Eleven years ago today, I made a mistake – a big one. I paid for it with nearly six years of my life. I was not a happy person then. It was a struggle. I became jaded and guarded and lost hope, but I do not regret it. I learned from my mistake and the trials that stemmed from it and became who I am now.

Five years ago today*, I started over in a new town. I’d been away from my “big mistake” for six months, but not far enough away. I was still hurting and I was still afraid. Bakersfield gave me a sense of security. It was two girls I considered sisters. It was change and possibility, and opportunity. Bakersfield was finding theatre and myself again. It became living at The Spotlight. It was my second chance at my life and the place where I found hope and (after six months of struggle and growth) my heart’s mate.

Fifteen minutes ago, I kissed Daniel goodbye and told him to have a great day and to be careful. I am blessed.

Today is a strange day.

There is sadness over the mistake, but not regret. It’s remembering how naïve I was at nineteen (2 months shy of 20). It’s wishing I hadn’t had to go though all that crap to get to this point, but knowing I would do every single bit of it over again if it put me right here in this house I’ve made a home with my husband and daughter.

There is gratitude for my second chance. It’s hard to believe it has been five years. So much has changed, so many great (and sad) things have happened. I've learned so much.

One minute ago, I bent my head down and kissed the little one on the forehead. She sleeps so peacefully and is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see who she becomes, but hope the time doesn’t move too quickly. I find myself hoping that she doesn’t make the mistakes I did, but know she’ll be strong and get through whatever life brings her way. She’s got that look of determination and stubbornness about her, even when she is doing little things like eating and sleeping.

In about six hours I’m going to get my haircut and some color. I’m a little nervous and really excited. Hopefully we won’t eventually remember today as the day of “The Great Hair Fiasco of 2007”.

Happy 22nd, everybody. Here's to change and growth...

* A complete coincidence; sort of strange.


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