I’m going to be forty-five years old next month. I can remember clearly sitting in the passenger seat of my mom’s car, looking out of the window thinking how I couldn’t wait to turn 16. I’d do math figures in my head, calculating what year it would be when I finally turned 21, 35, etc. Those numbers seemed to have flown by. I can barely remember them. Granted, and I’m not proud of this, there’s been quite a bit of alcohol consumed between 21 and now, so it’s not so surprising that I’ve missed a few, um…moments in my life. There’s also been a lot of selective amnesia. I’ve blocked out certain traumatic years. I can laugh about it now, but seriously, there are blank spots in my past that I couldn’t tell you about without the help of a hypnotist or some other form of alchemy that would encourage my sub-conscious to give up the details.
I look at pictures of myself as a little girl. The girl in those pictures hadn’t yet been convinced that there was something wrong with her; she hadn’t been molested and the bullying, neglect, and date rape were years away. She hadn’t sunk into the depression that would darken her life for more than ten years. She wasn’t yet a binge drinker, nor had she been in the first of three emotionally and physically abusive relationships. No. She was just this precocious, rambunctious, adventurous, trusting, curious soul inside a body that seemed impervious to long-lasting pain. She was quick to smile, even quicker to claim a friend, adopt a stray, or trust a stranger with her inner most feelings.
I mourn for that little girl sometimes as I struggle to resurrect her into my current life. It is her spirit I attempt to channel when I dance, when I venture into new places, meet new people, or when I try to trust some one new with my heart.
I haven’t been very successful with the resurrection until recently. Since I started writing for real anyway. Each milestone, each new, well written chapter; that first published book. I was as joyful at those times as I remember being wandering loose around the air force base, petting stray animals, enjoying butterflies, and eating blackberries straight off the bush growing in our back yard. A few nights ago, I ventured out to a club I hadn’t been to before, to dance with a man I’d just met the weekend previous. I went to both experiences with that childlike mindset of discovery. No preconceived notions, no expectations, no desire to do anything more than have fun. And you know what? That’s exactly what I did. I danced till there was sweat running down the sides of my face, my feet were sore, and I didn’t fall in love, or even infatuation. A first for me in a very long time. I was just a woman (a little girl) in love with the moment.
I remember when I was that unharmed little girl, cocooned in a feeling of well-being and freedom. The world was; no judgement, no fear (except of anything with more than four legs); things were just as they were meant to be and I was a part of everything. I was fully myself.
I believe when I’m finally in the position to be writing full-time, I’ll be myself again. I’ll adopt strays, strike up fun conversations with strangers, and feel at ease in my skin.
I think that’s why I write what I write. I’m clearing out the bad experiences, the pain that so long defined me, confined me, kept me on the outside in cold limbo. I’m almost worried. Once it’s all gone, once I get back to being wholly, entirely me, what on Earth will I have to write about?