Thursday, April 14, 2005

Strength Prevails

I think my days of waiting for the other shoe to drop are gone. Being in that state of mind became second nature for me the last year and a half. Experiencing that state of mind was new territory for me. I’ve always been an optimist, a dreamer (can you say hello Auburn PISCES).

I always see the glass as half full. I believe that when you’re vacuuming, that little piece of thread WILL vacuum up if you just keep at it! Seriously, though, I believe all things happen for a reason. The hardest part of this thought process, for most people, is that they cannot understand why something happened if there isn’t an immediate result – something tangible, some kind of confirmation so whatever is happening to them will make sense.

I have always been “silver lining” girl. So much so that is used to piss off my ex, Grouchy Girl, to no end. She’d complain, “Do you have to find positive in everything? I mean, can’t you just let me be angry about [abc]? Maybe I don't want to see the fucking silver lining.” Well, alrighty then…be pissed off. Wallow in it. Enjoy yourself. I’ll be over here…apparently enjoying the contents of my half-full glass of optimism.

This isn’t to say that things didn’t get me down, I just always knew things would be alright.

Then the last eighteen months happened and without having time to sort out whatever life altering event had taken place, another would happen. And then another. Before I knew it, I had more crap going on than I knew what to do with.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop wasn’t even something I considered until it happened several times in a row without me expecting it and I’d get knocked to my knees (and not in a good way).

My close friends and my family have always come to me for help, advice, guidance, reassurance, etc. I have always been the strong one. There’s always room on my shoulders to help bear the load. I say this without sarcasm. It’s my truth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unfortunately, for the last year and a half, I wasn’t my best self for me…or them. It finally feels like I’m back.

I have been blessed to have been born into a family of strength. I cannot imagine being someone who is passive all the time. I cannot imagine keeping my mouth shut about something I feel strongly about. Nor can I imagine keeping my mouth shut on behalf of my family or friends if they need me to be there for them. I’m just not made that way.

I look at my life and realize how fucking lucky I am to be me.

As I buckled Auburn Aries into her Dad’s truck Friday night, I looked at her and said, “Do you realize this is the last time I’m ever going to see you as a seven year old?” She immediately responded, “I’m eight.” “No,” I insisted “you’re still seven and we won’t ever see seven again.”

She didn’t get it, but she didn’t have to. I drove back to Portland realizing how another chapter of my life was closing (while another begins). I found myself saddened by that which was gone. My little girl was changing every day and they are days I cannot get back. I am blessed to have each and every one with her but my baby is growing up.

I thought about relationships that I’ve had that I miss. I thought about my Mom and Dad dying and two of my favorite brothers passing away and could feel my heart physically ache. They are all chapters in my book of life that I’ve moved through and I am now faced with experiencing and writing the rest of the book without them.

It’s a journey I look forward to, I just find it interesting to be experiencing both emotions at once - sad at what was and excited about what is. The phases of your life happen without you realizing time is still passing by and you can’t get any of it back. I’ve spent time the last week thinking about what I’d do differently if I had the opportunity.

The reality is there is very little I’d change. It all landed me right here, right now, writing about how my heart and soul are healing and how good it feels to be me again.

I was offered a scholarship to Irvine to study dance in 1981. I moved out when I was seventeen years old and was finishing up high school while balancing a job, rent, car payment and bills. I loved school so much I went all the time – summer school, extra credit work, you name it (it’s possible I was avoiding circumstances at home but regardless, I did love school).

I had enough credits to graduate early, ahead of my class. This was the first scholarship that had ever been offered to someone in the Arts at my high school. I wanted so badly to accept it, but in order to do so, I would have had to have gone back to school full-time and finish the rest of my senior year making it a full four years of high school.

I couldn’t do it. It was not feasible in any way for me to go to college on that scholarship based on my circumstances.

I have regretted that decision my entire life. To this day, I wonder what my life would have been like had I taken it. I am now able to acknowledge how not taking that scholarship changed my path, and do so without feeling sad about my decision. I am now here in the Northwest with a beautiful daughter and the best friends in the world.

I am back to knowing things are going to be alright again.

I have been lucky enough to find a housemate (“Thor”) that I don’t dread coming home to. On the contrary, I look forward to his energy and warmth when I get home. This man has overcome relationship difficulties with an ex-husband of ten years that no one should have to endure. He glows with a new found sense of freedom. Though his heart is still broken it is healing. I believe it’s why our paths have crossed.

Hot Toddy actually helped me name him for the purposes of my blog. Thor, like the Norse God, is strength personified. He is rugged and powerful and is now living by his own rules. I’m enjoying watching him come into his own, meeting new people and having fun. Thor is as much of my healing process as I am his.

The book of my life may not end the way I originally thought it would, but it will have a lot of exciting things that will have taken place – and I’m certain it will have a happy ending. So, I’m going to enjoy my life without hearing the thud of that shoe dropping and hopefully, in the end, I’ll even get the girl!

No comments: