I’m sitting here crying, but some days it’s just like that. We come to this place of digital pen and paper to bear the parts of us that are hard, painful, and real. It’s here in this space that I open a piece of myself to you. I don’t know where this post is going to go fully, so bear with me. Lately, I’ve had a few people say comments to me such as:
- I’m envious that you’re able to be so open on your blog.
- How are you SO nice??
- Gosh, you’re the nicest person I’ve ever met!
- Kitten, you’re such a kind soul.
The words of love mean the world to me. But it tastes bittersweet on my tongue because deep down, I know the real truth. It only took a shattering of my soul to become the woman I am today. And here, in this space, I am going to show you that scar. I want you to understand why I cherish time so deeply. I want you to understand why I preach so emphatically to savor every moment as if it were your last. Why, I throw myself into everything now with unbridled passion and emotion, yearning to soak up every moment.
Because the truth is, when I was much younger…. I didn’t.
Let’s rewind the clock 15 years. I was a much different person back then. Just beginning my 20’s I was selfish, and self-centered. After leaving my parents’ home at 18, I went out into the world wild and untamed. I admit that I fell into a group of wild co-workers that also didn’t have a care in the world. I tried pot once. I stayed out all night and ate shit fast food. It was also the time that I finally lost my virginity to my boyfriend.
He was different from my party life down in Atlanta. He was a country boy from the hills who swept me away across every country mile. I loved his twang and riding around in his Bronco with the windows down. I felt free, young, and untouchable. Gone were the zillion rules from my dad and stepmom and in came a life where I was in control. Or so I thought. The truth is, I was self-centered. Deeply self-centered. I was making poor decisions and lacked any kind of relationship with a voice of reason. On my 20th birthday, my boyfriend and I married. Shortly thereafter we were children having children. I’m telling you this, because I know there are people out there who can relate to my pain.
I know there are others out there who have walked through the hell of divorce and making decisions that are unwise. I loved becoming a mother. I still love being a mother. But back then, life was hell. I was broke, family-less, and divorcing with two beautiful babies that were my heart. The paperwork stacked like a mountain and all I saw was years upon years of pain, anguish, and shuffling the kids back and forth between homes. But the truth was, after the divorce, I didn’t have a home. He had a network of family to lean into, and I had no one.
So we met up one day, over a plate of biscuits and gravy in a tiny, cafe on a back road. I looked into the eyes of the boy that had grown into a man. My lover, husband, and now distant stranger and cried. “Take care of them” I whispered, knowing that I couldn’t give them what they needed. With a few signatures, I handed him custody knowing that my deepest loves would forever be cared for in a stable environment that I couldn’t give them.
The following Tuesday I hugged their precious bodies close to me as I loaded them up in the car seats for one last time. “Do you see those clouds?” I whispered near their little, golden curls. They looked up in the sky with those stunning blue eyes and nodded. “We’re going to be under those clouds together, okay?” I said. They were so tiny, I don’t even know if they ever understood me. But deep down, I knew they would have a life full of rich family memories and a home nurtured in Southern love. I nodded to my ex, and walked away. It was the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do.
It took years to rebuild my life. Years to recover from the grief that plagued my heart. Years to change my mindset from thinking selfishly and making unwise choices, to savoring time completely, and authentically. I am the woman that I am today because of the scars and battle armor that I wear. I’m opening up like this to give you all a message: please don’t allow yourselves to be jaded by life. Things hurt. Things cut us to the core. Things that should break us, and give us anxiety for nearly a decade… things that we feel will kill us…. actually don’t. I spent the best 3 and 4 years of my life back then. I soaked up every moment, but not a day passes that I don’t wish that I could hug them one more time.
Allow yourselves to feel. Make connections with an honest, and open heart. We have ONE life to live. One chance to create our life story. How are you going to write yours? From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all so much love… peace… passion… warmth… hope… and understanding. May you all live the life you desire. That’s it from me for this post, my friends. Thank you all for sharing this space with me, and I will see you back here next time.