Waiting for today...: Prelude to Waiting: My Life Undone

Monday, December 9

Prelude to Waiting: My Life Undone

Letter To My 40 Year Old Self,

As I write this I’m having mixed feelings. So much has been left undone. I’m not completely pessimistic though. I do think about how far we’ve come… all of the tiresome and worrisome obstacles we’ve endured, yet we still found the drive to pull through. Even if it was only barely. Was I ecstatic to turn 35? I would like to say “yes” and not have to force a smile. I was excited to read my letter…was excited to see mom… was excited to experience my first cruise. But I was most excited to escape my life. A month or so ago I found myself in the midst of the worse low I’ve had since college. You remember that day? When I called my professor on the last day of clinical and told her that I wasn’t coming? Just like that moment, I didn’t have an out. Denial was no longer an option. I had to find and face whatever it was that kept me in this cycle of ups and downs. I had to face me, everything that I tried to hide from others and from myself, for years. By the time the opportunity came to escape my life, that is to take a vacation, I was already three sessions into much-needed-since-forever-ago therapy.

Honestly, everything else is a moot point. But I’ll humor you anyway.

I finally found love but not in the sense that you may have been hoping for. I found the “highest love”–none other than the love of God. I finally found the truth! Unfortunately, I was once again plagued by the uncertainties imbedded in the flesh. There was a short lived romance, found in lust, in 2011… what a tragic mistake that was. Yes! After choosing the highest love, I turned away and settled for lust (both unbelievable and completely believable at the same time). But I thank God for grace and mercy. It was His faithfulness that gave me the strength to once and for all seek out that narrow path after I had already entered by the Door.

I did decide to stick with nursing. Although on many occasions it has almost drove me to madness. Hence the desperation to jump ship and start all over again… in cosmetology school? (*sigh* for the love of all things sweet, salty and fried). I think I’ve found a neutral place in care coordination though. It’s an area that is expanding due to the demands of health care and it is providing a firm knowledge base to support an eventual shift into working with the elderly in the community. My new goals are less grand: first certification, next a certificate in gerontology. Haven’t thought it out much more than that.

The family? Who’s family? Our family or someone else’s? Cold, I know but I have honestly bared the emotional burden of too many for too long and without drawing a clear line in the sand. With the help of a good friend I realize that I no longer need to depend on those who I have affectionately labeled my “extended family” so many years ago. I still love them dearly and I’m thankful for the influence that they’ve had on my life (good and bad girl). But now that I’m older and I’m finally learning about who I am outside of all the many groups I’ve found myself in over the years, its painfully obvious to me that I’ve got to redefine some boundaries. I’ve got to learn to love some people from a distance. Now my family is great! My mom and I have come to terms with our past and we’re paving the way, together, to our future as a family. I have learned to forgive her and to love her harder than I ever have. And, through her courage to finally open up I have come to appreciate her more than I ever have. She’s doing so well: chasing after God and making straight A’s in college. Yes, college! I’m so proud of her and so thankful for how far our relationship has come in such a short period of time.

Finally dear heart, love: that’s the hardest thing that we have to learn how to do now. I know I have the capacity to love stronger. But these walls that I’ve built up to keep every bad thing out are also holding me hostage: they’re keeping me from my full potential. I finally want to come out and if I do nothing else with my life except learn how to love, I’ll have done plenty.

Me, at 35 years old--November, 2013