Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New Kid in Town

The last time I wrote here, I asked 'who am I' in more words than that, as is my fashion. But I digress already. Who am I is a question I bandy frequently. The downside is (or was, read on..) that most of the time the answers came back in washes of guilt and regret. Especially the last two years. I secretly occupied my mind with heavy tonnage of those. Recalling every mistake, wishing to right every wrong, and wallowing in the inability to go back and do it over.

Then last May I had a birthday. A rather significant, almost another momentous birthday birthday. I turned 39. I began to wonder if there was a way to let go. To free myself of all this baggage. Because I became aware, awake, even startled by the idea that half my life has passed. If I am reaching a halfway point and am still stuck in injuries endured, injuries inflicted, mistakes made all from the past, how in the hell am I ever going to enjoy my future, what is left? Will I waste it too?

And then I took a small trip to visit my Grandmother in Las Vegas. Which will most likely be the last time I will have seen her alive. And lovingly I looked at her. I thought about the life she made. I thought about the things she taught me. And I realized, letting go doesn't take some ritual ceremony of burning lists. Some night of chanting away the evil in my brain. It is what it is. So I let go. Just let go.

It wasn't easy I have to say. It wasn't a matter of feeling all the black and gray ashy things inside me flutter off into some neverwhere. There were choices to make and forcing of new habits. But herein, a movie, odd, probably considered rather fluffy and insignificant, changed my life. I had seen a movie called Nine. A musical. And the women in this movie were sexy. Some were strong and forward and free. One in particular that made a lasting impression on me. As someone who hides often behind words and screens and fears, I admired this character much as I had admired Scarlett O'Hara as a child. And I felt I wanted so much to be able to be like that. Confident in myself as a woman, as a writer, as a lover, as a mother, as a friend, as a person. But I knew that doesn't come from something, it comes from simple choices. Choices I started making.

Have I fallen from the wagon? Oh yes. I can admit that. Because I know, falling does not mean staying down. I got right back up. And I continue to do so. I do the littlest things that force me into the new. I forced myself to introduce myself to mothers at the school and have made a friend. I forced myself to start wearing the two piece bathing suit I wanted so bad, the tighter clothing I thought I didn't deserve to wear anymore. I forced myself to say no to people like my mother and my husband so that I could make choices for myself. And you know what? I love it. I love being exactly who I want to be.