Ms. Independence

By: Peggy Willms

(5 min read)

For some reason when I sat down to write today’s blog dozens of cloud-like, thought bubbles started dancing in my head. Each one of them were filled with words or images of my colorful, caricature bitmojis. I have been using those cute things for the last four or five years. Whoa these visions were quite a trip. Did someone put the wrong kind of Laird mushroom creamer in my coffee this morning?!

My head was buzzing, and my eyes actually started to hurt. An image of me eating salad zoomed in, and the word kale was bouncing around. I side barred to a thought of one of my frequent sayings, “Wellness is more than doing squats and eating kale.” I damn near belly laughed. Party for one.

In slid another cartoon of me standing behind a pulpit giving a speech, hitting the gavel, and the words “mic drop” popped up. I saw images of me reading books and bubbles with the words creative and relaxed close by. There were bitmojis with me on a treadmill, sitting in the sunshine, kayaking, holding a baby (not mine!), and coffee (duh). Strangely, I felt Christmas joy flow through me. Perhaps it was the Christmas in July conversation I had yesterday with my upcoming book co-author, Markus.

These visions were in and out so fast the kaleidoscope of vivid colors was like watching several Disney movies all at once. There were words like Germany, Radio, Rock On, You Got This, Dream, Goals, Teacher, Proud, and so many more. Again, they came rapid fire. The only “real” image I saw was myself standing on the courthouse staircase about four years ago leaving a photo shoot like a badass bitch in my black suit and red shirt.

Then boom I am back. Back sitting poolside typing this blog at the most gorgeous house you can imagine. Within a hop, skip and a jump of me – or so it feels – the sun is ready to claim the day over the horizon. It owns the place. We are staying at a “transition” house before we are able to move into our new home, and I feel like a princess in a castle. Or perhaps again, maybe someone shoved something in my coffee. Whoever they are…they are HIRED!

I reflected on the meaning of this rapid playground rolling around in my head today, and these three statements popped up immediately, “Ms. Independence” … “I did it my way” and “You have come a long way, baby!” I am overcome with this monumental feeling of gratitude. It almost takes my breath away. The feeling where you want to cry and giggle simultaneously. I also feel like I am rolling in a washing machine except it is more like a gentle undertow playing games with me. Is there such a thing as a gentle undertow? I feel myself slowly somersaulting in the ocean trying to roll as many times as I can before I come up for air. Just like we did as kids. I am having fun.

I spent last week in a three-day cycle of migraines. I was diagnosed with migraines when I was five years old. Specialists spent two years treating me for “tension” headaches – oh yeah, because there is so much stress and tension as a three-year old. I was a science experiment. Try this drug and that test. No it wasn’t epilepsy! The migraine diagnosis won. For over fifty years I have been on medications and used  a variety of modalities to treat them. I know my body, my red flags and have a plan that works for me. My worst bout was in August of 2014 with 26 out of 31 days of those bad boys so I know them well. For years I allowed them to define me. They visit about four to six times a year now. The reasons I share the migraine history is I am coming out of a three-day cycle where I experienced all three of my types three days in a row. This has never happened to me. Day one was the typical migraine: stiff neck (a feeling of being glued together) and constant pounding throughout my whole head and right eye. Day two the auras were so rampant, I wore sunglasses most of the day (yes, even inside the house). Day three was the worst. The pukey migraine showed up as frosting on the cupcake to the previous two days’ residual symptoms still hanging around. I slept a total of 20 hours. I am wondering if today’s vision dancing has a connection to my post-migraine stint.

As I have acclimate slowly back into my “crazy” world of busyness – which I love, my creative mind is usually very active – thus the bitmoji, comment bubble and feelings decided to show up this morning. I wrote last week about being predominantly left-brained, however, today my right-brain is alive.

I will sit and relish in the messages today which I feel is a culmination of my happy side wanting to play, celebrating where I have come, and sharing these thoughts with others – that is you – with no self-judgment. It is funny because I have several guest bloggers who share their lives with all of you, and I recognize at times, without even knowing it, some of the bloggers are in sync writing about the same topics. Faith’s blog on Friday was challenging us to celebrate how far we have come. Perhaps her story sat in the back of my mind coupled with conversations I have had with others over the last several months. Conversations that affirm every single thing I have done in my personal and professional life for decades has aligned itself, joined forces and led me to where I am today: writing, being an multi-book author, helping others achieve their highest quality of life, and sharing their stories on a larger platform.

The kaleidoscope, Disney-dancing, bitmoji and bubble-comment pop-ups are tooting their horn. “Girl, you are INDEPENDENT.”

I always have been. This does not mean I am not a team player. I played team sports for years. I collaborate. I believe in community and relationships. I am the fixer – I want everyone around me to be healthy, wealthy, happy and wise. My definition of independence is that I know what I want, where I want to go and often a decade prior. I am not afraid to walk the path solo. I am not afraid to be made fun of for being a few dice rolls ahead of the game or a few hay bales off the pasture. I am not afraid to share my opinions, move to another town or country, dance in the street or grace a Mohawk.

I am also very aware I am not for everyone #)*%@%). Being independent doesn’t mean cockiness. It doesn’t mean I know it all or everything has to be my way. For me it means confidence. It means perseverance. I have not and will not make excuses for walking a path unpaved, and I will not turn back because of fear of the unknown. I am also willing to step back, reassess and resurrect when needed.

Let’s unite and hold hands in this day of oneness, yet I ask of you…please do not lose your independence. You do not need to wear fake eyelashes or be a doctor if it isn’t your gig. You do not have to wear a dress. Not everyone loves animals or wants to drink. You do not have to lose your individuality or independence to come together as a whole and level up. Be independent. Oh, and BE NICE! 

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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