I’ve been thinking a lot about my time here lately. Not here, on this big Spaceball with everyone else struggling and growing, but here on WordPress. I’ve seen the evolution go from one extreme to the other. Sure, I have to look through my fingers at some of it 😣…and though it’s been a long three years, I’m so very grateful to be able to have seen myself in all these lights. Even the ones, eh hem…not so flattering.
This will be post #280 on this page alone. And, as I look back, these, in particular, have marked the period of the most transition. The most pain perhaps, but only because they have marked the most growth. Which, as we know, is never seamless. So it’s a positive. A tradeoff I have to accept.
I began here long ago desperately needing to make sense of a separation and later divorce that, though they didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, still threw me for a loop. Understandably, if only to myself. I had my dark times of facing the temporary coping strategy of drinking, and battling my teenage daughter’s broken will and her mother’s illness and healing. Though I look back on my maturity level during that time as damaged and embarrassing, there’s nothing I can change now. It needed to happen.
When my mom got sick, I tried to get well. *Because* of that. Changes started taking place. Subtle. But there. Work on myself. Not much direction. Quietly. Through the cold change in season. Seeing some light. Floating a bit. Not much of a plan. Hopeful. Hurt. Recovering from physical and emotional scars. Still, with so many questions about myself. Intermittently losing control, I was simply exhausted from fucking up. Exhausted from never knowing what the hell I was doing. I was letting my health deteriorate. Around the clock. Failing and poor choices at every corner. And on the night of December 22nd, 2016, I was given a gift. Out of nowhere.
I don’t talk about this much for fear of the judgment, and it may just be a lingering, skewed Catholic belief. But I do believe we are given our greatest gifts, right as something else is about to be taken from us. Which is exactly what came to be three weeks later. The purpose for these happenings, no matter when they come to light, eventually do. And I feel these purposes are left to our best interpretation, to save us. Even if they can’t be seen for ages. Even if we have to force them to make sense.
I didn’t know. It was there, and I wouldn’t know for months. While I continued to fuck up my life behind the scenes. I was in a dying relationship that everyone was laughing at for my knee-jerk, desperate measures in attempt to rebuild my family structure. To prove I hadn’t been beaten. To prove I hadn’t been broken down to nothing a year earlier. I tried to force things that were not destined to be. Something else I did not see the purpose for until much later.
As that next spring came, I was being reassured. I was being cared for again. It felt clean like starting over. And doing it the right way. Pure, with plenty of time. Eyes open. Scared to death, I started to make some plans. Plans for summer. Plans to regain structure in my career. To be worth someone’s fucking time again. To have something to offer again. To know what the hell I was doing. Again. To know myself again. And to not fuck it up again. But wounds, in their own purpose, will also always come to light. Every one of us has them. Underlying wounds yet to heal. And when they face off, it’s a God damn powder keg.
Eighteen months have passed since I reached my worst behavior that night in May. I saw what losing my shit looked and felt like. The inevitable breakdown and very necessary rebuild were both a long, long time coming. And every day since, I have tried to use that purpose to it’s best. So it is never wasted. And I will keep trying. I can’t be sure if the purpose of the gift that December was just to ease the loss of my mom. And I can’t be sure that propelling myself back into teaching was the end purpose of losing that gift. But I know had I not been given that new hope, wanting to be my best, or give my best again, I wouldn’t have had the motivation to ever be standing where I am today doing what I love most. Nor would I be grown and confident enough again to commit myself back to my kids. I would never have felt strong enough to. Without that hope.
I’m not willing to say whether any of this has been “worth” the price paid and things lost. Something is bound to be devalued in that estimation. And it all has worth. None can be quantified. Priceless, if you will. I’ve said before that Time is gonna do what it do…and also that Timing, itself, can be a real motherfucker. Fortunately, I also believe that there is, very much, a right time for everything as well. Everything in it’s own time in this life. Without force. Without failures. Without fucking up. I can only face up to my own mistakes and accept the losses they’ve caused as a necessary balance to working back towards my best. Again.
So, as I look through the previous years here, at how my words went through so very many stages of immaturity, anger, being hopelessly lost, out of control and without a grip. Being clueless and embarrassed of myself and my behavior…they all still led here eventually. To these last 279 posts. Where, I tried to figure out the why’s and why not’s of so many things. Where I learned the glaring problems that I needed to change and accepted having to put in that work from here on out. Where I went from making an ass of myself in confusion, to taking pride in who I am. I may still make an ass out of myself occasionally, but it’s all part of the process.
It all has it’s purpose. In our travels in and out of one anothers lives, be gracious with your own struggles as well as those of others. Because they’re never quite over. We’re never quite done *being*. There is no marked finish line, magic or perfection. We are all a work in progress of failure, growth and forgiveness for ourselves and others. Life is so rarely black and white and it is never, never a straight path. Sometimes you just have to wait for it to circle back around before you can meet it. Again. At your best.
…Time, time, time.