“You can’t change the past. You can only change your reaction to it. Because even if the past is painful. You never know when it will lead to something wonderful.”-A Million Little Things
I’ll never forget watching one of my favorite TV shows ‘A Million Little Things’ and hearing that quote. I instantly hit rewind and wrote it down, as it resonated with me to my core.
The truth is I’ve had some messy in my past, not only in adoption but just in general. There have been times in my life that “being adopted” was hard, painful and disappointing. So naturally I found myself blaming adoption when the other pains of life crept in too. But being adopted wasn’t always the cause of the other pain.
Still to this day there are painful moments that cloud my vision and make it hard to move past. I don’t think there will ever be a day that I will be completely free of these come-and-go feelings, but learning how to change my reaction to these thoughts and feelings is key in pulling me out of the dark.
Most of my life I spent burying these thoughts and feelings so that nobody would think any less of me. But that isn’t a healthy reaction. Feeling these things, and finding whatever it is that helps you move onward and forward is what makes all the difference.
My dad is a runner, he has been as long as I can remember. Watching him go and do it always intrigued me so at a young age I started tagging along. Sometimes I whined because he’d say we were going 3 miles which I believed would be the total distance, but he meant 3 miles till we turn around and then 3 miles back…. soo yeah I’d whine and want to die all at the same time.
Tagging along soon turned into a passion for it. I loved running! I was young and in shape and I didn’t physically NEED to do it. But while my legs were running my mind ran much faster. While I ran I got all of my thinking out. As an adoptee who bottled up all of my feelings, running was the greatest therapy I had.
When I look back through photos of me running track and cross country I laugh because I always had a glazed over serious face. To most people seeing these pictures they would probably think I just had some serious focus. But when I see them I see all the thinking that was going on in that young head of mine.
So I ran because it helped me clear all the mental clutter, it put my mind to rest which was nice even just for that race or that run. Then I could move forward and keep smiling.
I’ve always been grateful for the temporary fulfillment that running brought to me. That was the only downfall is that it was just that – temporary. I desperately wanted something that fulfilled me always, not just on days that I ran.
Luckily for me I was able to find it, I found it when I found my guy. We were crazy young and nobody thought it would last, but it did! I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it forever. Finding him at a difficult time in my life is what I truly feel like saved me.
He was a talker and I hated that at first because he was always trying to get to know me. Not the me I put out there, but the me that was hiding beneath. Due to his incessant annoyance he was the first person I word vomited all over, with everything that was going on in that overthinking head of mine.
He learned about a lot about my inner pain early on in our relationship and I was sure I’d scare him away. But he stayed and he always helped me through it and come out with a greater perspective & greater appreciation. He encouraged me to move forward. I’m positive I never did anything to which I deserved him coming into my life when he did. But I’d sure as hell never change it!
Finding him in a heap of emotional disarray made me realize that the pain from the past doesn’t have to overtake you.
You can have a past. It can be painful and messy and you can still be processing how to move forward with it on the daily, that is all okay. But what’s crucial is that you need to find out what makes you happy, find what fulfills everything else in you other than your voids, in my case my “adopted voids.” Because those voids can always be there. But so can the things that make your soul happy!
Let the voids come and go. Recognize them, feel them, endure them and then focus on the good. The more I’ve learned to focus on the good the more I started to see that there are way more of those than there are of the voids.
Easier said than done, I know, I’ve been there. But just try!
Without that mentality the woes of being a kid that was “given up” as I often thought of it when I was younger, would have eaten me alive. I’ve seen & read things from other adoptee’s that make me think that those thoughts have overtaken them. Imagining what that’s like is both painful and understandable as I myself was quickly heading down that route before he came into my life.
Finding this guy who fills my soul has led me to an incredibly wonderful life. He swooped in when I needed him most, way back in 2006 and he’s been lifting me up ever since.
I don’t write this to make others wish they had what I have. Truly because I don’t want you to have what I have – because it’s mine, it’s my corner of sunshine in this big world! But for any other adoptee’s out there that were like me as a preteen and you constantly read negativity from adult adoptee’s, I want you to see that you don’t HAVE to end up like that. You don’t have to only be a victim in your adopted life. You can rise up & create a beautiful life too. I had my someone who helped me do that in our own way. But you don’t have to have someone, do it for yourself. Create your own adopted ride that while often times may be difficult along the way, can also be a ride you love so much you don’t ever wanna leave.
I didn’t recognize or appreciate it when I was younger and struggling, but I now fully believe that there IS a reason your birth mom chooses to give you a better life. There is a big purpose behind that painful decision. So whether you’ve found the thing that make you happy or your lost in the painful dark, keep looking & keep that chin up buttercup! Because just like the quote – you never know when it will lead to something wonderful.