I was this week old when I had my first taste of alcohol. Ever. Let me do the math for you. My half birthday was on October 1, making me 47.5 years old. My unlearning, letting go, and reidentification of Self as told me into Self as I create and choose me has now occupied a decade, plus at least four years more. There have been a handful of milestone moments in this my unlearning phase of the life I’m living.
If I provide you a checklist it might be easier for you to follow along and keep track.☑ Stop wearing the clothes I’ve been told to wear ☑ Start wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, and skirts above the knee ☑ Stop weekly attendance at Sunday service ☑ Breathe deeply when church members openly judge me and call my attention to my sins ☑ Actively engage in debriefing conversations with my daughter about what she is being told and taught and wonder if the entire world might actually stop spinning if we walk away entirely ☑ Remind myself my daughter’s accusation of me wearing a bikini is a sin is not my daughter’s thought but one planted in her by someone else ☑ Imagine, again, a world in which we live without the weight of what is expected, required and obligatory ☑ Show up to therapy and talk out loud to the sofa across from mine using language I was never taught correlated to marriage, relationship, and love. Words like rape and sexual abuse ☑ See that healing a wound I didn’t know I had will require behaving in a way I didn’t know I was allowed and I will, like Eve, sin in the eyes of others but in my own eyes, heart and soul understand the necessity of knowing I am not broken and be known by a man ☑ Go DEEP with the guilt of my learned bad behavior, spend countless sleepless nights praying and pleading with my God for forgiveness, understanding, and desperation that He not take my daughter from me, that the earth remain intact and not swallow me whole, that my sins not be as visible as Hester’s scarlet letter ☑ Drop therapy for making me feel worse on the other side of a session on the couch than progressing or understanding anything ☑ Know in my heart that constantly revisiting the past is no way to create a future ☑ Go back to school. Sure. Get a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology because that’s the obvious thing to do ☑ Reinvent God and my entire relationship to Him. Wow. He is so much bigger than I ever understood before ☑ Say “FUCK” for first time ☑ Recognize that using the words SHIT, FUCK AND DAMN take practice to incorporate into my vernacular — for others’ comfort and my own ☑ Send my daughter to university in a city too far from my heart ☑ Begin what may be a lifetime of grieving the vacancy left in her absence, a void from 18 years of daily loving no longer with me ☑ Sell my home and downsize into a city that is too small to hold me ☑ Move across the country to check off others’ dream of LA living that was never my dream ☑ Keep dreaming ☑ Survive LA ☑ Complete my graduate studies ☑ Fall in love with being with my Self ☑ Reconnect and reinvent relationship with my brother, be fully and truly seen by him — the first and only member of my family to reach out to me for understanding, for loving and being together by choice ☑ Receive my dad’s cancer diagnosis with a criss-cross applesauce move back across the country, carrying and keeping only that which fits into the Civic. Nothing else matters. ☑ For the first time in my 47 years come home as my Self, wholly, fully, in my loving ☑ Live simply as the presence of Love, loving both my parents exactly where, who and why they are. I am Love. And I am loving every single minute. ☑ Meet Grief again and in an entirely new way on June 29 ☑ Take a deep breath and taste a mimosa because the earth won’t swallow me, my mom still loves me, my daughter will always be mine and I will keep creating me. With love. As love. Only always.