Looking Ahead

Why were there always things she wished she hadn’t done?

For her entire life, the girl had made choices that at the moment seemed brilliant, but in retrospect were entirely misguided. And this was certainly one of them. Except that even in the moment, she knew it was the wrong direction to walk.

Of course, she didn’t want to spend her life looking behind her. What good would that do? In addition to making her dizzy, it would simply confuse the focus.

And now, she could look completely forward and focus on what was right in front of her. Goodness. Honesty. True authenticity instead of cruelty masquerading. The work the work the work.

She could finally do what does best – create, inspire, weave stories. She could focus wholly on her kids. No more maniacs, no more catering the needs of insecurity.

Freedom, she realized, was the ability to not let another control her moments, not quiver under the gaze of a scrutinizing and unhappy behemoth. She knew, and she had always known, that happiness and strength come from within. If others didn’t realize that, she would not be the one to try to fill their voids.

She’d had enough of doing that and done it more than she’d like. But yesterday is gone and today is a new day, and she reminded herself that she’s always been scrappy, always been kind, always worked with integrity as well as passion.

And so, long before the dawn of a Thursday peeked its head over the trees, she sat in the low lights of her office and breathed deeply. In the next room, her son lolled on the couch with cartoons. Upstairs, the other two slept in darkened rooms.

And the night before, they’d snuggled as a family in her bed, watching The Jetsons and The Flintstones and she had realized that these vestiges of her own childhood were unfamiliar to her own children. You see all the wonderful things to discover together? she said to herself.

Life is too full, too rich, too wonderful, to wallow in the mistakes of another. And with that, she went to sleep.


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