Hi everyone… Super vulnerable post here…please scroll on if you aren’t in the mood for my honesty. I’ll still love you. I hesitated to post the picture of me after I got the first covid vaccine this evening. Why do you ask? Because I was very afraid of judgement or people wondering why I got it now. I am not in health care. I am young(ish), healthy, energetic and not on the phase one list from what people who don’t know me can tell. If you have been a close part of my life; you know that one of my biggest challenges is admitting that my health history differs from anyone else. I KNOW my life is a miracle, I believe all of our lives are miracles…I’ve just gotten many little miracles that are in my face along the journey. I’m a little prideful (and a lot grateful). Sometimes that pride wins. Never will I willingly place myself in a position to be seen as weak or less than. If that means faking my way through something that scares the shit out of me, I can go there quicker than you can blink your eyes. But on the inside, I am so afraid. That stance is exhausting. I lived 47 years ago through a major surgery for a congenital heart defect. The odds were 50/50. I am here. I have people I love with all of my heart who lost their babies who had the same defect or even a lesser defect in recent years. Why? I have no answers. Guilt and shame…I do carry those well. That big ole stroke in 2009 that I fought forever to get through my head that it wasn’t my fault. It really wasn’t my fault. There was a hole in my heart and it let a clot through and the result was that I got to learn to walk again. The biggest gift is the takeaway lessons I got. Life isn’t about staying busy and important; love wins and I can do things I never imagined I would ever have to do. So much more…not in the place to discuss all of that here. I remember the doctor well who indicated I was lucky to have ‘made it’. More guilt. More shame. How many people don’t make it? I went to the dr yesterday for a little procedure. I had just experienced two of the most painful injections…one in each plush butt cheek. I was feeling weepy and helpless. If you have been subject to lots of ‘being the patient’, you understand the vulnerability of that moment. She chose that time…when I was laying on the table with no way to escape (super smart lady)…to discuss with me the reasons I was ‘high risk’ even though I was a ‘poster child’ for tetrology of fallot and she wanted me to be on the list for the high risk vaccinations. So, to the list I went. I do not identify myself as a person with a significant health history; I fought long and hard not to do that. I do not want to be known as high risk anything.. I identify as me…a brave, joyful, loved by God, whimsical woman who is whole, surrendered and basking in the warmth of God’s sunshine. That is me. But sometimes I forget and it becomes more important to me to make sure that ‘you’ don’t think me less and I try too hard to explain.
In gracious answer to anyone who rightly wonders how and why I got that vaccination early….there you go. I’m sorry. I know there are a billion of me walking around and I want everyone to get a vaccine sooner than later. Also, I take no moment for granted; good or bad. Treasure your moments. For real. Before covid, after covid…everything in between…this is your one beautiful life. I am going to have one little bitty more glass of wine, go to bed and give thanks and prayers for it ALL. Sweet dreams.
I wasn’t going to write tonight. Each time I had started to do so, I came up with nothing but feisty, unkind, passive aggressive wording, yet, here I am. Thanks to the love, prayers, positive energy and encouragement that surround me, I have decided to try to be brave and share my heart. Let’s hope I don’t regret it in the morning.
This is not a pretty post. Not at all. It’s kind of ugly and I just pray that I keep it about my experience and not someone else’s story. Whatever.
I am in the middle of learning some tough lessons. About myself, relationships, the difference between love and lust…so much. So fucking much. Lessons that I expect I ‘should’ have down by down at the ripe age of 46. I guess after being with one man for 23 years, I’m not joking when I say I am like a teenager at times and these growing pains are simply yuck.
My heart aches. Deeply. Every time I face rejection from a man, in any aspect, it’s like I bring into it a lifetime of rejection. It rapidly becomes all about everything I am not rather than about what the situation really is. Tonight, someone I am particularly fond and who has been precious (in my eyes) ‘defriended’ me on social media. Really. So familiar to what I hear my teenagers struggle with at times. I don’t even know why. It doesn’t matter. It stung and started a flood of tears that I can’t seem to stop.
An onslaught of failures, lies and struggles suck me in. Failed marriage. Poor choices. Less than. Never enough. Won’t happen. Negligent. Disorganized. Scattered. Settled for. Two faced. Fat. Broken. Messed up. Crazy. Damaged. Wounded. Stubborn. Less than, again. Optional. Disposable. Debris. Stupid. Boring. Too much. Not enough, again. Temporary. Unworthy. Plain. Short hair. Gross. Hurting. The list goes on.
