Monday, January 10, 2005

Who am I and where is my life???

Monday night. Remember me? I'm the girl who sits on the couch all night and every minute of the weekend, watching bad TV and eating huge amounts of food. I have no friends because I never go out and because I drop everything when a man notices me because maybe, just maybe, he'll be the one that will save me from myself. Maybe, if he likes me enough, then it might be OK to like me, too. Work is just something I do to make money so that I can go home and do nothing and then eat. My biggest fear is, well, pretty much everything outside my door. This is my life.

The above paragraph could have been written by me at just about any point in the last seven years, since my divorce, and it's all completely true. Up until June 6, 2004, that was my life and, as awful as it was, I was still afraid to dream of anything bigger because of the risk involved in trying to get there. Risk? I was worried about risk when I had no life to speak of? Yup, you bet. Scared, small (even at over 260 pounds), miserable, and dying, slowly, each and every day a little more.

And now? (I just had to stop typing because it's all just too much suddenly and I have to cry with the sheer enormity of just everything.) That girl is virtually gone and I really don't think she'd recognize me if we ran into each other on the stairs. Yes, the best parts of her, those that were buried really far down inside all of that misery and unhappiness, are still with me, but, like the "good china" after the divorce, they get used each day now instead of sitting in the cupboard waiting for a special occasion. My life is a special occasion and I'm not waiting for company to bring those good qualities out any more.

I have this fabulous life, one that I'm just coming around to realizing is mine, and I did all of this. I had the choice of sitting where I was and killing myself with sadness and loneliness and food, or getting up, taking a risk, and doing something and, miracle of miracles, I chose the latter. No man brought this to me, my parents didn't bail me out, and it wasn't my friends that threw me a lifeline, it was me. After all of that fruitless searching, it turns out that my Knight in Shining Armor, the one who would save me from my tower of pain, was really only a fairy tale from my youth and, now that I'm finally growing up, I've no need of him.

And so I sit, glowing with the realization of what I've accomplished, celebrating the many miraculous blessings I've got in my life, happy at last. I have everything I've ever wanted and so many things I didn't even know I was allowed to dream of and my life is full and complete. It's like the end of one of those vision quest stories, where the protagonist goes on a long journey, slays many fierce creatures, and then wins the ultimate prize. No handsome prince needed for this fairy tale ending. Bring down the curtain, bring up the lights. Except...

Except that it doesn't end there. Just when I thought I'd figured it all out and that I had everything in my life that would fit, well, let's just say that God still has one more surprise up his sleeve for me. A surprise that wouldn't have worked for that girl last June or, truth be told, even the girl from October. No, it's taken every minute, every step, and every revelation up until now to make me ready. And I am ready. Ready to face this latest beautiful, amazing surprise with the grace and strength of a woman who knows and likes who she is, what she does, and where she's going.

So, this story's not over yet - not by a long shot. Hold on to your hats, gentle readers, because someone's just put some Etta James on the phonograph, he's beckoning me to come join him for the spotlight dance, and, with a lump in my throat and too much joy in my heart, I'm stepping out into the light.

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