Every time it comes around to my birthday I start to dwell on things I’ve done or failed to do, my life as I knew it, past relationships and how much things around me had changed, as well as myself.
I’ve just stepped (scrambled, really) over the 30-year mark;
I’m very proud that I managed that without having totally ruined my life although sometimes I think it’s remarkable I’m still breathing.
I realized I’ve accomplished many life goals and survived life-changing events over the last three decades: school, first car, university, companies (many companies and businesses), failed businesses, successful businesses, marriage, first house, kids, work, work and more work, an abusive relationship, now a ‘failed’ relationship, divorce, full custody with no support, back in the market as ‘used goods’, another failed relationship, two more businesses. I can say I have finally accepted myself as I am, even with the dents, scratches and fading emotional bruises,
I never realized how innocent I was, and how life experiences can turn a naïve, trusting person into the tough, heartless woman I’ve become. Equally surprising was learning that people I’ve trusted and loved could damage someone but, at the same time, mould me in ways I never expected, making me the person I am today.
Especially in the last couple of years or so, my life has been turned upside down and inside out. I’ve drawn into myself, defining the essential me, my needs and hopes. Refining the identity that faces the world with the help of a few great friends.
I went off the deep end due to health and personal issues that overwhelmed me for a while. Life was just too much; everyone expected too damned much from me and I didn’t know how to say ‘no’. Everyone was angry at me, everyone thought I was lying, everyone expected things I couldn’t possibly give.
Many I loved and believed in turned their backs on me or hurt me. Somehow, it was not ok to be happy;
I did not allow myself to be happy, no one signed off the “be happy, suit yourself” permission slip for Kitty.
I lost it for a while, I cried like a bitch. No one can teach you how to deal with life changing events. It was difficult, especially when for a long while my only constant daily human interaction was with two highly dependent children aged 3 and 4 years.
Their needs were the only thing that kept me going. Depression set in, my health got worse, and I couldn’t work. Life realities made me sink deeper into a black well of broken dreams, failures, hurt and pain. I swear I managed to re-dig the well’s bottom many times.
I never thought that false hope could actually play a role in getting me out of that dark, very deep well that I had built, crawled into and made deeper.
One day there was a hand, an offer of peace, safety and a future that was not dark and gloomy. But I needed to climb up to that hand. I had to get there on my own, as it was only a hand. No rope, no hoist, no words of encouragement.
I started pulling myself together, dealt with the health issues, cut free from those who pained me, got back to working on what I enjoyed, accepting and forgiving myself. I chose my roles and started to live life again but, most importantly, for myself.
I realized, as I was climbing out of that dark hole, and almost out, where I could feel the light again on my face, that the hand was no longer there. Nor was the promise of peace and safety. I knew it was just me and the world; how I dealt with it was going to be solely up to me. But instead of falling back in fear I knew I wanted to keep climbing out.
Now I can allow myself to be happy without guilt or uncertainty. I will happily advise those who think they have a right to tell me I shouldn’t be happy to Fuck Off. I no longer have the need to explain myself, nor the need to ask permission.
The opinions of those who might want to devalue my self-worth or judge me cannot hurt me or bother me in the least. Their opinions have no value in the world I make for myself.
I am living my life, the way I want. I’m running for the goals I’ve set myself. I chose them. That’s the best reason to pursue them. Bad luck for them if others don’t understand or don’t like that. I’ve stopped worrying about things I can’t control. People will just have to decide if they want to follow — or watch my dust. That will be up to them.
Sure, I might stumble and fall over but that will not stop this Kitty. I won’t allow myself to dwell in the past. Sometimes emotions might roll over me but I know I can shake regrets or pointless guilt off and focus on moving forward.
I’m going to Enjoy the Fucking Awesome Life I’ve made for myself.
Is 31 too late to decide you’re a real person in your own right, or remain just an unreal, imaginary image in somebody else’s mind? Ha! I’m an indie. Too late to worry about pleasing others.