A life you’re proud of…

DenaFebruary 26, 2014

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. —from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I know that I’ve shared that quote a million times already, but it’s so important to me. I’ve been reading it daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for weeks now. There are big and difficult things happening in my life, things that I don’t always have the heart to write about, but that quote sums it up pretty well. It’s why I’ve always done what I’ve always done and why I’ll always do what I’ll always do.

February is slowly (oh-so-slowly) rolling to a close and I’ve decided to take inventory. I started twenty-fourteen off on the right foot eliminating negativity/toxicity and focusing inward. However, what I’ve learned about goals is how quickly we tend to forget about them. Not surprisingly, I’ve been slipping a bit myself. The energy around the start of the year is invigorating, but it quickly fizzles. It’s important that we re-evaluate and re-focus regularly.

Lately: I am taking more risks professionally. I am attending poetry circle at my local library. I’ve started reading again (actual books, not just blogs!). It feels as though I am coming out of a cocoon and it’s not just because winter will end soon. I was wrapped up in pregnancy, then postpartum, then other problems. For a long time, I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I am slowly finding my way back to myself and learning how to be me and be a mother, which is harder than I’d anticipated.

Forgive me if I sound like a broken record lately. One of the reasons that I am so stuck on the Benjamin Button quote is because it is the advice that I will one day give my son. If I can teach him to live by that piece of advice, then I believe that I will have taught him everything that he’ll ever need to know. The problem, however, is that I — myself — am not living by that advice, not completely. I do not want to be a parent who says, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s why it is so important to me to get where I need to be and to live as an example to him.

I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

All of this and so much more—

Comments (22)

  • Dominique

    February 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Wow!! I have never seen this movie, I have also never heard or read this quote anywhere else before. Thank you for sharing it. It reminds me of a song that always hits home for me “But you know that when the truth is told
    That you can get what you want
    Or you can just get old
    You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through (Oooh)
    When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?” Vienna by Billy Joel, perhaps you know it, if not take a listen. I hope you get through whatever it is, and come out stronger on the other side.

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Thanks, Dominique! <3

  • Gillian

    February 26, 2014 at 11:29 am

    love, love your words and your photos here. it’s good to know that others are going through big and difficult things in life as well. 🙂

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Thank you, Gillian! xx

  • Kristin

    February 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I love that quote as well. Every time we talk/visit, I see you grow so much — your beautiful wedding, Roman, wood burning stove, house of leaves turning into everything you dreamed and more. You have always had a gift with words and perhaps instead of being an English teacher for the masses, you will be the best teacher R could ask for. I am glad that you are reading and writing again; I am so impressed to hear about your life and how you process and face your challenges. Dena, you are an inspiration and I hope you are proud if where you are & where you’re going. All of that is because of where you have been— the places you will revisit AND those that you hope not to.

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

      You are wonderful, Kristin. <3

  • Erika Lee Sears

    February 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    How handsome is he! its a great quote- and something I talk about with my daughter is having the best life and your such a great mommy for instilling such great little pearls of wisdoms (or maybe big pearls of wisdom hehe) 🙂

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Thanks, Erica! xo

  • Charlotte

    February 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    This is such a great post and I completely agree with everything you have written. I feel very much the same way. Beautiful photos as well x

  • Crista at Hands and Hearts More Than Full

    February 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Don’t quit! That’s a solid piece of advice and something that rings in my head daily. As long as you keep trying you’re going to inspire your son. Never give up. Life is about the journey + learning to be who we are 🙂

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Thank you, Crista. I needed to hear that! (Don’t quit.) <3

  • Bekki@a better way to homeschool

    February 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I love that, “live a life you are proud of…”
    So simple and yet so profound!

  • Lorra

    February 26, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    xoxoxo you are STRONG!!

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Thanks, love. xoxoxo

  • Ollie

    February 27, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I agree with them, don’t just give up. Find adventure out it. BTW, I love your photos, they are so relaxing to look at.

  • farzana

    February 27, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I just read the whole thing to Kamal & he loved it….perfectly said!

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Thank you, Farzana!! 🙂

  • Suzy

    February 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I sometimes think we are too hard on ourselves and we should just let it be OK to constantly change and reinvent ourselves. Like the cells in our body, we are not the same person we were a year ago, a week ago or even a day ago.

    And goodness, this mom business IS hard! But, I’m up for the challenge>: )

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

      You’re the best, Suzy. Thank you. xx

  • Renee

    March 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

    This is perfect and much needed. I think I may love that quote forever, in fact. Its so hard some days to remember all these goals and things we try so hard for, they are much easier to keep in mind on the good days for sure. Hopefully March brings more ‘good’ days and easy days for all of us! And of course, your photos are beautiful. xoxo

    1. Dena

      March 1, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Thanks, Renee. xo

  • Keri-Anne

    March 2, 2014 at 4:40 am

    I completely love your photos! Thank you so much for linking up with us 🙂 Your little man is so cute x

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