Enjoy a look back at my life. There will only be about five posts- most of them unedited.
Have you ever stood in the bathroom, staring at your reflection in the mirror? Does the question arise; who are you? Where have you been? Or the worst of all, where am I going? I admit, I have been the questioning reflection so many times in the past, I have lost count. I have never been one to hate my own reflection, to snipe over the fact that I am not a size six. That my whole body has taken on the form of an ancient fertility Goddess thanks to the bearing of 3 children and extremely tasty food. That I still get carded at 25 and that I will probably always have the face of a 13 year old, without the body to match. I love my big brown eyes and my chubby cheeks; I enjoy my freckles and my tiny pixie nose. I love every stretch mark because as I have written countless times before, are the battle scars I have lived through in the past 7 years. I love my skinny ankles and my wide, solid calves, the large ass I am sure I inherited from someone in my family and the breasts that just seem to grow with every child I have. I don’t forget that part of me, but I accept her, she is beautiful, she is untamed and wild, but she does not define my soul.
Sometimes when I look at myself in that mirror I am not looking at my outer shell, but deep inside the very being of my heart and soul, and still I wonder, who I am? I don’t think I ever knew who I was, as a child I was a story-teller, a singer, a dancer, a model to mold however the adults around me found fit to design me, I didn’t see what was happening as a problem, but life was good and I did what I loved. As a pre-teen I was still discovering who I was, my friends and I were all rebels in our own right, we decided we were going to be the outcasts and we were definitely a motley crew, but we were fantastic, so very different from one another, but we melted together like a s’mores, and perhaps in a way our junior high school relationships really do define who we are going to be as adults, because in high school we are clueless, boy chasing fools and we lose our best friends because we think we are different from each other because somehow we are introduced to new fads and labels and people that we truly forget the life we had back in 8th grade. I remember those days, they are fine memories, where music was our life and we weren’t defined by the clothes on our backs. That it didn’t matter how old we were, sleepovers were still cool and we shared every secret with each other. Each of my friends heard first about my first boyfriend and was there when my heart was broken for the first time. Slowly, that summer when you know, come September you are entering into the world of High School, the very first step into adulthood, somehow your priorities lie more in who you will be there, then who you have been since you wandered into the junior high still feeling very much like that elementary school child who loved to color and play with Barbie’s. High School is a new world and your whole existence there can be broken or made by the friends you keep and the places you go. I was extremely lonely in high school, I made a few close friends, I had some awesome boyfriends, but somehow I just felt so lost and confused there. I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t care anymore, I wanted to disappear, and in a way I think I did. I truly believe even the people I was close to didn’t know me. How could they if I didn’t know me? Inside I was a carefree, wind to my wings, free spirit, who spent a great deal of time alone, or with my mother. I faked a lot of my personality in high school, except to Rachel who became my only real friend in my heart and has been there so much for me even after all the times I just fell off the grid. I still had wished for my Junior High school friends back, and I can still remember seeing them through the hallways wishing I still could share in their secrets and mine like we did not that long ago. However, life or friendships for that matter, which can be one and the same, do end after high school, and for me, they ended way sooner, because I fell of the grid for real and abandoned any further attempts to find my high school persona.
After I left, I did some soul searching, but I ended up just making mistake after mistake and settling. I hid behind my stories and my poetry and my history and my heart that I forgot what I was looking for along the way. I became a sort of dreamer and I even named myself one. The truth was, I was still a teenager, and in many ways a lost and lonely little girl. I guess that’s why I met, fell in love with Gabriel when we were both barely 18 and thought the sun had finally risen on my life. It’s a fact that we are all stupid and blind before 25, because in many ways I was. I hadn’t lived; I hadn’t discovered who I was or who I wanted to be. I was blissfully unaware of the truth of that mistake, because love does shadow the truth of all things. No matter how unprepared the two of us were for married life, we did it anyway because that’s what “WE” wanted. Teenage love, what are you going to do? We had a few good years; at least I thought we did. My heart was in it most of the time, even if my mind was craving more. We both made mistakes, but we were young… I guess I was just surprised when he asked for a divorce after moving me away from a house I loved and my whole family. I guess I was naive enough to believe this new location meant a new start. So I was scared to death. Why I asked myself, was I that horrible to live with as a wife? The questions kept coming and I kept denying the whole thing, until he finally packed his bags and left. I went months wondering what I did wrong, what I could have changed, and though I had answers for myself I decided it didn’t matter, he had to have decided it long before he moved me far, far, away from my family and the little yellow cottage that I loved. The story goes on, he left, I drowned myself in my own misery, started a new life slowly, sadly, without much motivation but the two beautiful boys that we had. I jumped into work- I jumped into that new life. It was scary, but I did it- nearly five years together and it was over and I finally got it through my head that we were too young for what we had, marriage and children before we were 21. It was unfortunate, but we just weren’t ready as a team and we weren’t meant for each other after all. I finally got over it all. It doesn’t matter now, we can’t go back and to tell you all the truth I would never because I don’t regret my first marriage, I was proud to have his children and they are the very first loves of my life. I can at least thank him now for leaving me when he did and not after I totally lost myself to more babies, and for letting go of a dream when we were both so obviously unhappy.
