been my life (good and bad) has shaped me into the woman I’m supposed to be. Maybe, just maybe, I am making the impact in this life that I was called to make. That behind every struggle, every tear, and every disappointment there may be a learning that can be used to help lessen the hurt in someone else’s life. I’m finally appreciating the fact that I don’t need to be a cardiac surgeon to help heal a broken heart. Love can do that too. A simple act of love can start out as a pebble that causes a ripple that, with the right direction, the right current, can become a waterfall. A waterfall of love – that’s not a bad mark to leave on this world.