I am still the same girl I was all those years ago, opening gifts on Christmas morning, climbing up on my parents bed, dancing around in a pink tutu, receiving my college degree or walking down the aisle to marry the love of my life. Sure I may have changed outwardly. I've grown into my personality, into my skin and grown a few inches taller along the way but underneath I am absolutely the same girl I have always been..spunky, sassy and free spirited.
Life has moved me, shaken me and shaped me, but it has never broken me. I may have struggled with body image but I made up for that in so many other ways from taking the stage and belting out a tune, ballet, dance, gymnastics, theater, piano, voice, choir, writing, modeling, pageants and the list goes on. The arts were and still are my life line. Being an only child surrounded by so much love, encouragement, extended family and adventure I was bound to be relentless in my pursuit of life. I still love getting lost in a book, singing and harmonizing with my mom, dancing an Irish jig, traveling, watching old Disney movies and being silly with those I love. Laughter has always been my best friend, and imagination my sister. From tea parties, to mud pies I was never afraid to be myself as goofy as I am. I was known simply as 'Motor Mouth' by my dad because I talked non stop, something I can still be found guilty of today. Growing up and becoming an adult I may have developed countless scars, been bruised by love and disappointed by several lost dreams but my hope has never wavered. You see I was brought up to "be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class." And so giving up was and never will be an option for me. Am I difficult, yes I am but then what southern woman isn't? I'm stubborn, obstinate and strong-willed, a real firecracker that's for sure. But that's exactly why I am a fighter and a survivor, independent, strong and yes even vulnerable. I am not just a girl, I am not just a woman, no "I am a storm with skin." And I'm not ashamed of who I am, what I have become or where my personal storm is leading me.
I am still the same girl raised to love unconditionally, and speak my mind at the same time.I have lived a life that is uniquely and exclusively my own. I may be copied but I still own the sole rights to my life, and I rest comfortably in that knowledge. From the time I was a little girl I have been been a dreamer, a non conformist and nothing has really changed since then. I know I am deeply flawed, as far from perfect as Dorthy was from Kansas. I am by far no one to place on a pedestal nor am I a saint, none of us are to be honest, not one. We are all sinners, saved by grace I am but a sinner just the same. "I am me, no excuses, no regrets." I'm the girl who knows without a doubt she's a mess, flat out chaos for sure, with insecurities galore But I'm also the woman who figure's if I'm going to be a mess, I might as well be a sassy southern hot mess right?
Life Lesson #112 ~ I'm still the same girl I've been from the start. I may be weird, but if life has taught me anything it's that I don't care. My advice is this: Never be ashamed of your story and of those moments you failed. Forgive quickly and never let resentment become your ally. Personally on those bad days when I feel the world trying to change me, shake me or break me I simply remind myself that God is with me, I can not fail. Psalm 16:8 stays on constant repeat inside my heart, "I will not be shaken." And the truth is, even if I am I won't be broken. I may fall, I may lose sight of myself from time to time, but I will always be a daughter of the King, saved by His grace in a world buying for my crown. The truth is I may be getting older and my days may not be as many as they once were but if you ask me where that little girl has gone, I'll tell you the truth...she's never left. I am still the same little girl my daddy called motor mouth and my mama tried getting shoes on. I am still the same young woman who said I do one spring afternoon, and the same first time mom chasing two little boys around in diapers. Yes, I am still the same girl I once was, just with a little more maturity, a bit of extra wisdom, a few additional life lessons and a bunch of gray hair thinking one day she'll be chasing grand-babies around.
"She’s still the same girl flying down the hill. She’s still the same girl memories vivid still." ~ Twila Paris