Let Me Introduce Myself
Hello, My Name Is
Some people are keeping up with my blog, reading each time I post. Others, this may be the first time you read and still yet others only read a few of them. Either way, you are learning something about me each and every time I post. Lets start out with an introduction, I am Summer Canady. As you see from the photo above, I appear to be a happy woman. That is a fair assumption, because I am however, I haven’t always been that. This was all the easy part, from here on out its going to be a bit harder. I’ll take the time now to provide a disclaimer/warning. Not everyone will like what they read here! Move on if you think you might be
offended! Otherwise, stick around and get to know me a little more.
As a young kid, I didn’t feel accepted, in fact as I was growing up I always felt like I was an outsider. I didn’t have a bad life, just experienced some things growing up that might not be the best memories. However, regardless of how happy I was, I was always not happy on the inside. As an adult no, I am not dwelling on what things happened in my past, however I have learned that they do have an impact on the way I would think and respond to certain situations.
Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow stronger
A big part of my life, I felt like I was never going to be as good as others wanted me to be. I understand my parents had to get divorced, and in doing so my father has become a better man for it. So, that’s fine, but having my dad gone by the age of three and an additional 3 stepdads come and go as well. I started to think something was wrong with me. It wasn’t my fault the marriages didn’t work. Of course does a kid ever understand that kind of stuff, heck no and I darn sure didn’t understand that it left me feeling a void that I wasn’t good enough. I only learned that as an adult.
As a teenager I made the choice to live with my dad short term. Little did I know that my siblings would grow closer to each other without me around, my nephew and niece’s would as well. When I came back home, My older sisters had a very close bond and have been that way every since. My nephew and nieces no longer really knew who I was. Then it wasn’t long before I moved away again. My children and I lived for several years only an hour drive away. It would seem that was a distance great enough to limit the relationships drastically. Only seeing each other on special occasions and holidays for many years.
Where do I belong
I later came back home, after a failed marriage and a short bad relationship. I had dropped out of high school and been a stay at home mom, so I had no work experience. Everyone in my family had made their own lives and I didn’t really fit in anywhere. Meeting all the wrong people, and struggling to raise my kids on my own. working dead end jobs and just trying to make it in this world that I wasn’t even sure how to fit into. I was married at 18, so all I knew was childhood, and a life with my former husband. Nothing felt like it was right, nothing felt like home. I felt completely alone, and felt like I had never really been given any guidance in how I was supposed to improve my life.
My mother and brother helped out with my kids a lot as I went to school to be an EMT, later changing careers to work in home with individuals with intellectual and mental disabilities. I still wasn’t happy though, not on the inside. My life had seen many hard times. Many times I had failed my kids in parenting, and in trying to have a relationship. I didn’t want to be alone, but I had no clue who I was supposed to be either, I was just this lost girl afraid to tell anyone in the world that I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t always understand the choice I made could be a bad one.
You have to hit rock bottom
Nobody can help a person who doesn’t even know they need help. That’s the biggest thing, I didn’t truly realize there was anything I needed. On the flip side, what I needed, nobody else could have provided me with. I eventually wound up in an abusive relationship that tore me apart worse than I had ever dreamed of. It not only destroyed me as a person, it killed my soul. I honestly didn’t think I was worthy of living anymore. I was afraid to let anyone know, for fear of their judgement. In my head it wasn’t that they would offer help, it was they are going to see that I screwed up one more time. I hated more than anything for my family to think I had messed up again. It made me feel like such a failure.
I felt like I was supposed to be someone I wasn’t, and that unless I was that person, they would never approve. Eventually it all came out and my family helped me get out of the relationship and get where I am today. Prior to this I had never really lived on my own, as my own person. I always just floated along as if I was some extension to someone else. I didn’t know how I was suppose to function without whomever it was at the time. This by all means was rock bottom. I had nothing, but my kids and a bunch of hand me down junk that wasn’t enough to even supply us with one full bedroom.
Becoming Who I am
This was the hardest road I had ever gone down, even though I had been in some sucky situations. Here I was forced to make myself become comfortable with being alone. In time things began to change for me and I did become comfortable on my own. A little to much so. I had a friend need a place to stay for a night and of course I offered to help, but the entire time I was wishing in my head they would leave. Not because they did anything, simply because it was invading my bubble. I was so comfortable that I didn’t even want so much as a friend sleeping at my house. My kids and I, that’s it! This was my place of security. This was my home. This was my evidence that I was succeeding.
