Time for Reflection


Written by: Tanya Vogel Ahhh reflection…. We all need it! And what better time than New Year’s week, right?

The New Year brings a renewed hope for things to come. We look to our futures and smile. We have a positive attitude and feel almost light with lack of worry. Because the coming year will be better! Right?

Never doubt that things will be better. EVER! Life can be very cruel and we all have some really down times – the important part is to pick ourselves up and treat each new day like New Year’s Day! And yes there will be bad days, but just let them be days – not weeks, months, and years. While we will never know what the universe has in store for us, we can better arm ourselves against the bad stuff with positivity.  After all, worry sucks the life out of us, so LET GO!

My life as a kid was full of turmoil. My codependent mother (she is the queen, so if you know anyone who is codependent they learned from her) kept my sperm donor around for far too long. He was an alcoholic gambler, so we never had anything as kids.

My saving grace was my Grandma. God, I miss that woman! She always had this knack for looking at things with a realistic, but positive eye. She was never one to wear rose colored glasses and she called a spade a spade – but she was never negative! She was a role model and I learned so much from her about life.

I went through some really bad times that involved drugs and alcohol – the expected result of a kid who didn’t know her place in the world. At my lowest I was in a roach infested hovel on the worst side of town, I had just been fired from my job, and I had sold everything I owned for my next hit. It was either saving myself, or letting life defeat me. I thought of my Grandma and then called my Mom – thank God she is a codependent! She responded immediately. She helped get me admitted to an inpatient facility where I started to get ahold of my life – find myself. I have never looked back.

I disassociated myself from destructive people and removed myself from negative situations that kept me from moving forward. In essence, I rebuilt my life!

The years since rehab were not all candy and roses. I lost people that I loved dearly, had really unhealthy relationships, and worked in jobs that I hated. But, I learned from each experience, as if they were all life lessons.

Today, my life is full and I am healthy. I still indulge in a drink or two occasionally, but I have been drug free for 25 years. I am now 46 with a Master’s degree and a job I love. I met my soul mate and we are now legally married for over two years. I create distance with my family, and I have learned that it’s ok to do so. It allows for greater enjoyment when I do get to spend time with them. I also love my in-law family, although they aren’t too close!

This year I also met some amazing people, including two very good friends, through LGBTea Dances. I am finding purpose through my involvement with this organization. LGBTea Dances brings so many great things to the local LGBT community, and I am proud to be a part of it!

I still have obstacles but nothing is ever bigger than me. I have grown from each obstacle. I accept everything about myself (good and bad) and allow all of my experiences to shape who I am. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t me authentically ME!!

With each breath, I try to smile, be positive, and trust that I will get through anything that is set before me. I treat each day like the New Year because when we wake up each morning, that’s what it is! Years are cyclical. January 1st just signifies the start of the official calendar New Year, but every day is the start of a new day, week, month, and year.

So treat each and every day like New Year’s Day! Love, be good, be good to others, and smile!

NewsCarrie Pizzillo-Stare