When I was growing up, our family moved at least 11 times in 15 years. As a kid, I just went with it, it wasn’t up to me. Most times, I was sad about always having to leave my friends and schools behind, but I also learned to appreciate the feeling of a new and exciting place and the chance to start a new life each time.
After these many years, I can look back now and see the negative effect it has had on my life: I can't stay put in the same place for very long, I need constant change to be excited about life, living in the same place for 5 years was boring me to tears, and I feel like I’m shackled. But there are positive things too: I can adapt to pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere, anyone. New countries, new languages, new cultures, new places, and new customs. I appreciate the fact that I have grown into a fairly tolerant, respectful, and open-minded person.
On the other hand, it is very hard for me to get attached to anyone. I still have friends for seasons of my life, while we “see” each other, at least online through social media and such. I am not the type to sit down with a bunch of “amigas” to dish about our personal lives or even do small talk. If relationships go bad, be they with friends or spouses, I’m fine with just letting it go and moving on to the next big adventure. Even though I know that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, I am always dreaming of finding that perfect place that will charm me enough to make me never want to move again. That perfect person to respect me and love me deeply and passionately. That good friend to have adventures with, who will never judge me or tire of my craziness. That amazing beachfront home, where I can wake up every morning for the rest of my life to the sound of waves breaking, to the sunshine, to the coconut water, to my perfect figure.
I also learned heartache and pain. I chose to leave many times. I chose to embrace the unknown and give it a try. I had nothing to lose, and somehow I had to make it happen, now not only for me, but for my precious child as well. Experiencing separation from family and the distance between continents took a toll on my soul that will never be completely healed. I live in the memories of a time when everyone was still around and no one was dead. Those memories carried me for a time, but raising a child on my own and knowing that he will never be able to have the same experiences is heartbreaking. Discrimination because of my accent or my different lifestyle choices have relegated me to a corner, where I never imagined I would be. Deception and frustration overpower the good and positive, making me unhappy and lonely.
Most of the things I have been through were not my choice, and remembering that makes me feel good about the fact that I am at least trying to do the best I can with the opportunities I have been given. When someone break our hearts and destroy all of our hopes it's hard enough. Other things were absolutely my choice, and looking back I realize, that they were decision made in the midst of war. A war between good and evil, sorrow and instant joy, fought in reaction to a long line of situations where I was powerless, always dreaming that maybe somewhere, somehow, my life could be better, and I would find peace in my soul.
But what would a better life even have looked like? Maybe if I had lots of money in the bank, I could have lived more comfortably and provided better for the ones I love, traveled more, and created more memories? Maybe if I had a more stable family growing up without having been subjected to the divorce of my parents, the death of my grandmother, the feeling of constant rejection from my step-parents and indeed even from my own parents? Maybe if I had not loved men who abused me, used me, and left me?
After doing the best I can and know to raise my child into a soon-to-be young man, my spirit is still starved. I don’t know what to do with all the horrible experiences that fill my mind and heart with guilt and make it necessary for me to fight hard every single second of my life, just to keep from going completely insane? Oh, look at the bright side… be grateful, because there are others who have it worse than you do. I can’t count the times I’ve heard it. I know. There is still so much for me to do, if I am going to get close to finding even a glimmer of the person I want to be, because of the countless times I have lost. I have lost my temper, my control, my mind so many times that I don’t even know if I will even live long enough to fix it all and simply breathe in peace someday.
My only hope is that Someone does in fact exist and will be merciful and understanding toward me. If He allowed me to experience all of this to make me humble, maybe it’s working, but the pain is excruciating at times and I can’t stop living in the past and in the regret of decisions and choices I’ve made, truly believing they were the best, only to realize that they limited me.
Today I woke up and wished that I could take a walk on the beach in my long, fluttering white dress, my long shiny hair kissed by the mild sunshine and the fragrant breeze. Then I would open my eyes after breathing in the clean sea air to see that athletic, tall man with the inviting green eyes, and he would join me on the beach, walking with me hand in hand. We would make love forever and ever. Our children, many of them, all healthy and beautiful and successful, would run and laugh and play to someday live happily ever after with their own families. My handsome man and I would retire and travel the world together for the rest of our days.
Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies. I wonder if having all these things would really make me happy. What is the purpose of having lived more than thirty years and ending up exhausted and unhappy with life? Those quick to jump to conclusions might just say I am depressed. I just think I’m tired. And bitter. And hopeless. But despite all of that, I want to give hope to others, knowing that the world and the people in it can be harsh at best, and the last thing I want for those I care about is for them to go through everything I have gone through.
So for today, I might spend the day doing what little I can. Trying to make life easier for others, hoping that I can help them even just a little before I am gone from this world, give my brain a break from the daily grind, watch a few more movies to keep my hopes and dreams alive, chitchat a little with those whose lives are also tied up in duty without pleasure for my sake, pray that I can learn whatever I need to move on to the next stage of my existence, where, hopefully, life will be more enjoyable.
Because I deserve that. Well… At least I think I deserve that.
After all, I will just keep living the best I can, and wondering what I will write in 10-15 years from now. Wait and see.