Forgiveness.

For so long I haven’t forgiven because I felt as though I didn’t have what I needed. Or didn’t have what I thought I needed. Didn’t have all the information.

I swore that I knew all I needed at the time. That was, all I needed to let go. To say goodbye to that life. I didn’t need more than what I knew already in that moment.

But in order to try forgive was different, is different. Knew in my heart I didn’t know all. Knew it was much worse. Didn’t hear the countless stories and specific sorries I wanted, needed. I wanted, but didn’t want at the same time. I wanted to know for the sake of knowing and get a sorry for each. Even though it would hurt. My logic kept telling me that’s what I needed to get from point A to point B. I couldn’t jump to B blindly. And I didn’t want to forgive either.

Seems as though there are two types of people: those that don’t want to know because it will hurt them, or those want to know even if it will hurt them. I’m the latter every time.

I knew I wouldn’t eventually or ever know all; in time, I was able to accept that. I knew I’d always wonder, question. Those initial restless nights that kept me tossing and turning were full of those questions. The nights that turned to months, cycling my waves of depression.

If I had all I needed at the time to walk away, how bad was it really? All the unknown was terrifying.

Then how could I ever possibly forgive, forget, and move on with the cloud of unknown never shrinking? Always present, haunting me, embarrassing me, belittling me. Torturing me for so long.

Never knew what it was going to take to attain the slightest want, even, to forgive. Forgiveness hadn’t been in my heart. The thought or mere want to forgive hadn’t crossed my mind. I was okay with dealing with it later any time I heard the word. Also, the anger got in the way of isolating that want to forgive. I was so angry. I was so very angry for what felt like a very long time.

By far, the hardest battle to fight. The burden that’s been upon my back for a while now.

That time has passed, and that notch of anger has subsided. The want to forgive is there, and it feels like it’s there finally. It’s not just a thought, not just something in the future that sounds good. Something I need to face. Something I need to choose. Something I want now?

It wasn’t until recently that I noticed its presence. It took one weekend, one unbiased and raw perspective. Someone else’s, and not my own.

Overwhelming feelings of pity and sadness moved through my veins. It was physical, much like any of these extreme emotions at either end of the spectrum I’ve faced in my new life- the life of a single mom. Slight rations of self-induced guilt, but a lot of pity. Completely taking over my well-being, a change within me I knew was for the better. Slowly uncovering all of those suppressed feelings of wanting to forgive.

Wanting to forgive for him, but wanting to forgive more for myself.

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Timing is also of the essence

So often I use sayings like ‘for so long’ or ‘a while now’ throughout my posts. When really, the calendar of time that my blog is dedicated to is so little in comparison to a lifetime. My divorce was final a year ago, and I’ve been separated since 6 months before that. And 5 months before that I gave birth to that little ray of sunshine I call Holden Brooks.

That being said, it’s easy for me to distinguish time from timing. It’s almost like comparing numerals to lessons; yet both are crucial in what I’m trying to accomplish with this blog. I believe I said in one of my initial posts, that I’ve made it through most of one’s life’s milestones in a matter of a few years.

Speaking to both, I’ve learned a lot in so little. That is, mountains have been moved in seconds. (Remember, I tend to lean towards impulsivity. Coincidental?)

I like to think of timing in a sense of where life puts me when, and to which a degree of certain emotion is elevated.

The timing at which I got married was crucial. The timing at which I had a child was crucial. The timing at which I was divorced was crucial.

And now, the timing at which someone new has come into my life has also been crucial. (If you hadn’t picked that up a few posts back, there you have it.) That’s a very short and sweet way of putting it. That’s how I’ll say it for now. I’m sure my heart will guide me to write in depth later on, but for now that’s all I’ll say. As far as time goes, too soon numerically? Yeah, I’m sure that thought crosses one’s mind.

My friends joke that I need to change the title of my blog now that I’m in a relationship.

My response? I’ve got four more years until I’m not twenty-something anymore.

Ain’t that the truth?

“My life is so full of miracles, things that never could have happened apart from God’s grace, and it’s often only in retrospect that I can see them.”

