When I was 14 I was everything everyone wanted me to be. I was a classic goody two shoes. I was faithfully going to church and knew everything about it. I could quote scriptures and have great debates about religion. I was doing wonderfully in school, although still not “living up to my potential”.
When I was 15 I remember laying on the floor of one of the rooms at church and having a conversation with a church friend. She was starting to have doubts about church. I remember thinking how awful that was. How sad it must be to have doubts and be lost.
When I was 16, I went straight past doubts. I knew I wasn’t happy. I knew that I wasn’t who I wanted to be, what I wanted to be, or where I wanted to be. But it didn’t matter. I couldn’t do anything different, too many people expected more from me. When my feelings got to be almost more than I could bear, I had a conversation with one of my church friend’s father. I remember him saying “I wish my daughter was more like you.” I cried myself to sleep that night. The weight of the world on my shoulders. People expected too much from me.
I hung a sign on my wall, when I was 16, before it became as popular of a quote as it is now, that said:
I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.
It was at this same time that I began fighting with my parents over where I was going to go to college. I had always wanted to go to BYU-Idaho (back then it was called Ricks). But now I didn’t. I didn’t want to be kept in my mold, I was ready to break free. Yet, I went. What other choice did I have? I couldn’t let anyone down. I couldn’t lose the love that my family had for me.
I met Jenn there, and in the long run broke the mold anyway. Sort of. Instead of being who my family wanted me to be, I became the girl Jenn wanted. Quiet, agreeable, basically bowing down to her every whim.
I’m 34 now. I have 7 tattoos. I have blue hair (oh, by the way, the purple and pink faded and I dyed my hair blue!). I go places. I know people when I go places. In the 14 years I lived here with Jenn I can only name two times where we were out and I knew someone. Twice in the last week I’ve run into people I know.
I say what I want to say. I do what I want to do. I’m being true to me, finally.
And you know what?? Everyone still loves me. My family is still my family. They still love me. CLAD still loves me. No one has shunned me for my beliefs, my sexual orientation, my tattoos or my blue hair. Well, my boss may have given me a bit of a hard time about the blue hair. Picture Nancy Kerrigan and her Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-ing. But to be honest, even he doesn’t judge me by my tattoos and hair (and soon to be piercings).
While I am still slightly dead on the inside, I am slowly bring the real Heidi out for the world to see. I’m excited for me to finally hit the weight loss goals so that I can buy a new wardrobe that is totally my style. Not the clothes I was allowed to wear growing up. Not the clothes I was allowed to wear as a wife. The clothes that reflect my personality. My crafting is way up, Martha Heidi is in full swing. I haven’t been this caught up in my scrapbook in years!!
I’m less shy than ever before. I’m not afraid of people not liking the real me. Because 1-If they don’t like the real me, their loss. 2-I haven’t really come across anyone that doesn’t!
I’m thankful, that finally, at the age of 34, I am Heidi. I am not a person who reflects the wants and needs of the people around her. I am the person that is loved, not in spite of who I am, but because of who I am. And don’t get me wrong, I still have the same flaws I always had. I will never be able to ask for help!! (I actually got close to asking for help the other day, but covered it up nicely lol)
I am thankful that, even though it took me 18 years to realize it, I am finally the master of my fate, the captain of my soul.
Thank you Mom, Dad, Marshall, Chris, Lyz, Avery, Delaney, Joni, all of my extended family (both by birth and by adoption), K, and
almost everyone reading this, for loving me because of me. For loving me these past ten months even though at times I have been impossible to be around. For loving me. Just me.