Wry asked, “What's your top 10 Best Moments in Life, and why?”
I’ve been mulling this over ever since you asked it, and I’m not sure if I can limit myself to just ten best moments, but I’ll give it a go here. So, in no particular order, here are some of the Best Moments in my Life, and why.
~The birth of my son. He was my first child in my life, and I felt an immediate bond with him from the time I knew I was pregnant, even though the discovery itself was traumatic ~ because I was a single, Mormon girl at BYU, and unwed pregnancy is grounds for being kicked out. But he is one of the top blessings in my life, and always has been.
~Getting a beautiful step-daughter upon marrying her father. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I will always consider her my daughter. She was seven when we married, and she has been such a joy to have in my life. She is one of those people who makes others feel good to be near her, and I love her dearly. She is someone I hope finds the greatest happiness in her life, because she deserves it.
~The birth of my youngest daughter. She is a sweet and special girl to me. She has a tender heart and is sensitive and creative in many ways that amaze me at times. She has hidden talents that I hope she discovers and develops as she grows older. I hope she always dances to her own tune, like she does now.
~The time I was in high school and heard the announcement over the intercom that anyone interested in being a foreign exchange student should attend the parents meeting at 7:00 pm that night. My heart started beating hard, and I knew immediately I never wanted anything more than I wanted to be an exchange student. I hadn’t even thought of it before that moment. That day after school, I approached my mom, and although I could tell she felt somewhat hopeless about the possibility of me ever being able to do something like that due to how poor we were, she attended that meeting with me. Her willingness to come with me showed me so many things about my mom that day: 1. she loved me enough to take time out of her busy life to look into something she knew was important to me; 2. she believed in me when I said I’d work hard and do everything in my power to pay for the trip myself; 3. she backed me up in my dream when the easiest thing would have been to simply say there’s no way in hell it would work. That day changed my life, because I was determined and got accepted into the program, and I got a scholarship to go, and worked full time for over a year to save up to spend a year in Austria…which brings me to…
~The year I was an exchange student in Austria at age 18. It was my first flight on a plane, and my first view of the world beyond the Western United States. I could write for a full week and still not be able to list all the reasons that trip was great for me in my life. I had a wonderful host family who love me like their own, and the trip was a huge and unexpected gift in my life. I think it helped shape me into who I am, and helped me be more open-minded about other cultures and helped me to embrace the differences that can be found in others and celebrate the beauty found in true friendship with others.
~My trip to Paris last November, which was daring and huge for me to do at that particular time in my life. I loved Paris, and meeting my blog friends there was a priceless gift to myself. I still totally need to blog about Paris more, and will soon, I promise. I have made friends for life from that trip, and will always consider it one of the best moments in my life for that reason alone. The food, scenery, and art were great too.
~Getting a B in chorus class in 9th grade (due to my loathing of singing solos in class for a grade). This threw my grade point average down (a tiny bit, but enough to bother me at the time) enough to make me switch to Art 1 class to fulfill my visual/performing arts elective requirement. There, I discovered my true love of art, and the fact I’m good at it. This really helped shape my sense of self-worth, something that had been sadly lacking in my life before then.
~Winning the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Summer Seminar art scholarship the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I got to take a 22 hour Greyhound bus ride to Colorado College in Colorado Springs and study art in a college setting with 23 other kids from a 6-state region for two weeks. It was wonderful, and also did wonders for my confidence and sense of self. It made me love doing art even more. I learned there about how mistakes in art can sometimes be a surprise that works for the finished product. My brother has the purple chair painting with drips I’m talking about.
~Googling my way out of the Mormon religion. The religion played such a huge role in shaping me into the woman I had become for so many years. Allowing myself to finally look with open and clear eyes at what I had become and what my life was like AND WHY was absolutely key in shedding those things in my life that were harming me on a very basic level. It caused me to start blogging, something that also has been huge in my finding myself and discovering a support group of friends that are priceless to me. I also value the creativity that I’ve tapped within myself as I’ve broadened my mind and discovered that I have a voice and something valid to say.
~Finding my very best friend in this world. I had never before then felt so accepted for who I am. I am completely changed because of it. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind on with the priceless support and encouragement I get from this person. I am valued and loved and appreciated. I feel safe to love myself now, and this frees me to love others fully. What a rare and precious gift. Mein Schatz.
~Standing on the beach in Hawaii. The ocean speaks to my soul. It moves me powerfully. I could watch the ocean forever.
I have many other Best Moments in Life, but I’ll save them for another blog post, as this one is pretty long already. Thanks for the great question, Wry. I’m going to try to use this lighter week or two to answer more of the questions I've been given. Wish me luck!