Have you ever screwed something up so badly that you wanted an immediate do over? What about messing up and thinking good grief I hope no one ever sees that? I also like thinking “dang, I wish I could do that again” when it’s something good.
Not everyone gets a second chance. Sometimes when you do, there is a guilt associated with it. I certainly did not set out to find a new love, he kind of tumbled into my life. I didn’t even know I needed him or that he needed me until it was to late and I was hooked.
Adam and I are a perfect match when it comes to tragic pasts. His is just as jacked up as mine. We both have been divorced, lost a spouse, and have been left holding the bag a time or two. We know what it’s like to be disappointed and have hopes and dreams shattered on the floor.
We also know what it’s like to laugh with your best friend. To find joy in the little things. To dream and make plans. To hopefully be someone’s last first kiss. We have a second chance to build a life together. A lot of people don’t have that chance.
When I was young I lost a friend to domestic violence. It was one of those moments where, when you reflect as an older person, you realize your life unequivocally changed on a dime. My world was forever altered and seemed smaller than before, less safe.
Mortality meant something. My friend never got to drive, graduate from High School, go to college, get married, or do any of the things I’ve gotten to do. As I have grown older I’ve realized what a privilege it is to have another birthday, after Jerry died I’ve appreciated every day I’ve been given. Each day is a second chance to get it right.
I’ve talked about failure before, I really struggled with it for a long time. I let my parents down the day I didn’t get to walk at High School graduation. I got married and divorced in the same year. I got remarried 6 months after my divorce and 1 month after finding out I was pregnant. I had failed my parents, my mentors, my friends, and myself. I put that burden on myself, I could see it in their faces and just knew I’d messed up.
I owe so much to a man who could see my potential and coaxed it out of me. He sat me down one day when I was pregnant with my second child and told me I had a choice. I could wallow in my mistakes or I could rise above them. If I wallowed and quit trying he would allow me to call myself a failure, but if I kept trying he would help me become a survivor.
You can’t pay someone back for a conversation like that, all I can do is live the life he could see me having. He helped me by asking me questions, getting me books, teaching me how to walk in high heels, he taught me how to interview and gave me confidence to try. He expected nothing but my friendship in return.
I paid it forward.
Life will sometimes surprise you. All the time I was struggling with failure, with providing for my family, and trying to just survive. The universe was paying attention.
All the good deeds I’ve tried to do, came back to me in this new life. Opportunities I thought I would never have; I get to experience. I had a new baby at 42, in the midst of going through hell I had a precious angel to hold and remind me that I was important to someone. I mattered.
He is a second chance to be the mom I wanted to be, as hard as being a single parent is, I can’t imagine my life without him. He is the reason I get up in the morning. He fuels my curiosity for the world. He is why I eat my vegetables. Adam loves him like one of his own. He’s a second chance for Adam too.
In 2010 I lost my identity and career when I was let go from Discover, I thought I would never recover from it. The universe however gave me a second chance at learning how to reconnect to people and lead them. Today, I have my very own call center. My identity doesn’t revolve around my career anymore; I learned balance. I got a second chance to make a living taking care of people while really taking care of myself.
While I whole heartedly believe in second chances, some of them might actually be my 45th chance. I’m a slow learner sometimes. My point is, appreciate the little do overs in your life. They could be leading up to the big one. Don’t forget that when one door closes, you might have to wait in the hallway for a window to open but it will open.
Fly my friends, fly