Hello everyone on this fine Saturday!
Has a whole week really gone by? Really?
I'd say I was busy with work...but you all know 95% of my work involves playing spider solitaire and watching the last precious weeks of "As The World Turns" on my computer. And I'd say I was busy writing, but, well, again, that pesky spider solitaire. One day I will win!
What I have been busy doing, my friends, is pondering things about my life and trying to release those things I cannot change. For example: I cannot change the fact that my mother loves my brother and my husband more than she loves me. There's nothing I can do about being pretty far down on her list when it comes to important relatives. I can write about my feelings in a humorous way (Those of you who have read "Dream in Color" know what I mean. Those of you who haven't WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?) or I can do it in a very dramatic way: The maternal figure in Shara's life in "Lies in Chance" is murdered when the book opens. For me, writing is cheap therapy and it means every family gathering is actually a deductible expense for me.
I can change a number of things: I can change how I look. I darkened the door of Gold's for the first time since Tom lost his job back in January. It felt good. And then my knee really hurt so that felt bad, but I'm going to hit the gym again tomorrow or Monday because it did feel good.
Some time back I did one of those soul searching exercises because someone close to me told me I was doing something that was wrong and intolerable. I spent a lot of time and sleepless nights wondering what that was. After a year of wondering, I found out what I did and I realized it wasn't something I could change about myself.
See, I'm essentially a happy person. There are a few souls out there who have seen me when I'm sad or depressed. I call those people my closest friends and family. But most of the time, what you see is what I am. A happy person who would much rather laugh at life and be friendly with everyone regardless of political views, religion, and all the other things that seem to make people mad. For me it's just easier being happy and friendly than anything else.
While I've always been that way, that doesn't mean I haven't changed in the years of my life. I've softened my views in some ways and changed my views in others. It's called growing up, we all do it. But the core values, the core things of who I am...those have not and do not change.
For example. I'm a life long Barry Manilow fan. I am a Christian. I love pizza, ice cream, soup and grilled cheese sandwiches with jam on top. These are things I've loved since childhood.
When I was a teen, I fell in love with Rick Springfield, my husband, and movies. I haven't been a teen in a couple of decades, but I still love those three things.
My favorite song of all time, "Ah Leah" has been my favorite song since I was 15, and I will always, always, always get a tear in my eye when the songs "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "Broken Wings" come on the radio. (And thank you Rick Springfield for rerecording those two songs.)
Also, I'm a writer. I've been a writer since the age of six when I wrote an illustrated history of the Civil War. (Shelby Foote, eat your heart out!) I was a writer the day I opened up "Little House in the Big Woods" and said, "Hey, I can do that!" (The writing, not the living in the woods in a log cabin with no central AC or cable.)
So looking at this big thing I was doing that was so wrong, I realized...the wrong thing was I was being me. I hadn't changed. Sure, I had joined this group or that group, read a book I wouldn't have looked at ten years ago, saw a movie I may not have liked five years ago. My core, what I am, hadn't changed. The other person, the one who had liked all those things about me before, had.
We all have that. We all have moment when a relationship ends and it hurts like lit matches on bare skin. I'm not just talking about a romantic thing. Every relationship that ends ends with pain. And then, after the Shock Denial Anger (is there any situation in which I cannot quote Rick Springfield? I DON'T THINK SO!) there is Acceptance. And there is freedom.
Knowing what I know now, I realize that this was a lost year for me. I was so worried about that thing I was doing that was offensive, I let it hang over me like a heavy cloud. That cloud is gone. I am free.
The adage "Freedom isn't free" is a very good one. It's always applied to our amazing men and women in the armed forces. GOD BLESS YOU! If I may, I'd like to apply it to everyone who's had their heart broken, really broken, by a friend, a family member, or a lover. After everything else washes away, there is freedom. And that freedom wasn't free, you paid for it in tears, in sleeplessness, in dashed hope. But now you have your freedom to be you again. You have your freedom to go out and live without the cloud.
Do I still feel sad about this? Yes. I have mourned and I will mourn again. There will be times when I question myself, because something like this leaves you a little unsure, a little wary of the next relationship.
Freedom isn't free, my friends. But it is freeing. If you've lost someone because it "wasn't you, it's me" then believe it. Stand a litter straighter, sing in your car, laugh as loud as you want to no matter who thinks you sound like a cackling hen. Be kind to those around you, and be cheerful as much as you can. Not everyone is going to like you. Maybe that's freeing, too.
(Meanwhile, if you or a loved one is serving in our military, God Bless you and I pray all our soldiers every where come home safely.)
NOW, GO FORTH AND WRITE!