If I could design my life so that I would know only love not sorrow, pleasure never pain, happiness not sadness, would I take that chance? No, every hardship, tear, and lesson I’ve learned in the school of hard knocks has shaped me into who I am today. Who would I be without these lessons in my life? Would I be more confident, giving, loving, maybe even egotistical? If I felt I had the world by the string, and knew it all would I have the amazing support network in my life? My answer is simply no, I wouldn’t have had the healing, the profound blessings, and abundant joy if I didn’t experience the hardships. If I didn’t have emotional baggage would that make me any less of a person, a child of God, a student in the game of life? Once again my answer is simply no, everything I’ve gone through, and will go through, has taught me courage in the midst of chaos, bravery in the face of fear, and to see light in the darkness. If I could design my life so I didn’t have to uproot my family as often for my husbands career would I do it? Well it’s all I’ve ever known, and our longest “stop over” in one town was 13 years when he was just establishing himself in the company. I wouldn’t change any moment of it as I wouldn’t have family through friendships, in each town we’ve lived in. I wouldn’t have experienced each of these lovely memories, people, places, and things that I cherish and hold in my heart. I know I would have appreciated them more, hugged a little longer, laughed a little more, and chose happiness over years of tears. I’m the only one carrying my emotional baggage and sometimes the hill gets steep,and my path gets rocky and yet here I am trudging on. I know without a doubt I can call up on anyone of those friends, I’ve met in each town and if I needed them they would be there. I’ve grown to love, learn, and be blessed by their friendship, and I wouldn’t have that blessing had I not travelled and experienced more than my hometown. And now I’m here today waking up in the land of my birth and there’s nothing like it. And even though I’m here for a sad reason attending my best friends Mom’s funeral, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I will go to cemetery today and honour my family, my ancestors, my friends who have lived, loved, and learned before me. And I will be comforted in the fact that in these mountains, my heart remains. And I realize now that my life was designed for me to move away from them but knowing they will always welcome me home. ❤️

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Jeanine Lebsack

Writer, research assistant, podcaster, reiki healer, and a passionate advocate for neurodiversity. On my writing journey I’ve discovered a plethora of passions including writing, researching, entertaining through song and dance, with a desire to explore and create something transformational and healing. I believe in the sacred art of storytelling and that there’s power in the written and spoken word. Join me on my journey using the magic of words, music, and heart song. I believe we create ripples of energy that flow throughout the universe and by sharing our stories it creates change, positivity, and healing. Have a listen to my podcast on Spotify and Anchor at House of a Writer.