Becoming Erika

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After being awake all night from a bout of insomnia, I've made a lot of decisions. A lot of final decisions, meaning no ifs, ands, or buts. Starting today, I'm going to be me. If I feel happy, darn it all I'm going to be happy! If I feel sad, well I may just shed a tear or two and be sad. If I'm angry, I'm going to let all of that rage flow through and out of me. If I don't feel good, I might say something because I'm tired of putting on the happy face when I feel like I am going to fall over. I want to start being the person I feel on the inside.

I've tried to embrace this idea before. Sometimes it lasts for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, or at best, a couple of months. But this time around I'm going to try hard so that it sticks. I've got a lot of baggage that I need to work through and eventually let go of. I cannot let pain and hate impact my life as much as it does. I can't be afraid of the past or the future. I have to move on with my head held high, telling myself every day to "Just be me." A person cannot be expected to be brave every single day of their life. Why do people expect me to do that?

I know there are going to be some people out there who will not be happy with this. They will say "What's up with your mood?" Well world, however I am acting when you see me is what I am feeling. I'm going to learn how to wear my heart on my sleeve. I am going to see that in tears there are strength because with each tear, I'm letting go a little piece of pain. With less pain, I'll be stronger emotionally, physically, heck maybe even mentally? Eventually I will become the person who I can be proud of. It won't matter what other people think because this is my journey.

And I have a fabulous new friend to thank for helping me to start this journey. For inspiring me, for encouraging me, and for helping me to believe that it's all going to be ok. I'm not that great with emotions or with words, I don't even know why I have this blog. But I think this blog is a good thing because it captures these moments in my life. It takes my random thoughts and records them. I hope that many years from now I can look back and read this. I'm not going to remember this experience unfortunately. That's kind of why I have this blog I think. More importantly, that's why I have friends, to remind me of who I really am. And one day to remind me of how far I have truly come.

Here's my first raw moment of being me. I'm crying which is something I wouldn't normally do. I just have a few tears streaming down my face. It's ok though, it's all going to be ok because I'm being me. And it's the 28th and every month I miss a family member who passed long ago. He was the person who I was closest to in my family. And the funny thing was, we weren't even related by blood. But he saw me as one of his own grandchildren. He told me his life stories, he helped to make my life better when he didn't have to. We were unbelievably close. We were so close that when he died, it was his wish that I did the eulogy.

The other night I was in World Market with my Mom. I wanted to see if they had any sugar free candies (I keep hoping for a sugar free Galaxy bar). As I passed an aisle, I saw that they had little fruit flavored candies from France that came in a metal tin. La Vie Pastillines to be precise. Grandpa always had lemon flavored ones and he kept them in the side storage compartment on the passenger side of the car. I remember getting in the car and the first thing he would do was open up that small tin. I know the acidic bite on my palate mixed with a hint of sweetness and lemon extract all too well. I remember if I had more than two, I would have those little burn spots in my mouth. He also loved Werther's Original caramel candies. The funny thing is, I never liked them. But I pretended I liked them because I wanted to be like my Grandpa. Every now and again I'll get a craving for one, I can taste it in my mind. I remember the sound of the wrapper as I opened it, quietly crinkling under my small fingers. The smoothness of the cold, hard candy against my tongue. How it slowly melted away and coated my throat. How the last little bit always ends up getting stuck on a tooth and I had to pry it off with my tongue.

I don't remember a lot about my childhood, but most of my memories are those that were spent with my Grandpa. And I'm thankful that I remember them. They are moments I can never get back but cherish for as long as I can remember. I think he would be really proud of me if he could see me today. I may not have a college degree or a fabulous job. But I'm standing up for myself, I'm becoming the young woman he would be proud to say was his granddaughter.