I spent the first 6 months of this year, and a few from the previous year, as a single mom. A frantic, scared, disorganized, afraid mom. This was my choice, and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. Mad props to Molly, to Darla, to Piper, to all of you who do this every day so seamlessly. My life did one of those super fabulous fun rewrites in the middle of the night one night, and some very tough choices had to be made.
Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same.
That first half of '07 taught me so incredibly much about myself. I taught me to be content, and humble, and accepting. It taught me that pride is, for sure, my number ONE personality flaw, and it forced me to kill that where it sat. It made me prioritize my life, and appreciate the gifts that I have been given in my children and my family. It taught me who my family really is, and the answer surprised even me. It pushed me to learn what I am capable of, and showed me exactly what I am certainly not capable of. It made me look long and hard in mirrors, lots of mirrors, and see what I am and where I want to be. I learned to stop being such a horrifying martyr already and to just live. Righteously. As best as. I wouldn't trade one stinking minute of it for the world.
I spent the second half of this year as a married mom, with a partner. I spent it as an ex-pat with a very shitty Visa that has prohibited me from working or furthering my education. I went from going in 11th gear to going in 2nd, overnight, with no warning. I came back to this place, were I was totally alone, to rebuild a marriage that has failed more than it has succeeded, that was founded too early for the wrong reasons, with skeletons in every closet and war wounds upon scars upon bruises. I came back a re-worked woman, mother and human, nothing remotely like the one that left 10 months before, to a completely re-worked man, who stayed and fought for his life alone and afraid and with little hope. I came back, and I cried a lot and I fought a lot and I worried so much my teeth ache and it has worked. Beautifully. Better than anyone thought it would. I wouldn't trade one stinking minute of it for the world.
Sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same.
That is where I am starting this new year. This year, I look forward to my son reaching his first decade in my life. I look forward to eating Hamburger Helper and drinking orange soda on my 10th wedding anniversary. This year we will take our first ever real, not in a car, family vacation to a location requiring passports and perhaps a vaccine or two. I will live in one house, in one country, and I will do it with four other people who share my last name and understand that I cannot help but leave my dirty clothes in the bathroom.
These are not resolutions; these are cold, hard facts. That I have cold, hard facts again is reason enough to believe in God again.
This year I solidified a few relationships that, in my heart, needed some definition. I learned who I needed to keep, to nurture, to envelope without the fear of rejection or abandonment that I carry around everywhere I go. Those are the people who I dug into, knee deep, dirt under the nails and all. I worked. I tried. Little seeds turned into beautiful gardens. I learned to accept some of those relationships for what they were, not what I wished they could be, and to be at peace. I learned who I just needed to let go. I learned that anger is so easily replaced with joy, and that I am really good at making that jump. And that I'm getting better with practice.
...to be continued