I read this in her recent message to me. Someone I didn’t know well before, and time in between has allowed for yet again, another connection.

This is how I feel about my life.

Time is of the essence

Around 12,240 hours. Roughly 510 days.

It’s been exactly 17 months. The amount of time it’s been since I made the decision to leave my marriage. My 19-month marriage since we’re talking numbers today.

That decision to leave was a strikingly easy one to make. All it took was this: separating the idea of my life from what it actually was. One second of realization, a few words of utter truth… then I saw clearly. I saw it. All that it was.

My mind was made and there was no other choice have thought through. No other options. I knew what I had to do.

I’ve often been called impulsive. I make fast decisions. Surely this has been quite so in many instances. I’m a type-A person so I like to believe it originates in my personality. To get things done. To feel productive. To have order… and, to have gotten there quickly I may have skipped a few steps that, at that time, that I didn’t feel were valuable. Those steps could have included a lot of time…. hours, days, months.

Many people who care about me know this heavy flaw of mine. There’s no denying it if you look at my track record. I realize this about myself.

Though, not all my impulsive decisions are bad ones… Impulsivity usually connotes something negative. I recently described my view as “quickly calculated decisions.”

However, I know much learning and growing can come from those impulsive decisions whether good or bad. Any transition takes time.

Like these past 17 months. 734,400 seconds of that exact learning and growing. And healing. Lots of healing. That slim-timed decision resulted in thorough time to transition.

That time-clock hasn’t stopped either. I’m still learning and growing. Healing? I’ve gotten pretty far there. Remember, ‘divorce is like a scar.’

“We must use time as a tool, not a crutch.”- JFK

Fearlessness

Leave it to a little piece of chocolate to remind me of something so important, but often forgotten.

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It’s a word I have used to describe my near 22-month old son over and over: Fearless.

His eyes open every morning and the world is his oyster. Daring and innocent make for a youthful composition, one that takes effort to attain as a 26-year old.

Everything he does is full of want, full of need, full of exploration. He does it full-heartedly and doesn’t think twice about it. Whether it’s running down the hill in our backyard or hitting a stranger on the airplane, the little man defines fearless. His strength and determination inspire me daily.

As adults we become fearful. That fearlessness becomes more internal and less physical as time goes on. Scared of doing the things we want or need. Terrified to carry through because we are frightened of what people may think, how they would react. How often we don’t do things for this reason. Hide away. No one will see us.

A shame.

So then one random night, craving chocolate, I pick this piece up and get an inspirational reminder. Something that Holden has been teaching me from Day 1. Something I continue to work on. Something I hope to be for Holden. Something I hope to be for myself.

The muffin man

Holden has started developing quite rapidly since first beginning Mother’s Day Out two mornings a week in September. Though, still no talking. Fully comprehensive, but just no words. I’ve pretty much gone to the moon and back running through reasons as to why this is so, but I remain optimistic. I’m sure once those words start, they just won’t stop coming out- and I am very much looking forward to what’s going on in that big head of his! He already has so much to say.

My family has given me a hard time lately because one of these developments that has fully taken off is quite funny, dare I say even helpful? For me. He has become pretty obsessed with cleaning. Cleaning anything- the house, his face, his clothes, his hands. He loves loading the washer and dryer, he loves to vacuum, he loves to swiffer. Sometimes he’ll grab a few wipes from the dispenser just to clean off the table, window, then move on to his face or belly (on top of his shirt).

One of his musical DVDs was on repeat as it is day in and day out, and when I heard “The Muffin Man” come on for about the tenth time in two hours, he ran up to me yanking my shorts and pointing to the container of muffins on the counter. Twice in a row. He needed not one, but TWO muffins during this song. I was so excited thinking he was just really hungry and maybe if he sees something on TV, he’ll want to eat it (a strategy that has crossed my mind now that his terrible early two’s has turned him into a slightly picky eater).

Well, before I got too excited I noticed what he was doing with the muffin.

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And that was only one of the muffins. And the second? It’s probably in the dryer.