No moment in my life has been so important as the moment that I realized that this life isn't all about me. Have you ever gone through the motions in your life, only to be pulled up short by a thought that if you died today, you'd have left a legacy of bitterness? Your life would be counted among those countless ruinous lives that faded away in regret and left nothing noteworthy behind. I'd love to say that moment occurred years ago, but sadly, it's only occurred in the last several years. I have to say that this watershed began the day I fell in love with my husband. No, I take that back, it was actually after that. Several years after that, in fact. It was the day I realized that I loved my husband more than I loved myself.
If anyone tells you that a realization such as this is bogus, or that it isn't right, or that it is constraining, don't listen to them. This realization is one of the most freeing things in the world, because it allows you to step outside of yourself and grow for the better.
Years ago, I was a very angry person. As a young child, I was very passionate and very vocal. This combination is not really a good one as you grow up and go through school. I could never bite my tongue, I could never reserve my thoughts. I had to blurt them out, usually in a vociferous manner, and they usually disturbed others. I was not a good listener and I would never admit fault. This particular type of passion was negative. It didn't uplift anyone, it didn't motivate people to like me, it drove people away. I was self-righteous, a know-it-all, uncaring, violent, petty, just not a good person. I sabotaged myself, over and over. I couldn't just be happy, I couldn't get happy. I self-harmed, I tried so hard to get any attention I could get, positive or negative. In high school, I finally learned to start liking myself. I started shedding that insecurity that comes with being a big girl, with a big mouth and few friends.
College was bucolic compared to my high school experience. People actually liked me for me and not the preconceived notion of me that came with living in a small town where everyone knew your past and your present. I started changing and growing, some of the cracks in my heart started getting bandaged, and I found lifelong friends that got my goofiness, that liked my quirks, that really and truly liked me. Then I hit a wall. I fell in love.
It was my first true love, the kind that makes you smile quietly to yourself when you think about it. For 9 months that love became my life. I drove 2 hours each way every weekend to see him. I gave myself to him, body and soul. It was great, while it lasted. Slowly, ever so slowly, cracks in the facade started appearing. There was a slow erosion of our relationship. When it ended, it ended with a whimper and I became broken. I limped through the last semester of college and barely passed a couple of my classes. I started my old bad habits.
I went on a tear for the next 3 years that included self-sabotage, jumping from job to job, including an epic failure for one single solitary semester as a secondary English teacher, and barely eking out a living. I lived in crappy ass apartments and partied every night with friends who were as destructive as I.
Then I met my match. He was actually a set up for my best friend through one of their mutual friends. After that first meeting, I actually told my friend that he looked "dorky". Insert chortle here. Oh, silly me. I mean, I was a total band geek in high school! Like I really have any room to talk. I should have known better. Anyhow, if you're still reading, I'll shorten it up a bit. We met, fell in love, married, and several years in, I finally realized it. This man is so important to me, that I will put him above myself. I will put his happiness above my own. The moment that you actually swallow your pride and say sorry is empowering. It's empowering because you are saying it to ensure that this person you love stays happy and in doing that, you give yourself the opportunity to grow and give more and more.
You know, it's ironic that it took me this long of a story about myself, to get to the point of my story, that this life isn't all about me. Haha...wow. I guess I need to work on that vanity a little bit. Anyhow, this love, this marriage, this beautiful dorky man that loves me, off-key shower singing, dancing in the kitchen fool that I am, and all, it made me whole. I resolve in this new year to remember that this life isn't about me. I resolve this new year to get rid of any residual bitterness. I resolve this new year to blog it out, then let it go. I resolve that I won't post a blog this long every single day. Truly. Thanks for reading this and welcome to The Rarely Wicked Stepmother!