I reconnected recently with a friend that I hadn’t heard from in years. We talked on the phone for a good hour at least. He asked me how things had been going in my life since we last talked. For the first time in a long time, I realized that I had grown a lot as a person. Usually when a good friend (even from the past) asks me a question like that, I tend to get melodramatic and play the “poor me” scenario and only focus on the bad things – I’m in debt, my physical health isn’t so great, I don’t feel like I’m making a difference at work, etc.
I started talking about how I finally moved into my own house after almost two years with my parents, how I was getting more involved with advocating for myself and others because one of my bosses told me I don’t speak up enough (imagine that, right?), how I had gone to various trainings and become a Master Personal Action Towards Health Facilitator Trainer, how I had slowly paid off a debt because of a few great friends helping me create a budget to live on, and many other things. I didn’t realize that I had accomplished so many things. Those are all positive things created from negative things that happened in my life.
We’ve all been to conferences or trainings where someone has talked about changing negative thoughts into positive ones, but have we actually put that into action in our lives, not just with thoughts but actions? I’m grateful to have had this chance to talk to this person who I still consider a great friend because without him knowing it, he helped me even more with my own personal positive change efforts.
Who am I and what do I want to become? What are my goals and how am I going to get there? And lastly, how can I continue to grow and change? I’m forever grateful to him for making me realize how far I’ve come and I suggest that we all sit down and make some plans to put into action. Change is a hard thing to do, but in the long run, it creates a better us, a better me, and a better culture to live in.
Mary Beth Evans, CPSS and Recovery Coordinator (and just me)