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Makin' It Just As You Are

Ever been stuck on a one-way street with no end in sight? No turns, no way off the street, no curbs, and not even no dead-ends? That may be your life, but it doesn't have to be.

That was me once upon a time.

Growing up in a small farm town with a one-stoplight intersection (which became two, and now none), it was usually expected for someone to grow up, attend college, get married, and have kids, and that was it. That was supposed to be the life. That was embedded into our brains that that was going to be the ideal Americana life. Don't get me wrong, my parents are the greatest and most open-minded people. They had their fair share of being ignored in their days of dating. My dad is dark-skinned with a Mexican background and my mom is fair-skinned with a German background. People felt my dad was black and segregated them from activities and even ignored them at restaurants, refusing to serve them. It was the small town that I was raised in, the school environment, and the teachers. My parents had no other choice and with limited money I had to go there. Yes, it was full of people with the small-town mentality, but my parents knew when I get older I would have my own ideas of how I would lead my life.

Well, it did take a while for my own ideas to happen. I didn't want to disappoint my parents, so in leaving my home state for Active Duty Army, I settled for the first person that wanted to marry me. A mistake. That marriage not only failed but produced no children. I felt like a failure because I didn't fulfill my parent's dream of becoming grandparents being that I am their only child.

Even though my parents are open-minded, once in a blue moon the small-town mentality is in there. However, they are still proud of me no matter what my decision in life is, or what path life has chosen for me.

Point is, no matter where you are raised, or how you were raised, go through life following your heart and gut. Because you will never be truly happy if you didn't. I grew up being a gothic emo kid in a town where if you weren't a cheerleader, you weren't it. But I was still happy being who I was. Growing up I felt like I had to ditch that kid and "grow up." I ditched my Rock music and listened to other music to blend in, I dressed differently, all the while that goth emo kid has been tapping on my shoulder my entire adulthood trying to remind me of who I truly am, but I was ignoring her.

In the last few years, I have re-embraced my rockin' gothic emo side, brought Rock 'n' Roll music back, and have been getting happier every day. Never ditch who you truly are.

Listen to the song Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi and really listen to it. I don't usually listen to a lot of lyrics to songs, mostly sway to guitar strings (which is something I rather regret picking up as a teenager when my now deceased Uncle Paul tried teaching me, but still a great memory), but this song made me feel like I can make it, and just know that you too can make it just as you are.


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