Sometimes I see glimpses of the life I had before. I mean really before, like a decade or 2 before. Few people know the person I was in my other lifetime. So here's my own personal recap of my recollections.
As a little girl I was convinced I would be the next Madonna. I wanted nothing else but to sing. Unfortunately I suffer from extreme stage fright. Once that came to light I was sure I needed a back up plan, so I figured carpentry might work. I watched all sorts of house building shows on tv. I was pretty good at fixing things too because I was constantly breaking things and getting beaten gets really old.
As a teen, I suppose I was a weird as they come. At the lovely age of 14, I began dating.....a 19 year old bass player in a band who wore only black. Yea, something was extremely wacked out about that, but to me of course, it seemed just fine. I studied theology a lot too. I was convinced I needed to pick a religion, preferably a branch of Christianity. After all, I did go to a Pentecostal school as a child. However, I had friends who were Wicca, so I started there(researching not practicing) and quickly figured out, the Earth wasn't really worthy of worshiping, though it did frighten the librarian when I asked for books on white and black magic. I recall her telling me that even Satan worshipers needed to read too. Nice huh? After that, I moved on to Judaism, but even considering that Christ was not the son of God made me feel physically ill. Then I went to a Catholic church. A good portion of it was in Latin. That did not go very far. Then there was the time I had those Mormon missionaries into the house. Did you know if you order the book of Mormon off of tv, they send them to your house? They do. One the young men put a copy of the bible together with a copy of the book of Mormon and said to consider them like one book. The only problem with that was it's kind of written at the end of the bible that were wasn't any additions to be made. So after that, a boyfriend asked me to go to a Methodist church with him. I like it, a lot. Then he told me the youth pastor advised him we break up. So I did not go back to that church anymore. Then I met my husband and in order to be married in the Church of Christ, we had to accept pre marital counseling, which coincidentally ended up helping the wedding be called off by yours truly. I got over it though, and after the minister promised to take obey out of our vows, things rolled on. He did however surprise me at the ceremony by including a little 5 minute speech about how the husband should love his wife enough that he would live his life for her like Christ did the church. I was liking that part until he talked about how a wife should let her husband lead the home. Still, I found my niche and was baptized shortly after. It was and remains the most important day of my life. It was the only moment in time where I was free.
I thought I was grown and was 18 when I was married, and in my opinion that was entirely too young, though no one could have told me that. The thing about being married in your teens is that you're not grown yet. No one told me how much I would change, my beliefs, desires, and dreams. I was convinced that love was enough to make anything work. No one told me that sometimes people desire to rock the boat, and sometimes they even get so damn mad, they throw the oar out, and then things just float or even capsize.
Though I am not the girl I was at 18, I remember her very well. Sometimes, on a good day, I feel her walk right by me. I even smell the Chloe perfume she used to wear. I look at pictures of her, and remember the promises she made to herself and mostly to others. I really believed that no one could stay mad forever, and love cured everything. I had a lot of faith in humanity. I was very accepting, and I saw in rainbows. I was completely perplexed by racism and even at one point in time believed I was a Democrat.
So here we are in the present. I don't believe in rainbows anymore, but I put my faith somewhere much firmer. I know God in a way that I always dreamed I could. My walk with him is by no means perfect, but now I listen instead of thinking I have all the answers. When I was younger I loved perfection, the idea of it. I really counted on forever and someone's word being their bond. Then I grew up, and I did the one thing I worked hardest not to do: I looked behind myself.
My journey was long and filled with mistakes, but it was my road. I could not have lived or loved any other way. Still, I think it did not have to be so hard. I did not have to learn how to love at the age of 32. I pushed everyone around me too hard. I moved on too quickly and to be honest, some people never stood a chance to know me or love me. Now I love for the right reasons. I love those who don't ask to be loved, I help those who say they don't need it, and I stay when it makes more sense to go. I fight harder and wiser. I think two moves ahead, and for once, I live with few regrets.
For 16 years, I have lived my life with my husband. I have been my husband's wife, friend, and lover. It's been a hell of a ride, one that is no where near over. He used to tell people that I had the hardest job in the world, being his wife. He's right. For every step toward him I took, he walked up hill a little more. He is the most difficult person to please that I have ever encountered. He's heard me say many times that he did not need me to love him because he was already in love with himself enough for the both of us. We are oil and water. We have few of the same beliefs, habits, or even dreams. Still, because we are stubborn and we aren't quitters we refuse to give up. We find our compromises and spend a good deal of time laughing at each other. Yet, when things are the hardest, we know that we only have each other. We both love passionately and each year we turn right back around to each other.
I fought hard for my marriage. I was pretty mad for a while that it was so much work. Then I had my own little epiphany. I thought about this being called God. I looked back over my life and it occurred to me that all those years I spent seeking knowledge, maybe he was along for the ride and waiting on me. As imperfect as I was and obviously confused, he sat by patiently and silently. He pointed no fingers and held no grudges. He wanted me to love him on my own. He had no reason to love me. I wasn't anything like him at all. He loved me just because.
Maybe all my mistakes made me who I am today. Maybe because I had to fight so hard I appreciate it more. Regardless, this journey is what it is. I love because I want to not because I feel like I am supposed to. I am always a child of God, and nothing can ever change that. Sure I still screw up constantly, but I know that grace is not earned, it is a gift.