Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The first part of moving on after being hurt by someone you love is learning to forgive. You may disagree, because perhaps you never forgave someone who hurt you. Then you haven't truly moved on. There are people in my past that I still haven't forgiven. I'm working on that. I've been learning a lot about loving people for who they are and loving their flaws. I've always been that way, but now I am learning to blanket that to people who have wronged me, not just those I hold dear. I know it doesn't seem it, but I really have forgiven X. He thinks he had to act the way he did. I'm not sure why he thinks that, but I'm sure he has justifications that make it so he doesn't feel bad about what he did, and that is what he does best. Self-preservation. I can understand that, and I forgave him long ago, and as a fellow human just trying to figure it out as we all do, I love him anyways. I don't like him. I don't want to be friends with him, but much like you feel about your siblings when you are a child, I love him despite it.

Time and time again I am tested in my ability to love and forgive those that wrong me. I understand how scary facing new situations and scary people is. I'm a scary person. As one of my best friends like to remind me, I'm a fire-breather. People are scared of me. I've never understood why, but heaven help you if you hurt me or mine, so perhaps there is something to that. And more than anger it is scary to face someone you have disappointed.

But I am breathing in and breathing out. That is all we can do. As long as you are still breathing, everything else is bonus. And as I breathe I remember why the people who have hurt me have done it. I understand, and I love them for it. I will not condone or support it. I will not like it. And sometimes I will not like them. But I will love them. It's what I do, it's how I operate. If I don't let myself love everyone, I will turn bitter and hateful and crumble in on myself, and those that rely on me will lose the support they need.

A few years ago, a friend betrayed me in so many ways I can't even count them on one hand. I have still not forgiven that person completely. But I do still love them. Maybe my capacity for love is my strongest asset. I don't know.

Regardless, forgiving someone is a whole hell of a lot easier when they apologize. Forgiveness is a lesson I have to learn every day, but humility and regret for hurting those who love us should be a lesson we all learn daily as well. Who knows how many we hurt with the things we do?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Power of No

There is something to be said for not getting your way all the time.

You see it every day, especially if you work in retail like I do. Children throwing tantrums until Mommy or Daddy gives them EXACTLY what they want. And we all know these behaviors continue well into adulthood if not checked early on. And I have found that as I have grown, constantly being denied the things I have wanted so desperately has had two results.

First, by not getting what I wanted when I wanted it, I have ended up with getting exactly what I NEEDED almost the entirety of my life. I have never been starving on a street corner. I have always had somewhere to live thanks to the generosity of many friends. And when I was unable to help myself, I have always had those around to help me get through times of need. I have had periods of extreme poverty when I couldn't pay my bills, keep my phone turned on, or even take my cats to the vet. And even now I am facing some hardship due to mounting hospital bills that I am not totally sure how to pay off. But luckily I have always made it through and been able to continue on. And now I have a home with a wonderful man who is patient, funny, and loving, and we are learning together how to be better adults and a better team. I have a strong partner who knows when to tell me that no, I can't have every toy I want. (Harumph!) But he still finds ways to spoil me and show me he loves me.

One of the hardest things, for me, about my divorce was not exactly losing a husband, but more that I was losing my footing and progress I had made on the path to being a mom. I'm so excited for the chance to someday have children and be a part of someone's life the way a mother is. And when X left me, all that time I had invested and progress I had thought I was making was taken away from me. And my ovaries had already become so very very very loud. Once you get to that point, you really can't even turn it off. But when I look back and see what a terrible pair of parents X and I would have been, I am grateful we don't have a kid stuck between us getting confused and bitter because the two of us can't get along even for our kid. (Sorry to say, but as much as X liked pushing my buttons just to make me look like a huge bitch in front of his friends, I can only imagine he would do it even worse to his ex-wife that he would then share custody of a kid with to make the kid like him more.) And now that I have had the things denied me, like marriage, a home, kids, I can appreciate them now more than ever because I worked so hard to get where I am. I see privileged kids in my store every day who have no appreciation for that iPod touch their parents just bought them for their birthday, or who complain about how their older model doesn't have the forward facing camera on it and that they need the new one, even if theirs was only 2 years old. "I don't WANT a hand me down, buy me a new one!" I applaud the parents who deny their kids these things. Please keep doing that, your children will be better people for it.

I see a lot of people getting their way all the time, and the truth is, I don't think they even know what it is they truly want. It just feels so good to get their way, they aren't paying attention to what it is they just got. And like a child as soon as they are bored with that thing, they will drop it and forget it. Not even bother to put it back on the shelf. Drop and forget.

We have to work to appreciate all that we have, because if it is just given to us, we don't truly know it's value. Alan & I will be footing the bill for our wedding pretty much on our own. And we know what this means, and have assessed the value. We know what we are investing. And we will know how to appreciate all the people who spend their time and money to come share that day with us. I have traveled such a long and hard road here, that I am so very fond of the callouses I have formed on my feet to make it.