Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Day

Of 2017.

Once again, I never thought I'd be so happy to see another year end. I seem to be collecting bad years like gnarly wood beads on a strand of jute. Where are my pearls? While having the last very bad for me breakfast of the year, I thought about a young man I'd met way back at university. He was nice and he liked me. I didn't listen to my gut to get to know him better. We probably would have hit it off, fallen in love, gotten married, and had a family. I should have listened to me. For so many years I haven't listened to me. I've missed out on so many opportunities because I did not listen to me. Because of doing what was expected of me, doing what others thought I should be doing, focusing on the well-being of others before myself. While doing that, I'd lost, myself. It was a long road to find me again.

For a very long time I did not look at myself in the mirror. Not because I thought I was ugly but that I didn't deserve to be seen. I was no one. I'd put up a good front, I was the one people counted on but inside I was dying. I ran to someplace new but the ghosts followed me. There was a time that for four years I didn't create a thing. I did nothing that had once sparked a bit of happiness. No sewing, no doll making, no painting, no writing, nothing. I blamed others for what was lacking in me and my life, and I beat myself up on a regular basis. The constant beat down I gave myself would have any world class boxer run for the hills. A good friend asked me if I would speak to anyone on the street the way I spoke to myself.  That one question made me stop and think. I did not. I did not verbally abuse anyone I'd met on the street but I did it to myself. That's when I started to look at myself in the mirror.

It was hard. The first day I only got a glance. I was ashamed, afraid, angry, alone. It was a week before I could look at myself for longer than five seconds at a time. Every morning, I'd made myself look at me. Then there was the morning when I could look at me and not flinch, or cave in, or cry. I saw the me that other people see when they meet me. I wasn't bad looking. I accepted what the universe had given me. I liked what I saw in the mirror.

Once I found me, it took everything to hold onto me. That fight just didn't let up. Things got better but the struggle was very real. The horrible life loop continued. We are good at remembering every single bad thing that has happened to us but rarely do we remember the good things. No matter how big or small. It's the bad that is front and center. The drama. The soul sucking chaos. At first I didn't think that there was anything good that had ever happened to me. And that wasn't true. There were good times and good people. Lots of them. Those I will write down and read when things get bad.

So where am I going with this?

I get one chance to be on this third rock from the sun. ONE. I have spent a good bit of half a century trying to figure things out. It may not happen and that is okay. I will work at it. But... no more should haves or could haves or would haves. No more wasting time on the past because that's what it is, past. I can't change it. I don't have a time machine. I will continue to be a warrior for justice and protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is time for me to make a change. No more excuses. I do it or I don't. My decisions, my choices. What is going to make Wendy sing and dance? I'm finally listening to my gut and will follow my heart. Will it be easy? Heck no! Will it ruffle other people's feathers? Not my problem. But I am ready to find out. Ready to see what I am really made of. Be the wonderful, crazy, creative, adventurous person I know is waiting to be released.

I shall live long and prosper with the force that is with me. Happy New Year's Eve y'all!


Glenda Hoagland said...

Beautiful post dear cousin. I could have written this myself, I so relate to everything you said. Happy New Year to you. May your road of life be filled with joy and artful adventures.

Wendy Luane Barber said...

Thank you Glenda. Happy New Year to you too. I plan on 2018 being a very creative year.

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