My annual Independence Day post, because sometimes you get it right the first time.
16 years ago today I changed my entire life. I left a situation that was untenable because it had hit such a violent and dramatic peak that there was no way I could pretend things would be all right in the end. 16 years ago I spent a lot of time pretending: I pretended that people had my best interests in mind, I pretended to believe that blood really was thicker than water, I pretended not to care that my life had been hijacked and that I had allowed it. I pretended to want the things others wanted for me. I pretended to be someone else, anyone else, any girl that could attract and possibly keep my mother’s love, or at least good graces; I pretended that with enough time, energy and hope I could fall in love with someone who was not only completely wrong for me but incredibly dangerous for me. Most of all, I pretended everything was going to be okay.
Everything was not okay- it was horrible, and I lost everything. It was so very not okay and that’s so odd; as awful as it was, it was the impetus for now and here, which is so much better than okay, every year better than the one before, every year further and further removed, more free and open and full.
Every year on this day I lace my fingers around my neck, a small thing, a narrow span of soft flesh; I make a collar of my fingers, and I remember, and I am grateful. 16 years ago today I took the first steps towards this, towards today, and towards tomorrow. This is the most important day of my life.
Today, I am grateful, and happy, and full of joy; today I am lucky, and well aware of it.