During these years there were so many pieces of myself placed on the shelf. So many of my wants and needs that I pushed aside in an effort to be a good wife and mother. I don’t know how people say things like “I have no regrets” and have that be an actual true statement. It sounds nice but the reality is there will always be things that we regret, things that we wish we had done differently. I really regret not making my wants, needs, and desires a priority. I consistently put myself last in the hopes that my sacrifice would be recognized or rewarded at some later date. The problem with that is if all we have is now later never arrives. This was perfect breeding ground for resentment.
We were married on a Thursday in September, on the very cliffs where we had blown dandelions only a few months earlier. Of course, there were a couple of hiccups, like the photographer got lost, the violinist never showed, and the little white carpet for the isle didn’t get put down until the last second. None of that changed the fact that we were getting married. The carpet was put in place just as the photographer finally found us and the show went on even without the violin’s music wafting through the air. I was happy. We chose to keep things simple, there was no need for flowers or decorations. We had a beautiful sunset, rocky cliffs, and the ocean no need to embellish the natural beauty of the day.
I was new at this love thing, so I came out with guns blazing. I wanted to go places together, do cool things, to hang out all the time, but most of all just to be held. It’s so simple but the things I wanted most of all was to simply be held. For him to look into my eyes knowing everything good and bad about me. To have his arms around me and feel that I was safe. To be loved for my imperfections and to be allowed to grow into the best version of myself. My ideas of how love was expressed was purely based on what I had gathered from songs, movies, TV shows, and books. I had never seen what I believed to be real love exercised by anyone in my life. I just collected the good parts of the real relationships that I had seen while vowing to avoid the negative parts. I had it all figured out.
I actually just looked up the words surrender and submit and almost had a panic attack. It was all this talk of “yielding” power and control. To willingly give oneself up to another, to allow something to happen to you! There was also talk about the person you are surrendering or submitting to being more powerful or having authority over you! The surrendered party having admitted defeat because they were not powerful enough to resist! I do not know how this is humanly possible outside of an actual battle where one surrenders or submits so that they might survive to fight another day. I don’t know that I have the capacity to surrender to another human at this point in my life.
Looking back, I truly feel as if every time I thought I couldn’t make it or wanted to just drown myself in a sea of my own, tears something or someone wonderful would be integrated into my life. Most times it was ephemeral, but it was always enough to keep me in afloat with dryland in sight.