I have had so many “And That’s Okay” moments in my five decades on earth, that it all seems like one blended coagulation of epiphanies that continues to challenge my thinking and doing and being.
I confound most people because I live fully in the moment. One day I will be found in a series of meetings helping to shape lives, and in the very next, I’m in an F-16 breaking the sound barrier or hanging from the side of a cable car in San Francisco or climbing so high up a mountain that I am kissing the clouds that caresses my happy face.
It all exhilarates my soul.
Somewhere around the tender age of nine, I realized my life was going to be different and I shared it with my father who just nodded his head and went back to reading his paper.
Yes, I confounded my parents too. And that’s okay.
Like most people, I have had serious struggles that left me breathless and wondering when the next moment of peace would arrive. I choose not to steep like a tea bag, my memories on those things but rather, the gratitude that comes from finding my way to center and rising above it to soar higher.
I dreamt dreams many would call foolish until they became reality. I swore never to get married again and yet, I’m back at it with a man whose very air gives me life. That’s a deep kind of love y’all- one that requires relinquishing pride and a level of vulnerability that leaves you completely open. The reward? Astounding. Never worry about others opinions on your life. Only you can choose your path. And that’s okay.
I can, and have, stood in a room as the only dissenting voice and would not budge with results. And that’s okay.
I have curled up into a ball and cried to release hurt, disappointment and pain.. And that’s okay.
I have lost friendships I thought would last a life time and lived to tell about it. And that’s okay because I extracted the lessons from within.
I have learned that being my most authentic self may annoy others, but that isn’t any of my business now is it?
And I learned that an authentic apology goes a long way. We aren’t always right. In fact, more unnecessary squabble happens because we don’t listen to each other.
Humility is a gift to be used often.
Arrogance is a tool best left to rust.
Because at the end of the day, what is most important aren’t the things we acquire, but the quality of human capital we gained through simple kindness, thoughtfulness and grace.
And that’s okay.
– Andrea Lawful-Sanders
Artwork: Brittany Holiday