How will you do things differently come January?
I have a computer setting that changes my screen saver every so often. How ironic that today of all days it was changed to a castle on a mountain cliff over waters…
How ironic indeed considering my fantasies and thoughts running through my head.
See I have been fine. No reaction, more poised this time. I am strong, stronger than ever. Everyone sees it. They are even proud of me. I know how to laugh still. I am the life of the party, everyone loves me and wants to know what I have to say… I primp myself up, brush my hair, and face the world boldly, with a smile.
And then suddenly a thought enters the mind, a memory, and I crumble. I am not one to ask for help, to ask to be held and taken care of. That has always been my role. I was the one people came to. I was the one who rescued everyone from their demons.
I knew I had to do something different. I was told no contact is best. So this time I reached out to a friend. “I am falling apart. If I need you, can you be there?”
I was too far gone, though. I couldn't speak, couldn’t breathe, and the tears wouldn’t stop. The dreams and nightmares enmeshed together taking over me, spinning out of control in my mind feeling like I was at the precipice, trying not to fall into the darkness.
Yes the castle screen saver...
See, as children we plan and dream of our futures. We create an entire story in our minds of what will happen and how it will look and feel like… quite extraordinary, isn’t it? The power of our minds.
Some might say we do this to help us live through our imperfect childhood, wishing for something better, as it were. Then again no childhood is perfect, we all come with imperfections and no one is really taught how to raise a child and build a family. We all do our best, to the extent we can, based off of our childhood fancies.
I remember as a child dreaming of what my home would be like as an adult, married to the most perfectly handsome man, inside and out. We would have a house filled with lovely children, best behaved, making noise at the perfect pitch no matter what the occasion, and a love so passionate the windows would steam when our gazes met across the room.
We would have the perfect marriage. Simple as that. One for the legends… they would write poetry and books about our love story.
That isn’t to say that we wouldn’t fight. I knew we would. I had no qualms about that. I even knew how we would fight - it would be loud, instantaneous and like a temper tantrum of a 5 year old. Just as soon as it would start, it would immediately end. There would be times that I knew I would be so angry he would not be allowed in my room. I also knew there would be times when I would hurt him so with my passionate anger that he would shut me out. I am a realist, after all… no fantasy is perfect.
And yet, I knew that each time we would make up we would be better for it. We would be closer and stronger than ever. Nothing was hidden between us. We knew each other on a soul level. His pain would be my pain. My admiration would be his. And our love would be endless.
Well we don’t stay children forever. We must grow up, and grow up we shall. We become ladies, dressing appropriately, prettily, attractively, but not giving the goods out for display for free. We would learn of our bodies as it changed and developed knowing there was fire within us that would remain tamed until marriage.
And so, we date. We allow men to approach us no longer looking at us as pretty little things, but rather as women who may be their wife and bear their children. The gazes meant something now. It changed how we saw our own reflection in the mirror.
We would look at them differently too. Are his arms strong enough to hold us and keep us protected and warm when we cried? Is he back broad and strong enough to withhold any enemy, imagined or real? Is his chest big enough to hold a heart that can allow me to express myself freely, lovingly, and have space to love me back? Are his eyes kind and gentle to see me as his equal and lover, or are they jaded, filled with pain and anger not knowing how to hold all that anguish within?
We want our husbands from our childhood story. We must seek him out and make him crazy for us. We are, after all, the prize, the princess, the duchess.
That’s when we think we see glimpses of him in men. We allow them into our worlds and slowly into our hearts. We trust them. And yet for some reason, at my age, it has always ended in heartbreak.
I know it is possible to find him and live that life. I see it with my own eyes every day for others. I see the way they share secrets with their eyes and love with their hearts and actions. But not me.
To the men I have loved and lost… what of you? Sometimes the pain is so great, I feel as though I am being choked and cannot breathe. My stomach closes in on me and I want to vomit everything, all my insides out. My heart is shattered and I have no way, and no reason, to put it back together.
What of you? Why did you enter my life with no real, true intentions? Why did you treat me so? Why did you feel it was okay to hurt me?
And what of I? Where was I in all this?
The child who fancied her love story at 5, 8, and 12 years old would never let a man hurt her. She was ready to fight for love, vehemently. She knew her worth, even if she was bullied at school, broken at home, unwanted and abandoned. She knew the fire within her and her abilities. She knew her man was out there and what a world they would create. So where was she? That woman. That we, women, all know we are… Where did she go? Why did she abandon us?
We have to ask ourselves when we started to lose that connection with her, when we allowed her to become lost and quieted. When we forget her and put her on a shelf for later.
For me she is there. She is roaring deep inside, raging within, angry at me. How dare I allow my life to become what it has become?
But I am tired. I am broken. I am hurting. What’s worse, is that I know I shouldn’t give up. I know my life can be great. And yet, I hold myself back. Pain is too great a trial to overcome again and again… How many more times can my heart shatter, my breath catch, my world sick to despair?
That little girl, the one who remembers how to dream, she pushes me to go on, to believe. That woman buried so deep inside and strong, passionate, fiery, suppressed all these years, she wants to get up and fight… but I am tired.
There… another year has come and gone and what do I have to show for it? I put in the good fight. I did try. I put myself out there. I took risks, professionally and personally. I opened up my heart, my love, my soul. And again, left in the dust. No perfect world, no perfect life, no perfect love.
So what do I do next? Give up, crawl into bed, survive life until old age and blame the world for my misfortune. Or do I keep fighting? Should I keep fighting?
How do I keep fighting? Clearly the way I have been hasn’t been working for me. So how do I do it differently this time?
Well - what have you to share? Have you some wisdom to share? Some tidbit or secret that you were taught and I wasn’t? Or do you not know where to go and where to start or how to move forward?
2021 is around the corner. Ever felt you were born in the wrong time period? I certainly have… Stop dreaming and live your life. Make it happen like that little girl knew she would have to. It wasn’t going to come to her on a silver platter, that much she knew. So why have you convinced yourself otherwise? Where is that dreamer? Wake her up, talk to her. Get to know her and ask her, “How will you do things differently come January?”