As I finished up some work today a bag of photos began to fall off my bookshelf. I decided it was time to dive in for a look. Who knows maybe I’ll find something good for #tbt this week. What I realized while looking through them was that I’ve been many things in this life.
I’ve been a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, wife and ex wife. I’ve been a muse to artists; a good luck charm to MLB players; a happy kid; I have favorite places to visit and photograph; I’ve powered through fears; I’ve released ideas of what I though and prepared to be on the life; I had the greatest cohort in my sister and we laughed together more than I could imagine; I am more creative than I give myself credit; and always had support when I needed it.
The painful realization of looking through these pictures is that through all of my life I have been happy. I realize that is a strange sentence, but I hadn’t ever looked back at my life in that way. I hadn’t looked at it just from the stand point of another’s view which was capturing a little girl doubled over in laughter, best friends hugging and smiling, etc… I always viewed it from my experience only. In one picture i see my outfit and remember being pissed that my mom wouldn’t let me wear the matching bottoms and that my hands were sticky. Or in another photo being hung over and upset because I had fought with my best friend recently. Or found out that day that I wasn’t divorced like I thought I was!!
However, the one day that every girl dreams about, her wedding day, I was the most stressed out, sad, doomed, and given up on happiness photo I have of me but of also out of all the picture of me any my childhood cohort sister. There isn’t one photo of me smiling or laughing from that day. I didn’t feel in-love, I felt rushed and backed into a corner financially. I didn’t have a voice about my needs or desires. But more importantly I was with someone that didn’t want to give me love.
I reflect on that marriage from-time-to-time and while it was 21 years ago I know there is still work to be done, because apparently I still look to date men that don’t want to love me. Why? Ask anyone that I’ve dated and they’ll say they love me, but that’s after its all said and done when we’re friends.
Is it a worthiness issue? Is it less about the ex husband and more of a past life issue? A combo platter, a buffet?
Is my greatest fear feeling love, respect, passion, and desire from a man in a romantic relationship? You betcha!! It is why I had two miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy? Hell yeah!! Do I think that if I actually had the kind of love I want, am worthy of, and desire that I will crack into a million pieces because it will destroy my heart? Double you betcha and raise you 3 hell yeahs! Do I know in my heart that this needs to happen? Without a doubt. Am I scared as f—k? Yes.
But what I’ve also learned is that all the current digital pictures I have are of a completely different me. I am still restless. I am still prone to anger and laughter. I still want to move. I also am very comfortable in my skin, well when I’m in it. I no longer cringe and want to die when a man sees me naked, but I appreciate what’s behind the look. I am no longer hurt because I am not his everything. I am still okay after I sparkle in the presence of a man. I can speak my truth and not worry about him then discontinuing to care. What I see now is a woman that is free and allows freedom. I no longer hold onto love like its never going to be there again. Maybe, just maybe that means I’m ready to receive?
What emotions do your old photographs encore???