life lessons

Re Write Your Story

How do you tell your story?

I’ve always been one who tries to look at the brighter side of things. No matter how terrible they may feel. There’s got to be some sort of reason for everything that’s happened doesn’t there?

I seldomly like to “gloat” about the things I’ve been through or seen on my journey of life. I’ve been around many people who have had hard times. While they have every right to be upset and talk about them, I find when you constantly talk about your story and past as if all of it was terrible and negative, your future continues to be this vicious circle of “Why me?”.

That being said, when I spoke of myself with extreme positivity and love, I was instantly shut down by people around me who were envious of my happy energy, and quickly told that I infact haven’t experienced true pain. That was the only reason I was so happy. This stoked some coals inside and sparked a certain flame. In the moment, I wanted to scream and tell him he had absolutely no idea what I had been through in my life. Instead, I took a deep breath and pointed out to him how unhappy he must be inside when he is trying to find a reason for my happiness being fake.

After that I thought, maybe I should tell some of my story. You know, so people didn’t underestimate my pain or happiness. I started writing a book, I got 7 chapters in and realized I just didn’t want to make a book so fixated on my childhood traumas. I have came to the conclusion, I needed to we write my story.

Instead of writing all the traumas I have suffered, I had to we write it as a positive version of what I got out of all of those life experiences.

As an example I will share a few that I have been able to turn around. I want to challenge you to do the same. Life is about the way you handle the things that come your way in life. I could be some alcoholic pill popping drug addict and be able to find many excuses why I was that way. But I chose to be the opposite.

My story used to be:

I grew up with an older brother who was very addicted to crack cocaine from a very young age. The drugs took over so bad that I was put into many situations a young child shouldn’t have to see or go through. My brother tried to sell me for drugs, I had to hide money in my teddy bears because he would find it and take it, I watched him fight against my mom and my other brother hiding bills in his mouth, trying to steal the family vehicles, going in and out of jail from committing pointless crimes to get his fix. Woke up Christmas morning to a phone call of drug dealers beating him in the background threatening that if my mother didn’t send ME (14 years old) into the local dairy queen with over 1000$ cash he would be killed. I held hatred toward my brother from many of these things.

My mother was always so concerned about him that she had no time for me. She missed my Prom photos because my brother stole her truck. She was late for my 19th birthday for the same reasons then spent the entire time on the phone dealing with the issue. She had her own issues that got me to a point in life where I had to take myself out of her life. I almost blocked her on everything. Then my brother was pronounced dead, at the age of 25 years old. This was now the 5th major family death I’ve had to encounter. It sent me into a huge head spin. I couldn’t understand how life just kept going on at this point, how the street lights still turned green, how the cars kept driving. The people kept going on their morning runs, music kept playing. The world kept on spinning, when my world felt like it was constantly crashing down.

My parents split up when I was 9, which I was blamed for by my older brother. I didn’t stop them from arguing anymore, it was my fault. I carried this for years. I watched as my mother tried to have new relationships. I watched her sob when they didn’t work out. I welcomes new people and new homes into my life as she tried to find the right person. It didn’t really help my views on relationships. On one end I learned I could be alone forever and close my heart off like my dad. On the other end I learned I shouldn’t be alone and to keep trying to search for love. It left my own love life very confused and the feeling of unworthiness left me not able to hold on to the good people and stuck with men that would hurt me.

I would be frustrated because I was moving from city to town constantly when I was younger, I was always “the new girl”. Always trying to fit in. It gave me no way to grow roots somewhere. Struggling the New Girl battle of rumors and envy.

Now, here’s my re written version:

I grew up In a small town with two older brothers. One who taught me the importance of life, and staying away from drugs, living life with a clear head so I did not turn into someone I never wanted to be, or worse, get taken from this world completely. He taught me to not judge the people who are hurting or suffering from addiction, to look at them with an open heart. And one who taught me to stay strong, stay loyal to family, fight and work for what I dream of having and doing, and to never give up. They added character to my life. both of them.

My father taught me the value of waiting for the right person, patience, and understanding. He taught me how to be smart with my money and my studies of life. And through seeing his stubbornness, I found my stubbornness and was able to release myself from that. My mother taught me the importance of living with a clear head, staying away from prescriptions as when I would see what they did to her, I wanted nothing to do with them. When I saw how chasing love only backfired and hurt her, I learned what I didn’t want for myself. I wanted to grow into a strong, independent woman who was respected and love was earned. It all shaped me into who I am today.

My trials of relationships helped me catch my weaknesses and strengths, every single one of them taught me something different about myself, helped me learn and grow, helped me see what I did and didn’t want in a relationship. They helped me develop my sense of self worth, and forced me to seek information from books and other people to guide me to the understandings I have today.

Being the new girl and moving so much helped me become very social. I can start a conversation with just about anyone. I can make a group of strangers laugh. Because of having to constantly learn how to fit in in multiple places throughout life its made me outgoing, friendly, and understanding of diversity. I love meeting new people and have a strong belief that everyone in my journey is here for some reason or another to teach me something or learn something from me.

Losing the people I have in life to either death, or just loss of friendship, has allowed me to accept that everything comes to an end. It has helped me deal with hard times in a calm manner, accept the things I have no control over, and find light in many dark situations.

Everything in life has a good side and a bad side to it. We can dwell on the sadness and nobody would blink an eye to it. Or we can look at the brighter side, and share our understanding for the good that has came out of tough times, and help inspire the world around us to do the same. The most successful/happiest people are the ones who can find light in any situation.

Who would you rather be?

Maybe its time to re write some of your story?

Until next time!

Kaitlin Hoekstra