30 Days of Truth, Day 3.

forgiveness

Something you have to forgive yourself for.

I’ve wracked my brain for days because I have a million somethings, with the most significant being intensely private. I can think of a few dozen, but here are two of the most significant.

*For not being the perfect mother my children deserve.

It’s the least they deserve, seeing as they have been the children I always dreamed of. I’ve come a long way in the nearly 21 years I’ve been a mother, but will always feel the worst for my firstborn, who had to learn alongside me. He was born a few months shy of my 19th birthday and I had all the bullheaded stubbornness of any girl that age, exacerbated by 38 weeks of judgmental glances at my naked ring finger. I wanted to be a mother more than anything else, and I would set out to raise a superhero. I read to him day and night, and he was writing his own name and learning to read by the time he was 3 1/2. People raved about his perfect behavior, extensive vocabulary and sweet disposition. Poor kid… he deserves a week with the soft & easygoing mom I’ve learned to be. I’ve learned to buy the silly unhealthy cereal they really want, because nobody dies and nobody gives you a medal for eating that fruit-juice-sweetened cardboard. Also, nobody enjoys that shit. Lucky Charms may be unhealthy, but they are also magically delicious.

*For not being the fabulous wife of a happy man.

I too, thought I’d live happily ever after, +1. I’m grateful for my single life, but I also know that I’m a wonderful partner, and happiest when I have someone to care for & love. It’s the human condition and I am just as vulnerable as anyone else. Maybe I should be in a loving relationship, but I’m pretty damn satisfied watching what I want to watch on Netflix, while knitting in yoga pants and my favorite ugly sweatshirt.

I’ve made a million mistakes in my life, but the experience I gleaned from those failures is what enabled me to survive. Without having learned the hard way, I would never have known I was capable of thriving under the harshest circumstances.

I forgive myself for not always having all the answers, and for the moments I didn’t have a clue. I’m still learning. 🙂

30 Days of Truth, Day 2

settle

Something you love about yourself.

I love that I refuse to settle for less than I want, need and deserve. Finally.

Going through a breakup during the last month of my pregnancy and the subsequent battle that followed, changed me irrevocably. I think in the early days of our relationship falling apart, I was exhausted, still gardening an acre and overdue with an 8 1/2 pound baby. He hadn’t called once over the winter and the distance had grown between us while we fought about parenting philosophy and vaccines via text message. I was uncomfortable, hot and irritated by everything. Most of all: his lack of effort.

We went from crazy in love, to always at odds and completely disconnected. We both realized that we didn’t really know each other at all, and that we weren’t really excited about the facts on the ground. I’d quit smoking and he hadn’t. The smell of his cigars drove me nuts. I broke up with him and figured he’d take it seriously, quit for good and beg me to change my mind.

Not quite.

He accepted my decision & began dating, and we went to war over the baby. It was a bad time for all of us and I’m relieved every single day that it’s not like it used to be.

Most of all, I’m thankful every day that we didn’t settle for each other.

It’s been wonderfully hard and terrifying at times, but I didn’t walk through all those fires or slay all those damn dragons, to sit on the couch next to an unhappy stranger and watch my life trudge by.

I did not survive, just to settle.

Neither of us had survived unhappy relationships to land in the unhappily ever after that our relationship had become. I will accept the blame for the breakup if I’m simultaneously credited with the second chance at happiness that it provided.

I love that I had the strength to walk away for all of us; regardless of the fallout, and that I have learned to make my happiness as much a priority as anyone else’s.Finally.

It’s only taken 40 years.

compromise