At the end of that year, I found true love; I denied if for a long time, I mean Patrick, really? He’s a jerk, sarcastic, he’s crass, he says he hates people, but I am not sure how much of that is true, he is infuriating… but he is funny, he can make me laugh even when I don’t feel like laughing. He understands my need for space, even if he doesn’t understand my need to argue. Sometimes he makes me want to hit him, but he can so change my mind by kissing the tip of my nose. He loves my boys so very much, he is a good father, a good lover and somewhere between contemplating my reflection and my losses I gained the best friend I believe I will ever have, and he healed me. He stole me from my own blackened heart and fixed it all up. I still have no idea who I am. I don’t think any of us really know the true answer to that, because we can’t define ourselves, we are the children we were when we loved swings, Barbie’s, jump ropes, coloring books and kick ball, we are still the pre-teens who dedicated songs to each other on the radio, made friendship bracelets, defined ourselves by the movies of the 90’s, shoplifted, giggled over boys and told secrets. We are those brooding, indecisive teenagers, who fell in love so easily and hard, who wrote poetry and decorated notebooks with our boyfriend’s names, went to parties and tried our hardest to fit in yet not fit in at all. Here we are those of us of my generation, at our mid-twenties, forgetting who we were back then and accepting our lives as they are, with just enough “if only” left in our minds to keep on moving through the everyday.
I think the only thing in this life I do regret is that I don’t have “Girl’s night out” with the ladies who defined my past, that I started smoking and stopped singing anything more then a lullaby, that I stopped liking Hanson and Back Street Boys, (or at least the girl I was when I would sing and dance with my girls in my room) that the writer, poet, dreamer, was replaced by the realist, mother, wife, and that in the heart that beats quietly in my chest, I am somewhat complete to continue my life in this comfort. Where am I going? I seem to ask myself so often and then I realize, I have already been there, I just have to make a decision if I want to look forward or stay right where I am. I define myself by how quickly I can take an order or how many words per minute I can type, that the day to day is just as exciting as what might be there in my future. I do know this, the woman looking at me everyday as I brush my teeth or put on my eyeliner, is happy, complete, owning who she is even on the rainy days. I miss who I was, but I long to discover who I am going to be. Everyone changes, we all grow up, and we just all do it differently. It is not hard to imagine who I am when you think about it; I am “ME”. Mother, Wife, (or soon to be) Realist, Dreamer, Writer, Poet, Singer, Dancer, Free-spirited, Shoe lover and complete mental case. I wouldn’t change me for anything else in the world, I can never ever forget the girl I was because of those fantastic girls who defined my life through the years, the girls that define my life now and the past mistakes I made. I will never, ever forget that love doesn’t just come once in a life time but everyone I ever loved as fleeting or naive it was in my younger days, or how real and beautiful my true love is now, they all defined me, made me stronger and created the person living inside my head now. I find that there is no turning back and who wants to when there is so much yet to conquer?
So even if you question your reflection everyday and have no real answer, at least you can still ask yourself who you are, it means you haven’t forgotten that life isn’t over just because you have aged another year, or because that you never did all the things you wrote lists about as a teenager, there is still time, it just takes longer for some of us.
From the confusing mind of this lady to yours, enjoy!