Tuesday, March 9, 2010
35 is the new 21, or something like that...
When the reels of the past run through my mind, I have to wonder why I chose to live my life in reverse order. While most people today are just getting married at age 28, I had already been married to my first husband for six years and had two kids. At the age I am now, most women are still considered "new brides" and they are toting diaper bags very much unlike my knock off Coach bag. The old 22 year old me was walking down the aisle in a wedding dress, rather than strutting into the hottest club in a mini dress. I wonder to myself, sometimes out loud in the presence of strangers, what would I do differently? And the real, honest answer is...nothing. Everything from my past brought me to my future, and the place I am now isn't such a bad place to be. I would still have gotten married, because when I made that choice I did it with love and committment. Things may not have turned out the way I had planned, but he was still my best friend and he gave me two beautiful children. I wouldn't go back and have decided to wait to have kids, because if I had I might not have had them. Cancer would have taken them from me, and my life would most certainly be incomplete. I love that I am young enough to enjoy my children and, at the same time, be able to remember the crap I pulled at their age so I am always one step ahead of them. I love that because my first marriage failed, I was able to define what I truly wanted from a spouse, and then I was lucky enough to find it. I love that despite my mistakes I have learned to love myself, and find peace within myself. I love that I learned to forgive. Forgiveness was the hardest and most treasured lesson I learned. I spent a lot of time blaming others for my unhappiness, but when I walked past a mirror and took a good, hard look at myself, I was able to absorb some of the blame and become someone entirely different than I had known.
As I have gotten older I have learned how important it is sometimes to shut your mouth, open you ears, and try to appreciate what someone else has to say even if you don't agree with it. I have learned patience and I have grown a deeper appreciation for the people who have stuck with me through this learning process. I have learned that sometimes the hardest part of letting go of the people who poison your life is because your love for them, and your belief in them, wants to keep holding on.
Most importantly, I have learned to appreciate and understand that you never get everything you want from life because sometimes you're given what you need and that is enough. You learn to love qualities in people that always seemed secondary to the qualities you thought you were looking for. You appreciate simpler things, like waking up to the sun shining on your face, or the unexpected hug from someone you love. I've learned to look at things differently. Every morning I get to open my eyes to the man I love, and kiss the children I've given life to and I feel like the luckiest person on earth.
I've learned not to miss an opportunity to tell the people who mean something to me that I love them, even if it sometimes seems awkward and out of place. I've learned to tell people I appreciate them more and praise them for their efforts rather than defeat them with their mistakes.
I've learned. Everyday I learn more about myself and it helps me to accept my flaws and shortcomings and physical imperfections. I've lived my life in reverse chronological order according to the rules of society, but I believe I have lived it exactly as it was meant to be lived.