One of the writing prompts from Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop was to post a picture of yourself from ten years ago as well as a current one and describe how you have changed in that time. I almost didn’t do it. Why? Well, first of all I tend to be the one behind the camera, especially back then, so there aren’t a lot of pictures to choose from. Second, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to revisit that time. This picture is acually more like a dozen years old but is pretty much as close as I can get.
Ten years ago, I was in the midst of the long, painful end of my marriage. It was a very dark time for me (okay, for us) when I felt worthless and unloved. Let’s face it, I was a mess. We both fought the idea of divorce because, even as the marriage was unravelling, we still had deep feelings that we just couldn’t let go of. If I’m going to be honest, I have to admit to being terrified of the big post-divorce “unknown” as well.
I have learned a lot about myself since then.
When I finally made the break and moved into my own apartment, it actually felt good. The burden of the pain we had been going through was mostly lifted from my shoulders, not living under the same roof anymore. Also, until then, I had never had my own place before. I had gone from living with my parents to living with Stinky so had never lived alone before. Running my own household, my own little spot in the world with no partner to back me up, inspired a kind of pride that I had never felt before.
I have learned that I am strong and, as much as I would like to have a partner, I don’t NEED one.
I am learning more about myself and what makes me tick; the experiences and influences that have formed who I am.
I have learned to let go of the relationships that don’t nurture my soul and treasure the ones that do. I don’t do “drama” anymore and those who do are kept at arm’s length.
I have learned to let go of the past and live for the future. I may not always forgive or forget but have learned how to put the past where it belongs.
I have learned that I don’t have to be a perfect mother in order to have two smart, beautiful, outgoing and just-plain-likeable kids. I just have to be there with love, support, discipline and encouragement. I am enough.
The woman in the second picture is far more confident and accepting of herself. I think that I like her.