Becoming the girl behind the red door

Growing up I never dreamed of the typical things I believe most little girls do. I didn’t grow up dreaming about a princess wedding or being a mom. I didn’t dream of being a prima ballerina or becoming a rock star. I didn’t really allow myself to dream at all. I was a realist- even from a young age. Instead, I set goals. I set big goals and small goals. Make straight A’s. Make the softball team. Get into nursing school at Medical College of Ga. Save money for my 401k.

The one thing I allowed myself to wish for was having a home one day- all brick, all hardwood floors and a red front door. I think all I really wanted was to feel safe and secure. These things might sounds weird or insignificant, but to me they were the only things I felt important. I wanted all brick because the house I grew up in was fake stucco. It was falling apart and molded, but we couldn’t afford to fix it. We had carpet with stains, and with each stain came a bad memory. The most crucial piece of my future home was a red front door. When I was a little girl, growing up in the south, a red front door meant your mortgage was paid off. I wanted a life where I could have a home and not be living pay check to pay check. I didn’t want to stay in the cycle of cleaning houses to keep the power on (which nothing is wrong with this at all. My mother with the help of my brother and me kept our bills paid and food in our bellies for many many years by cleaning houses). A red front door can also symbolize obedience and protection to God that dates back to Bible times. Some countries paint their doors red for good luck. Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill had a red front door. Bet you want to paint your front door red now, huh?

As I got older I kept a running list of goals for my life. (Of course I have my weekly and monthly goals too). But this list has transformed into my Bucket List. I have a wide range of things on this list. Things from learning how to drive stick shift to vacation places to saving a certain amount of money. If you know me well, you know about this bucket list- even if I won’t show you. Sorry not sorry. I’m always adding things and trying to check things off.

A few month ago my mom gave me an assignment I did in 2nd grade.

I was eight when I decided to be a nurse when I grew up. I made a goal at the age of eight and I worked hard until it was met. I made the varsity softball team. I made straight A’s. I got into MCG’s nursing program and graduated.

And from my first big girl paycheck I’ve saved 10% into my 401k. I reached a lot of the goals I’ve set for myself when I was younger, but I think I was missing the bigger picture all along. Being a realist at such a young age because of everything that happened in my past made me think having dreams were dumb. Yes, most little girls don’t grow up to be mermaids or have the wedding they planned when they were five. Their dreams just evolve. I’ve come to realize that all anybody really wants is to be happy. To be safe and secure. To really experience life. The goals I made were to set myself up to be happy. And for the most part they did; that is why I continue my epic bucket list.

I didn’t dream of a princess wedding because I thought marriage was bad, like my parents. I didn’t think I was worthy of love. I didn’t dream of becoming a mom because I didn’t want to pass on my genes. I didn’t want to be a prima ballerina or a musician because I needed a steady and reliable job (like a nurse with health insurance). I wanted a strong house with no rot or ugliness because I never had that. I became what I wanted when I was eight years old. I have the all brick house with a red front door. But now, I have things I never allowed myself to dream. I have a wonderful husband that reminds me everyday how worthy of love I am. I finally have a partner to help me finish my bucket list. NYE17 we had a vow renewal and I got that princess wedding I never knew I wanted.

I have the most perfect fur baby. My brother just got his dream job after graduating less than a month ago from the University of GA- and is also in the process of teaching me to drive stick.

My mom is engaged to a fantastic man who treats her the way she should be treated. None of the above are cleaning houses to survive anymore.

My life isn’t perfect. I still haven’t reached all my goals and I constantly add things to the list. But for the first time in my life, I dream. I am so unbelievably happy. I am finally the girl behind the red door.

Xoxo

Jojo

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