The one year anniversary of my return to North Carolina is rapidly approaching. I wasn’t exactly sure of the date, so I scrolled back through all of my facebook statuses to find it. (It was November 12, 2010). Talk about a trip down amnesia lane.
My brain never shuts up. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that here before. But truly...it’s never really quiet. I’m an over-analyzer and a deep thinker. I am both grateful for and irritated by this. My return to North Carolina was a huge (albeit quick) decision in my life, and I know I’ll be thinking about that decision and what led up to it and what has followed a lot in the coming weeks.
I have learned a lot in the past year. A lot about my weaknesses, things I need to work on...but also a lot about my capacity for strength. I forget that sometimes. It gets lost, it shuffles around in my busy brain...but eventually I always find it. I’ve learned who my friends are...and sadly, I’ve also learned that some people can’t find it within themselves to still be my friend. But, (and this is a very recent discovery...as in about 20 minutes ago) I have spent so much time concentrating on what is past, what is lost, what is gone, that I have shut out what is still there. I took myself out of the equation for what I thought was the sake of others, but what I really did was shut myself off. I am much more guarded now; the pain of losing someone I thought was my closest friend, from what I understand because she couldn’t accept me or my decisions any longer, cut very deep. It has bled into every other part of my life. Somewhere in the back of my brain (sometimes in the very front) is the same thought: there must be something deeply wrong with me. I’m no good. I’ve fucked everything up beyond repair. That thought, coupled with what is basically rejection, from basically one person, has clouded my judgement. Instead of focusing on what I do have in my life, I’ve been overwhelmingly focusing on what I’ve lost.
I have been through so much in the past year. I moved across the country for the second time in less than six months with nothing more than what fit in the trunk of my car, I struggled to get my own place, I continually struggle to keep it, I got divorced, I’ve grappled with the enormity of what my leaving and coming back is doing to my kids. I’ve continued to make some less than brilliant decisions along the way, but that’s life, isn’t it? At the end of the day, and I still have to tell myself this every day, the important thing is that I came back, even if that doesn’t always seem like enough. A lot of the time I still feel like a complete joke. And sometimes I feel like this is all just a bad dream, and maybe at some point I’ll wake up and I’ll feel safe and whole and a little less insecure.
Throughout everything, I am still comforted by the same truth: everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I struggle with what those reasons are, but I also know that I may never know. Think about it for just a little bit...we come in contact with people in our lives every day. Some we know, some we don’t. Think about the impact that each of us can have on someone else, no matter how small. Who have I met as a result of my move to and from Phoenix? Who has touched my life as a result of that? Which lives have I touched as a result of that? I know in my bones that I have made friends and met people and made connections that are as essential to my life as breathing, and none of it would have happened without that one decision.
I do battle every day with this over-active brain of mine. Happiness, peace, confidence...they are illusive and fleeting. But I am on a path. My path. I have to accept that, embrace it. Every single thing I’ve done has brought me to where I am right now. And where I am right now is where I’m supposed to be. There is so much peace in that realization. I am eternally grateful for everyone in my life right now. I may have lost some people along the way, but the ones I still have in my life are amazing. They are funny and kind and strong and a little crazy and perfect. They may not always be a part of my life, but they are now.
So I will continue to find my strength and embrace it, and be grateful for what and who I have, and know that I’m not alone. This is my life, my path...and even though I lose sight of it from time to time, I know it’s a pretty damn good one.