Granted there are still a few family members probably shaking their heads and wondering what the hell I'm doing. But my uncle told me today that he is proud of me! And believe me, when you don't have a father, a male figure in the family being proud of you is everything. And since my cousins are all 10 to 12 years younger than me, I have never really fit in with them. I think being my age makes me kind of uncool to them. But one of my cousins told me that when she saw my website, she e-mailed it to her friends to share it with them. How cool is THAT? I never thought I'd see the day when one of my cousins told all her friends about me and what I do.
Of course I've done a lot of other things in my life worth being proud of, but they aren't things my family understands. They don't understand being a survivor of violence and trauma. They don't understand learning disabilities or the value of maintaining and independent life in spite of disabilities. I think all they understand is family and money and business (and travel). And since I don't intend to make babies and my disabilities often sidetracked or cut short any successful careers that I had, I think they just shook their heads and accepted me anyway. Now that I'm successful in business, they appreciate my accomplishments. I think I'm still lit up like a Christmas tree from finding out my Uncle is proud of me. I also think I'm done ever looking for their approval again. I know myself and treat myself well enough now that I just don't need approval from my extended family. I've experienced it now, I love it, I'm basking in it...and I'm ready to move on. What a wonderful gift indeed.
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