Yes at some point I decided to try and date again. I felt very confident that I could do this and wouldn’t become anything other than the person I wanted to be. I was right, the first person I met was a flop and I didn’t give in. I made it clear what my expectations for a relationship and wasn’t going to settle. So I didn’t travel down that road. I had no desire for disaster relationship to cost me my home or my kids or my emotions. I would rather stay single than date the wrong person again. I was learning who I wanted to be as a person. Learning the things I wanted to become passionate about. I was making friends and finding time for family, friends and myself. I was feeling better than I ever had.
The calm before the storm
Even though my life was on a very good uphill swing. It seemed as though I might have finally had it all figured out. That was not the case. I had gained a lot, but not enough. I was still hiding a lot of emotions that I didn’t want to own. It would be the day after Christmas when my life took a drastic turn. Events that had played out over the years had caused emotions and tensions to grow high. My children were stressed and I was stressed. I had a high stress job, and was working constant overtime. It all just came to a head and we snapped. It was this outburst of anger that has sent me and my kids down a road of true healing and repair.
Through counseling I learned a lot about myself and my kids. I have learned a lot about what things in my past had an impact on all of the things in my life up to this moment. Its been a long road, one full of tears and moments I dreaded. I have had to be honest with myself and own my emotions. I also had to own my mistakes. This brought me full circle to the real road to recovery. A year ago, I questioned my judgement, still knowing pieces of that girl who didn’t know how to be her own person might be lingering. I wasn’t sure if I could trust my own judgement. having previously wound up in bad situations because I thought things would be okay. I ignored things I shouldn’t have in the past simply to not have to face failure. I was terrified that girl might still exist.
Boy does it feel good
Now like I said, I have come a long way. I also still have a long way to go. I have plenty of learning to do and I am certain I will have highs as well as lows. After all, whose life is perfect all the time anyway. I knew I had finally found myself. I had been learning to love myself over the past couple years. Wanting to do more and be more. I am confident in the things I am passionate about. I am working hard to make something out of the hand I have been dealt. If all goes well, I will be doing more hiking in the future as well as hosting support groups for individuals with AS. I am working on figuring out a new role in my job and determined to make it a success regardless of how stressed it might make me in the process.
Putting my heart and soul into hiking and AS has helped me grow in my confidence. Meeting some great inspirational people as well has helped in that. I no longer fear if the pieces of that girl still linger on. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself in spite of someone’s feelings. In other words, treat me badly, and I will put a stop to it, rather than fear how you might feel about it. If a person loves me, they will love me for who I am, not who they want me to be.
Having said all of that, for the first time in my life I know confidently who I am. I am Summer Canady, the girl who has 3 kids she raised mostly on her own. The girl who has a big enough and kind enough heart to take care of her dying ex husband simply because its the right thing to do. I am the girl who has traveled and loves travel and has experienced much more beauty than some ever dream. I am the soul that never truly feels like anything is home because I am only truly home when I am seeing the wonders of the world. I am a passionate lover. I am the girl who never wants to settle in one place because adventure makes me thrive. I am the girl that hikes, and loves to take pictures. I am the one with AS and no, I don’t think that’s a flaw. I will be the girl who starts the first AS support group in TN/VA. I am the girl who wants to learn to dance, because it makes me feel beautiful.
I stand for myself
I no longer feel like I need to find anyone else in order to be who I want to be. I became who I am all on my own. It might have taken me 35 years to get here, but I have confidence in who I am for the first time in my life. I know I can make the right choices and I know I am capable of doing anything I want on my own. I am proud of everything I have come through and where I am at right now. There will be no more relationships that I just disappear into. I will only shine more as who I am or I simply wont have it in my life. I don’t need to ask anyone else if my hopes an dreams are smart, because simply put, just because someone else doesn’t like it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t reach for it. I am confident in aiming to be everything that I want to be.
The things I want out of life might be different than normal, but that’s okay and I have finally realized that I don’t have to be what anyone else wants or thinks. I get to be me and everyone else gets to accept that or move on. I will travel till the day I die. I will blog till my little fingers fall off. I will be there for my kids and embrace wherever their path takes them in life. I will dedicate myself to bringing awareness to AS. I will continue to grow in my photography. I will be as passionate as my heart and soul will allow when it comes to love. I will be a hiker and an adventure seeker. I am confident to be me, confident enough that I know I hold value and I deserve great things in life. My great things just might not be the same as everyone elses. Don’t for one second think that I will ever settle again. I won’t, because I finally truly know I deserve to have everything I have ever dreamed of and I will reach for those dreams for the rest of my life!