(With sincere apologies to my wonderful assistant for this rather personal post)
In the past three years, I have gone through a lot of personal, life-altering things that have left me questioning who I am after all of this. The struggle has been difficult, and at times so overwhelming that I have felt like I was drowning (and folks, I don’t know how to swim; I have this whole thing about bodies of water larger than a bathtub). I turned to those that I knew would be there (my son, James, and my mom; Stacy, my wonderful assistant, and two or three others), but for the most part, I kept it all to myself. I turned to old friends that assured me they would help me through the pain and help me get back on my feet.
Then my world fell out from under me. My anemia returned, my marriage fell apart, and I was faced with major surgery (previously mentioned on this blog). Most of the people that I thought I could count on turned their backs on me. I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. I gained back some of the weight that I had lost. Frankly, I didn’t give a damn about much of anything.
I filed for divorce last September, determined to pack up my life and start over somewhere else. I’ve spent most of my life in Texas. I thought about it a few weeks ago, and realized that I moved to Texas when I was just a few months old (I was born on an Army base in Washington state), and I have spent most of my life there. Quite frankly, I have had enough of it. So I packed up everything I owned and moved to Illinois. Why? I had renewed some old friendships and made new ones on an earlier stay, and realized that I was happy here. Then my son and one of my other “sons” (who has called me Mama for about eight years) decided to move here with me, although James’ reason for moving was different from mine, and not my story to tell.
I’ve been here since November, and while things have not been as easy as I had hoped, I am settling in. But there is still an uneasiness, a sense that there is something missing. While I would like to lay the blame at other people’s feet (and a little bit of it is their fault), I realize that most of it lies with myself.
I shared a meme on Facebook a couple of weeks ago that said something to the effect of “I’m sweet, lovable, kind, shy and innocent…oh for heaven’s sake, stop laughing!” Some of you probably saw it and laughed, like I did. But I had one friend who didn’t laugh, because he said it was true. I’m not sure if he was serious or not, but it did make me think that he might have a point. I found that rather depressing.
I always feel like I have to apologize for who I am. And it bothers me that I have to do that. It bothers me that people cannot accept me for who I am. I’m not perfect. I’ve never claimed to be. I don’t want to be. Perfection is overrated. God didn’t make us to be perfect. He loves us for who we are, for what we are: imperfect and flawed.
I watched the Oscars tonight. I know that isn’t for everyone; I love movies, but I don’t go to see them in theaters that often. I usually watch them when they come out on BluRay or Netflix. As I watched them tonight, one of the nominees for Original Song caught my attention. It was a song from The Greatest Showman called “This is Me”, sung by Keala Settle (Lord have mercy, this wonderful woman can sing!). A song rarely moves me to tears (besides “Amazing Grace” which I have a hard time listening to since my son sang it at my father’s graveside three years ago), but this one had me crying. http://oscar.go.com/video/oscars-2018-highlights/keala-settle-performs-this-is-me