Through it all, my mind keeps hearing the words of a dear friends prayer for me, along with a sermon that I have listened to numerous times lately. It’s all about the story we tell ourselves. We might tell ourselves something that is not necessarily a lie, but instead a twisted up version of the truth. It really pinged my heart because I know that I tend to live in the truth of my story instead of the truth of who God really made me to be….especially in regard to my relationships with men.
I am happily confident in my job, work hard in school, and adore my internship. I am a magnificent friend, the best Momma for my kids and try hard to fill my other roles with all the love, giving, compassion and care that I can give. Bottom line, I feel ‘good enough’ in these roles for the most part and when I don’t, I make changes accordingly. That’s one Sarah. She knows who she is and what she wants. She believes it is just as important to play hard as it is to work hard; she is not hesitant to go for what she wants.
Then…there is the Sarah who sees herself as disposable. She is seeking a real and deep love, a true connection with a gentleman that holds truth and freedom in it. She is looking for the hands that will hold her heart with love, gentleness and protection. She knows she has much to give BUT….this woman sees herself as a young girl who is overweight, awkward, painfully shy and unwanted. No matter how she ‘looks’ to others, and despite the way she works on positive changes…she mostly sees herself as someone broken, deeply lacking or undesirable. This feeling sucks. I know it’s not truth, but it ‘feels’ truthful in the moment and operating from that truth leads to a plethora of poor choices. Choices that disregard who I am at my core and what I hope for in this life. Choices that are made out of a fear of being without companionship. Choices that give a temporary band-aid to lonely feelings but absolutely do not result in long term fulfillment. Choices that are made because there is gratitude that someone desires me vs. knowing it is a privilege to have time with me.
I’m not speaking to intentional choices I make as a grown woman to participate in relationships that are fun, fulfilling in their own way and not long term. I am referring specifically to participating in relationships knowing full well that it won’t be what I want it to be, but choosing to believe I can change it to what I desire. I can BS myself like no other, but don’t worry, I speak the truth to others. So often that it gets me in trouble…not everyone wants that.
The story that I tell myself is that I will never find the love of my life, so I may as well enjoy whatever the moment offers. I will not ever be ‘the one’ to someone special, so I shall act accordingly. I’ve already had that, kind of, so God wants me to live the rest of my life alone and serving others. (I put those words to God, nothing I feel from him). I may as well go for the men who are not going to be long lasting, because in the end, they will leave. So why choose the ones I will really give my heart to? They too, will leave. Both will hurt but the latter will hurt far less. Choose the lesser of two evils, right? In the process, I am getting hurt and I am hurting others…unintentional as it may be. All of my protective forces are accomplishing nothing worth mentioning.
Who knows what of this is true and what is not? I know I am supposed to honor who I believe I am…a brave, worthy, happy, truly loved by God, whimsical, whole and surrendered woman. That is who I believe I was made to be, yet when I am engaging with men I am willing to trade that in for whatever they need me to be. That’s got to be better than what I really have to offer, right? Better even, let me serve as therapist and best friend ever, maybe even as a nurturing mom role. Ewwww. But it comes so natural.
A precious friend recently told me that “God made me and his work is always beautiful”. I love that friend and his heart. I want to believe his words. My heart agrees, it is beautiful…my brain taunts me by letting me know I’ll never measure up. But to who? How long am I going to let others opinion of me determine how I view myself. It’s ridiculous. Real stuff, but ridiculous.
I have a safety plan. Another dear friend and I have a ‘twenty year plan’. If neither of us are married at age 60, or in 20 years…we can marry each other. This is our little funny! In truth, I freak myself out. What if I die before then without experiencing the gift of a deep and abiding love with the ‘right’ man. I know…God’s timing…it’s just so hard for me to trust.
I am tired. I cannot believe I am ‘here’. There are new crinkles around my eyes and I see faint wrinkles on the delicate skin of my neck. I can’t seem to keep up with the fastness of passing time.
My precious children…lots of love and hugs from them tonight. That should be more than sufficient. Why do I long for anything more? I just do. Even in my deep gratitude, there is a constant yearning.
This is my story. I’m trying to figure out how to live in the truth of who I am…in ALL of the circumstances and with ALL of the people. I am trying to let go of the story I once helped me survive and embrace the story that is truth.