Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stop Looking Behind You, You're Not Going That Way

After 36 years and millions of tears, today I realized that I am badass, and it is perfectly okay to move on from my past.

This week has been a shitstorm of emotions triggered by what was to be a visit to my small, southern hometown for an annual festival. When I was a kid, this festival was the highlight of my year. It was magical with contests, games, shows and a carnival. I lived with my GGma (my great-grandmother) down the street from the festivities, so I would walk there and wander around for hours.

After I moved away, I still visited during festival time. I had prime parking at my GGma's house and my dog would play with hers while I ran to buy GGma a funnel cake. By this time she was in her 80's and could no longer go to the festival due to her hip replacements. I remember the joy on her face when she came outside to greet us as we pulled into the driveway. She lived for days like those.

This week all I could think about was that I had nowhere to park for the festival. I could park at GGma's old house, but it wouldn't be the same because she isn't there. I could go downtown, walk through the vendors, smell the food, and see familiar faces that no longer matter to me, all the while glancing down the road toward the cemetery where GGma, my mom, and my grandmother all rest. This town, where I made so many mistakes and have so many regrets, was no longer a place of comfort. It was a reminder of my losses and failures. I dreaded this the entire week, even to the point of giving myself a migraine for two days.

This morning, after waking with my head pounding from a night full of nightmares, I decided that I will not live this way anymore. So many times we, as women, live in the past. We blame ourselves for things that we have no control over. Maybe if I hadn't spilled my drink, my daddy wouldn't have beaten me. Maybe if I had been prettier my mom would have loved me and stayed. Maybe if I hadn't worn that outfit, that man wouldn't have raped me. Fuck that shit. The past is finished. While we may still have scars, maybe even some painful arthritis from past events, we cannot let these events control us. Women are amazing beings with powerful brains and hearts bursting with love. We must learn to grow from the past and not dwell in it.

After I decided to not go home, I got up, took a shower, and my migraine disappeared. I felt that I had taken one of the biggest steps of my life towards personal peace. I encourage everyone to do the same. Think about something you need to let go, and just do it. I still have many other issues I need to work out, but I feel good. I'm ready to take on the world.

Fuck the past. I'm moving on.

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