My Former Vs. My Current Life

So…this is where I always thought the blog would end.  “My Former Life”…well the last entry was about an event that occurred 11 months ago, my 40th birthday.  An event that was the whole idea behind this blog, hoping to find some peace and closure over the event of my impending 40th birthday.  And honestly, the party was representative of all that this journey through time via blog was about:  how an insecure girl with a dysfunctional family background took a journey down a path she never could have imagined for herself.  All of the stories that people who know me now, in My Current Life, either don’t know or hear bits and pieces about over glasses of wine, when my tongue is looser and I forget to keep up the facade of being Just Like Everyone Else.

Because that’s kind of the whole point.  I spent my whole life feeling outside, different, more challenged, less secure than the rest of the world.  No one I knew had a father who went onto have a relationship with a man after divorcing their mom.  No one I knew had a brother who was so violent they had to sleep with their bedroom door locked.  No one I knew had a kid when I had my firstborn at age 19.  No one in my life lost their parent or knew anything about cancer in their early 20s like me.  And after all of those tumultuous events, I kept the list going by having an affair with a married man (not that uncommon, though I added the lovely twist of having it be a former teacher), working for a rock star (not that this was a bad thing…mostly), and then having a special needs child.  Everything about my life has seemed so out of the norm that I have always felt like an outsider looking in.

But in the last ten years, despite all of that, my life has stabilized and taken on a very “typical” veneer.  I am married, we own our own home, have a few cars, and the freelance work I do allows me to stay at home with the kids.  I volunteer at their schools and at church.  I like my in laws and they like me, my dad and I have carved out a lovely relationship now that I am an adult, and while my relationship with my siblings isn’t perfect, it’s not devastating either.  I have girlfriends.  Good ones who are thoughtful and kind, helpful and generous.  I’ve always been lucky enough to have great friends who have helped me through my trials, but now the relationships are far more two way and equal.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life looking backwards with regret.  But this blog, writing out so much of what has made me, me, has helped me to realize that every experience has brought me to this place.  I’ve always said everything happens for a reason, even though there have been a great many times that I haven’t been always able to sleuth out the rationale.  I still don’t know why Zach’s father left me and has never figured out a way to have a relationship with him (updates on that to come in future entries); I still don’t know why my mother was taken from me so soon (well I know why:  she smoked too much.  But if everything happens for a reason, what was the reason for that?).  But at least now I have been able to really savor and celebrate all that has brought me to this place.

As for the blog?  It’ll continue, though likely not at the same pace.  While it has been a labor of love to write over 470 entries about my life, I doubt there is a daily dose of interesting or dramatic going on these days in my world to fill out an entry every day, but I still have a lot to say.  There’s still a lot going on that I’d like to examine and work through in this space.

For those of you who have shared this journey with me, have written or commented to tell me that you’re out there with me, thank you.  I nearly gave up on this project a year ago, before I’d ever really gotten into the meat of my story.  I am so grateful to those who prodded me along; my life is changed because of it.

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A Word from the Future

I have had a headache for two days, and that’s why I haven’t blogged.  The last time I missed, I had stomach flu.  Don’t worry, I plan on spilling the beans on what happened the night that I lied to my mother and stayed out with my girlfriends and the Older Boys.  Promise.

It’s funny, though, as I go through my dusty old memories as I live my life today.  I get headaches, for example.  My mother used to suffer terribly from headaches, as I blogged about here. She never really did get to the bottom of them at all, though she did start visiting a chiropractor, and they eased up.  While my mother put full faith in the doctor that adjusted her back, I never have.  I’ve never been to one and don’t plan to.  I don’t think my headaches stem from any compressions in my spine as my mother’s probably did.  But I do get them, and I’ve had some that have rivaled some of the worst of hers too.   I have had my current one for two days, and normally they hang on for a while.  I went to a doctor last year about it, and had an MRI that came back normal.  But I came out with some heavy duty $5 a pill pills, and I probably will have to take one of them today.  I never got the headaches with any regularity until after I turned 30.

I wish I could talk to her about them.

I have three kids now, and as I go through my dusty old memories, the difference in the world today and all of their experiences is shocking to me.  For many reasons.  It’s fun  to write about the time we got our first microwave oven, our first experience with cable tv.  Our first VCR comes soon in my story, but our first TV with a remote comes much later.  These are things my children think are as much of your home (well, VCR maybe not, DVR or DVD perhaps) as the sink and the toilet.  And cell phones…oy.  We drove all of those times to Grand Rapids and you never even thought about how alone you were on the highway.  We never did until we had our accident that winter and had to wait and wait for the police simply to find us out there in the snow.

I’ll be back to my chronological blogging soon, as I caffeinate and medicate my sore head, but I wanted to get something down here lest any of my three readers think I’ve abandoned the project.  I haven’t.  I swear.

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