(partly written 7/99, part now)

I have so many people in my life who I value, and respect, which makes me exceedingly happy.

I am a smart, young woman who has a gift for caring about others. This care, and love seem to stem from a gift/curse of empathy, freakish idealism, and naiveness that should have gone out with the 80's. I try to find the good in everyone, and to trust with my heart, soul, and being.

I have been burned.. pretty badly.. but I just can't justify judging people on the wrong doings and mistakes of others. People are different, people change.

I am wonderfully lucky, for a few reasons.. I have met people and made true friends with so many amazing people. The kind of people where you feel blessed if your life is touched by just one person of this caliber. For whatever luck of the draw.. I have so many people like this in my life.

I have a large amount of life experience, and have had MANY life lessons for my tender 21 years on this life. Don't get me wrong.. I have paid a VERY high price.. but it's been worth it. I've learned things that some people don't learn until much later in life. Some people don't ever realize some of these things. I've gotten to experience places, and situations that some only dream of. I've also realized some things are better left to fantasy. The biggest thing my life experience and lessons have taught me, is that the only thing in the world that is irreplacable are the people in your life. Money, career, material goods, power, status.. they all come and go with the blink of an eye. I have been at both sides of the spectrum twice over already.. and I am only a score, and a year old. For some reason, I've caught on a few of life's many lessons quickly. I know it sounds corny, but I feel it's true.

I will never compromise who I am for anything, or anyone again. "Take me or leave me" .. There was a very long period in my life.. oh 20 years or so.. where I didn't like myself very much. Beyond insecure and, a bad self-esteem.. delving into self-loathing. I based my worth on those I dated, and the casual aquaintences I had. I feel people who are this unsure of who they are, and lack self-worth are easy to spot.. no matter how confident they try to act. Most people realize it, and usually avoid the situation. They avoid any real relationship/friendship with thesepeople. Other people , who are a tad more manipulative see it as easy prey. Someone they can exploit. And others try to make up for what they see lacking in themselves by pairing up with these people.. Stregnth in numbers.. For me.. It lead to some friendships that shouldn't even be called that, and some REALLY fucked up relationships. This made me feel worse.

I was self-destructive.. why not be.. destroy what you hate. A few times I was forced with the choice of choosing between my own self-preservation, worth, respect, etc.. and someone else's. For 4 years (about when I started having serious, commited, adult relationships) I kept choosing others over me.. I figured I would try to save someone else, since I was a lost cause. Show them someone cared, no matter how low they went.. I finally reached a point where I decided to save myself, to salvage what was left of me. I needed to feel value for myself and see who I really was. After about a year filled with a lot of self-discovery, deciding what I stood for, what my own morals and ethics were, what I really felt, and who I wanted to be.. I realized I was a pretty rad person. I recognized what so many people who cared about me already saw. Someone who is human, with faults.. but all in all .. a pretty nifty girl. Someone who didn't deserve emotional abuse from herself or anyone else. Someone who could stand alone, and not feel worthless or inadequete. I finally realized love and care were for people who didn't exploit my emotions, dedication, and trust.

I am happy. For the first time.. almost ever.. I can say that I am truly happy. Of course I still am insecure, have crappy stress, a love life that makes soap operas look tame, but when you get to the core of things I am happy. Although I did realize that I will never be satisfied, nor content. I have a slight obsession with my own idea of perfection.. no matter how well I do something, or how far I get.. that just proves to me that I go two steps further. I used to be kinda bitchy.. even though I had a lousy self-esteem, I felt above some people. "I may suck, but you suck way more than I do".. I have finally realized life is fair, and people are created equal. Someone who may not be as neurotic, and analytical as me is probably a hell of a lot happier.. reminds me of "the four noble truths" whatever brings you joy, will bring you that much sadness.. everything equals out..

Ok I think I've babbled enough.. after all this.. I'm sure you realize.. as I do.. that I still don't know a god damn thing.. And I know that this all seems really corny, most people are probably born knowing all of this.. I wasn't.. But i know it now.. yay!@!

Stay tuned for my "things i would like to improve in 2000" node..

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