It is so much easier to look at someone else’s lives and learn from their experiences than it is introspecting in our own lives. It is also easier to see the guidance and the miracles that happen to others. But they are present in our lives as well. When I re-listened to my interview with Barbara, I saw so clearly the path that led her to where she is today. Without marrying her first husband, she couldn’t deal with her mother’s passive aggressiveness. She couldn’t learn to see for herself, in her own skin, how hard it would be to leave an abusive relationship. It would also bring a greater understanding towards her mother in general. I could see so clearly that only by marrying and then divorcing her first husband that she could find herself in a forum in the US that led her to meet her current husband, whom she is so happily in love. By being a model at this age, she can so easily embrace her age and perfect imperfections… maybe if she had modeled as young girl and started losing opportunities due to age, would be a heart break, instead she started at middle age and she is sought after for her “normal middle age” stunning look. We don’t know that… but it is easier to see the dots forming lines when is someone else’s journey. What about us? What about our dotted lines?
It is hard to see the detail when we are so close to the picture. But the miracles in our own journeys are sprinkled through our lives and if we want to see, we may need to just step back a bit and look onto our lives as an outsider and we will also, be able to see the miracles within.
I hope that by reading about another’s story, we can learn to reflect in our own story from a different perspective. One that will teach us to always be on the lookout for the unexpected. Because in one minute, our entire trajectory can change.
As it was well put by Jack, the sweeper from Mary Poppins:
“Winds in the east, there’s a mist comin' in
Like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
But I feel what's to happen all happened before.
A father, a mother, a daughter a son -
The threads of their lives unraveling undone -
Somethin' is needed to twist 'em as tight,
like string you might use when you're flyin' a kite -
Chim chimeny chim chim, cheree chim cheroo!”
What I learned from Barbie Holmes
Be open for the future. We have no idea what is in store. Barbara took time to think which forum to join when she was looking for support. The goal was not to meet the person she would open up to and therefore she went ahead and connected with people in a forum far away from her home town. Lo and behold she married the man she connected for support. As much as she tried to keep this as an online support only, they felt very connected and today are happily married. I think that we need to remember this when we feel that we are in complete control of our situation. In reality, there is a higher power, or you may call it fate, whatever makes you feel more comfortable leading you to the life you need to live. There are reasons why we are placed in specific situation that most times we don’t understand and can’t see. But they are there leading the way.
It’s never too late. Dreams come true regardless of age, size or anything else…. Not age, not size, not the times can stop someone from achieving their dreams. The only one who can for sure be responsible for dreams not happening is oneself if they don’t try to reach the dreams and the goals they have. Yes, they may not succeed to get what they desire but if they don’t try, they certainly won’t. Barbara had a dream. She went after it. Each time that she did she succeeded. She was good at it and she did it with devotion passion and it showed. It would be very easy to accept what everyone told her and what society tells people about modeling and age, but we can learn from Barbara to never give up on a dream and never listen to the outside voices that were putting her down.
- Asking for help is a game changer. People sometimes don’t understand the power of not going through hardship alone. Finding like-minded people, people who understand and validate your emotions and feelings, that can be the catalyst of tremendous change. Notice that in Barbara’s story the first time that she felt empowered was when she opened up to a co-worker who had similar experiences. Then another time we see how support was extremely important in the journey, was when Barbara reached out to a forum and looked for someone going through a similar situation so they can be of support to each other. She also looked for professional help to deal with the eating disorders. Those were pivotal moments in her life, which gave her strength and empowered her to be the change in her life. Don’t do it alone. There is always help available.
If you are in an abusive relationship, please find help:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
For Alcoholics Anonymous:
For Overeaters Anonymous:
For Eating Disorders Anonymous:
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