Countless books have been written and movies produced about how people, most of them women, have found their way back to the person they once were. Remember the passion when Stella Got Her Groove Back? Wasn’t it inspiring to watch Julia Roberts Eat, Pray, Love? And who could forget Robin Williams finding his way while donning facial prosthesis, a grey wig, and the fake, old lady boobs of Mrs. Doubtfire? While each of these characters chose different vehicles to make their way back to their true selves, each had to peel away at the layers of discontent that had built up over the years, mainly after being in unhealthy relationships.
Okay, so I have not had the pleasure of a passionate night with Taye Diggs nor have I nourished my palate and soul while traveling through Italy, India, and Indonesia. As for the old lady boobs, I am proud to say that at 45, mine are still right where they should be!
What have I done to “be back” you may ask? I have stopped (or rather radically reduced) GIVING!!! For too many years my life consisted of me giving ALL my time and energy so that the people in my life were cared for and content. Sounds admirable, right? Wrong!! Because I never put ME first, I soon found myself further and further from the person I used to be, the person that I really loved to be. I forgot the girl that wrote poetry into the wee hours of the morning. I lost the girl that searched for hours to find the beauty of a babbling brook in Colorado. I abandoned the girl that dreamed of a man who would be loving, kind, and treat her like a precious gem.
For years, my friends and family had been trying to get me to realize how many concessions I had been making and urged (some more vocally than others) me to leave my bad marriage. I did finally do just that (though years too late) but unfortunately I still continued on the path of putting myself last. Not that this is an excuse, but I do have a daughter who is still trying to grasp our new normal and accept life as a kid with a mom and dad that live in two homes. Add to that that my ex is not exactly father of the year and constantly disappoints my daughter which has resulted in me–a single mom who works her ass off to fill both parental roles.
I’m a sixth grade Science and Language Arts teacher. I tell you this because I am about to school you on something I teach my students-plot diagram. It shows the progression of a novel from start to finish. Like a ride on a roller coaster, the plot ascends, highlighting the problem or conflict, then reaching a climax or high point of the story, and eventually descends toward a resolution. Somewhere before the end of the novel there is a ‘turning point,’ an event that changes the course of the novel and the actions of the characters.
Last night my story reached its turning point. While having a nice dinner with my daughter, my ex kept texting me asking questions about my daughter’s Amazon Christmas wish list that I sent him. He was confused about what Prime meant and what he had to do and if he needed to get Prime to get the gifts she wanted. His texts were constant and interrupted the nice meal we were having after a long week. Having Prime myself, my first instinct was to do what I always have done and offer to take care of the order to save him time, effort, and money. It was a knee-jerk reaction, one that I luckily caught in time. As if a giant hand descended into the dining room of The Cheesecake Factory and slapped me, I said to myself, “Enough!!!” I then text him that I was out and he would have to figure it out on his own. At that moment I felt so proud of myself and truly free and in control. In that moment, it was as if I had written the best poem of my life or found the most serene babbling brook in all of nature. Most of all, it was in that moment that I realized that I was a precious gem and treated MYSELF as such. By putting my needs and happiness in front of everything else, I became PRIME in my life and my decisions.
So, thank you Stella, Julia, and Robin and most of all thank you Amazon Prime. Who knew you could offer me so much more than just 2-day free shipping? I will definitely be renewing my membership!!
May you all find yourself as often as you need to until you realize your worth.
Peace and love 😊 ❤️