Hurricane season hasn’t even begun, yet I find myself sitting in the middle of a huge storm. I had plenty of time to prepare for it and I knew I would eventually have to face it. I laughed at the warnings, the premonitions, and dreams I had, and just always hoped that at the last second it would make that sharp left, detour, and leave me unscathed. Unfortunately, for once the weathermen of my life got this one right.
The @#$%-storm that is my personal life made landfall a few weeks ago, and turned my world as I had come to know it upside down. The first half of the storm brought catastrophic winds that ripped down the walls I had built to protect myself and no amount of plywood or preparation could match this force. The insults and personal attacks fell like pelting rain, and there was no one there to protect me when they did. Then came the eye, the part of the storm where everyone tried to assure me the worst was over, even those that had previously churned the already rough waters. People insisted that it would only make things easier, and that once the sky had cleared that my life would go back to normal. Only one problem: I didn’t even know what normal was anymore.
Storms however are unpredictable, and the only person that truly understands their outcome is God. When the clouds parted from this particular storm, even He couldn’t answer the questions I had. After events like the ones I described shake our personal lives, even the strongest-willed individuals will feel shipwrecked and alone. The weak accept their fate, and try to adapt to their new lives as much as can be expected. But the resourceful survivors put a message in a bottle, and pray that someone on a distant shore finds it and comes to their rescue.
I have spent much of the past few weeks sorting through the debris, and coming to grips with the aftermath’s implications. There have been hard times, there have been better times, and there have been even harder times. All the unanswered questions. What did I do to deserve this?... I took a chance on a person, on life, and love… and in the end I was left stranded by myself. Maybe I made a mistake by trusting someone as wholeheartedly as I did. I was a hopeless romantic, and he was… well, hopeless. Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Life isn’t about finding ourselves, it’s about creating ourselves. Perhaps if we never veered off course, we wouldn't fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. It’s about weathering the storm. You may come out a little tattered and worn, but nothing that time and love can’t heal. It doesn’t matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you will never make it through it without your friends. You pick up the pieces, learn from them, and live to fight another fight. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, its learning how to dance in the rain. It’s short...unpredictable, and nothing is ever a sure thing. So break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, and laugh uncontrollably. Above all else, never regret anything that once made you smile.
This particular storm churned up a lot of issues I thought I had long overcome: with trust, with men, with relationships in general. I’ve always approached relationships and friendships with guarded walls and a sense of insecurity. Some I guess would call it baggage, but mine was far worse than that… it was a friggin’ anchor. Maybe our pasts are just that… anchors that are holding us back. You have to let go of who you are, before you can become who you were meant to be. If you never raise the anchor, and really set sail, you’ll just end up beached on shore, or worse, caught in the storm. I’m a stronger person than a lot of the things I have allowed myself to be subjected to. And I deserve better.
It's hard to wait around for something that you know might never happen, but it’s even harder to give up especially when it’s everything you have ever wanted. Legend has it, that the Ibis is the always the last bird to flee from a hurricane, but even the bird knows when the time has come to leave. The storm will come and go, and the Ibis will be the first to appear in its wake. It’s about perseverance, and courage in the face of adversity. So maybe this isn’t giving up, maybe it’s waiting for the winds to die down. The pieces may be broken, and scattered, but nothing is beyond repair.
The rebuilding process has really made me reevaluate who I am, where I am at in life, and where I am going. The turmoil and anxiety that plagued me, the what if’s, and insecurities… they made me something I wasn’t. I have always been a people pleaser, and it killed me that I couldn’t make everyone like me. Then again.. why would I want to? You shouldn't have to sacrifice who you are just because somebody else has a problem with it. And it’s better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not. People can judge from the outside, and give their opinions, but unless you were sitting there when the storm came ashore, then you don’t have the whole story, just the abridged, second-handed one everyone wants you to believe.
Bob Marley once said--”Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I am not perfect and I don't live to be, but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”
I want the old me back, only a little stronger, a little older, and a little wiser. But who is she? Then it all comes flooding back….
I’m the kinda girl that will dance to eighties music in my underwear when no ones watching. I’m the kinda girl that will defend my favorite sports team like I do my family, and God help you if you insult them. I’m the kinda girl that puts my family and friends before all else, and a guy is lucky to come second. I’m the kinda girl that loves my cat, even if she’s a total bitch and no one else understands her. I’m the kinda girl that will listen to everyone else’s drama, and help them sort through it regardless of whatever @#$% I am experiencing in my own realm of reality. I’m the kinda girl that loves to put a smile on others faces, by sharing mine with them. I’m the kinda girl that smiles for absolutely no reason, and doesn’t care if I am the only one that gets my jokes. I'm the kinda girl that will burst out laughing in dead silence about something that happened yesterday, not because I am slow, but from the sheer memory of how a good laugh feels. I’m the kinda girl that’s sick and tired of Mr. Right Now’s, and simply wants to be with the one that makes me happy.
Yeah. I’m THAT girl.
The past few weeks have really shaken my soul, but never my faith. I put my trust and faith in the fact that God has a plan for me. People are brought into our lives for a reason, and it’s up to us to figure out what that reason is. You never know when the person you meet may be your savior. They were the rope God cast when you fell overboard from the waves in your life, to pull you back to Him. Maybe things aren’t always perfect, and the sun isn’t always shining, but who’s to say it won’t once the skies have cleared? Sometimes it takes weathering these trying circumstances and situations to prove to ourselves who we are. It’s when you learn from these experiences and grow because of them that you become the better human being. And when that little ray of sun bursts from the clouds and the warmth hits your face, you’ll know you have weathered… the Perfect Storm.
"Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."--(1 Corin. 13: 4-8)