Kelly Maida

2021 General Nonfiction Story Contest Finalist

© Copyright 2020 by Kelly Maida

Photo of cartoon panel of Superwoman.

I grew up watching cartoons of superheroís such as superwoman and wonder woman. I also grew up watching women work hard to raise their family while maintaining a job. I always wanted to be like superwoman and be able to handle everything.

As I grew up I noticed my friendís mothers and even those of people I dated worked hard to cook and clean and even after they prepared a meal the women sat down after everyone else was fed. I saw this in some of my family members as well. Somehow I picked this up subconsciously. I also had this feeling of wanting to help others. However as I grew up and went to college, had kids and went after jobs that paid the bills, I did not follow my dreams.

I went to college and pursued degrees that I thought would pay the bills at the time And I thought it would make me happy too. However I didnít follow my dreams then. I tried to make everyone happy. But I found people in need of fixing. Somehow by helping these people to stay clean, healthy and sober. I lost who I was.

I thought superwoman helped everyone and could take on anything. I guess I forgot I was human. I never thought we could burn out after so many years of helping others and not helping ourselves. When I reflect on the past I thought I was taking my care of myself. I didnít realize just how much energy I was giving out by helping broken people out their lives back together. It took major shake ups in my life to help me see that I was not even on my own path. I was on other peopleís paths and I didnít realize it.

Even though I have been writing since I was a child, I did not know how to even start the process of writing for a living. Until I started to make major changes in my life. I didnít realize all of the things that were prohibiting me from my dreams. I always thought that superwoman and other role models that we see on tv, etc., had to be perfect with no flaws. So any flaws that I had I tried to bury them deep inside so they would go away. But instead they all came up to the surface all at once after years of trying to keep them hidden.

I thought strong people had to bear all the burdens and could not ask for help. Until years of taken on so many burdens that I came to a point of almost burnt out. I never realized that strong people can ask for help when they need it. Their is no definition of strong or weak. But I do know this--a strong person never gives up and always keeps trying. It doesnít matter if your strong or weak at the moment but everyone needs help sometimes. Itís okay to ask for help. Itís okay to admit your flaws. If you didnít know areas that you were weak in life how would you be able to improve? Isnít that what life is all about? Constant change and evolution seems to me that in life we are always learning something new. We are always learning from our mistakes. It is okay to start from scratch and build a totally new path in life and have no idea where the road that you are on will take you. I used to want to plan everything out for myself. But I found that by trying to plan everything it takes the life out of living. If you plan everything where is the room for spontaneity or change? We think we know what we want or have things planned but then life throws a curveball at us. Itís okay to change your mind and venture on a new path.

Change is constant and one thing I have learned for sure is that everything in life is constantly changing. As much as we wish things would stay the same, things change. We should look at it as a good thing. If we stayed the same how would we grow or learn? Without change we would never evolve. I feel the quote that says if you want things to be different in your life you have to change what your doing is correct. I wanted change so badly in my life I changed everything down to taking different routes when I drive. Completely changing my behavior because I wanted to be the real me.

The real me really loves to read and to write. The real me could care less about going to bars or going out. The old me used to go out a lot because I felt I was missing out on life. And I love music and dancing. I had children young so I always felt like I missed out on my youth. But I really didnít. Eventually everything became old and boring as far as going out to bars and doing the same old thing after awhile.

The one thing I find that never gets old or boring is reading and writing. I finally found things that give me meaning in life. Itís never too late to carve a new path for yourself. Itís never too late to start over. As long as your breathing you still have time. No matter how old you are! It is never to late to find yourself.

We all owe it to ourselves to be happy. Once we are happy it is so much easier for those around us to be happy. Once we are happy we will attract the right people in our lives. You will no longer have to search for happiness outside yourself. You will never find it in another. Happiness was always inside you. You just had to find it for yourself. No-one can help you do it, or find it for you.

In a sense everyone on this earth that is trying to cope with life and keeps going , or who provides for their families and never gives up is a superhero. They come in all shapes and sizes. They donít have to wear a mask or a cape. They help others out and do what they can to improve their life.

However super heroís need time for self love and care too. It is quite ironic how much I mentioned superheroís and looked up to them as a child. When I was young I had to be around seven, Iím not exactly sure, I went with my dad to his friendís restaurant and I wandered off from him. I was walking fast and not watching where I was going. I did not pay attention to where I was going and fell down what appeared at the time to be a hole. It was a trap door for a cellar that was left open. I landed on my feet, I was quite lucky.

My dad said I was like a cat and called me cat woman. I then got a pair of cat woman glasses and one of his friends called me cat woman. My dad always said I was like a cat and landed on my feet. I just find this funny because cat woman was always portrayed as a villain but she landed on her feet every time. Whether you look at yourself as a superwoman, cat woman, or just a woman we are all just doing our best and trying to find our own way in life.

Even when life seems at itís worst, you can always land on your feet if you keep trying! Even if you fall down, you can get back up!

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