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.