Every time the Kelly Clarkson song, “Catch My Breath,” comes on the radio, my four year old says, “Mom! That is your song!” He says this because he knows I really like the song but he doesn’t realize how much I can relate to song and how much it speaks to me.
The first time the song gets a reaction out of me is probably in first set of lyrics. “Learning how to react; I’ve spent most of my time; Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of the show; Now that you know, this is my life, I won’t be told it’s supposed to be right.” I have taken a lot of crap from a lot of people and I have spent my whole life being told what I am supposed to do and who I am supposed to be. I have turned my cheek for the sake of appearances and did what I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do.
For a long time, I have known that trying to make others happy would never make me happy but I did it anyway hoping that I was somehow wrong. I always did what I was supposed to do and never really thought about what I wanted. In the past few months, I have gotten a rude awakening because I have finally stopped wanting to make others happy. I just want to make myself happy.
It is my life and I don’t want to be told what’s right especially when I already know what’s right. That is why these next lyrics are so important. “Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud; Making time for the ones that count; I’ll spend the rest of my time; Laughing hard with the windows down; Leaving footprints all over town; Keeping faith kinda comes around.” I am working on trying to be happy without having to please anyone else.
Life’s challenges have forced me to realize this is my life and no one else’s. The fact is I have faced life’s challenges alone and no one’s heart broke but mine. No one ever picked up the pieces for me and no one was strong for me. In fact, I made a choice not to lean on anyone for fear of judgment.
I have been dealt some heavy cards since my diagnoses of RA and fibromyalgia. Those of you who have followed my journey for the past four plus years know what I have been through. Despite everything, I have endured and triumphed. The one I struggled with was my own happiness. I could not be happy trying to make others happy. My happiness took a backseat.
So, I have done what I am supposed to do and what others expected and guess what, it didn’t work. I say this mostly because I need to remind myself the next time I almost make the mistake of sacrificing my own happiness. Maybe I am also saying to make a point that I am tired of doing it and I am tired of people in my life not getting it.
I am human and I am entitled to be happy. Their approval is no longer needed. It is time for me to catch my breath and do what’s right for my kids and me.