I felt it. That inner pull that wouldn’t let me get comfortable, no matter how much I tried. The arguments became more intense and the revelations more truthful. I had to leave my little cocoon of unemployed “bliss” and head for the unknown. I knew I had to come out of that cocoon and fly with my beautiful new wings into the unknown—in search of the holy grail of my self-realized life.
But let’s back up a few steps though—to how this all came about.
The opportunity of a lifetime was presented to me almost five months ago to the date. My father was leaving his wife of twenty-eight years and I had just lost my job as a senior account executive at a prestigious PR firm; I was about to embark upon something I had wanted since I was a little girl … the opportunity to spend all the time in the world with my dad, with no interruptions. Mr. Wonderful! The guy who could do no wrong—even if he stood me up every chance he got as a weekend dad—it didn’t matter and I loved him with all my heart and forgave him anyway.
It was exactly two weeks into me being reunited with my father and living on the floor of his newly-rented 500 square foot apartment—when we had our first argument. (not ever, but it had been several years) Suffice it to say, that this not only devastated me, it agitated the deepest levels of my soul. How dare he! I thought. I’m a grown, thirty-eight-year-old woman. What right does he have to talk to me like this? And furthermore, he should only feel so lucky that I am gracing him with my presence and forgiveness.
Yeah, I know. I flatter myself, don’t I? But let’s move forward, back to the story …
So, my chance of a lifetime quickly turned into a middle-aged nightmare. So many emotions and thoughts swirling through my head and rushing to the surface of every nerve in my body. I was literally overcome with all the muck at the bottom of the lake—my pristine, translucent opportunity-of-a-lifetime chance—now a quagmire of hurt, anger, disappointment, disbelief, and utter confusion.
Don’t make any sudden decisions; I silently told myself. Just forgive. Ugh, there’s that loaded, easier-to-say-than-do word. Forgive. So I took a couple of deep breaths and muttered a silent prayer for him, and then myself. It went a little like this, “God, please help my father handle this massive transition and sudden change in his life. And … PLEASE, help me to forgive him, heal any old wounds while simultaneously deflecting any of his new attempts to wound me, so I can move on with my life!”
They say that times of crisis are presented with the duality of an opportunity as well. And, that most often times they reveal a “blessing in disguise.” While, yes I do agree—I suppose I should be careful what I ask for. All my life, I wanted my father—Mr. Wonderful—to build things for me, take me to the daddy/daughter dance, fix my car when it broke, pick me up when I fell, wipe my tears when I cried, and chase away the bad boys knocking at the door for dates. But, dad was always busy with his new family or just unavailable in general. Let’s just say, that I had to teach myself to drastically lower my expectations when it came to my father—and just accept whatever it was he wanted to give, which usually amounted to the leftover scraps. If that.
Oh well. Moving on.
Then it came time for me to own my feelings and stake my claim in life. You know. Be that grown-up, strong woman version of my “bettered” self. Yeah, well … she never existed. She was most often walking around with a mask on, to hide the scars. But, also to prove she was better than that. Better than being that girl who got stood up by her father, because he had other things going on. Better than that girl who was ignored, because he had other things on his mind. Better than the girl who got sent to a foster home, because her mother nor her father wanted or loved her. Yes she was—better than that! Yet somehow she couldn’t determine the value of herself. Ironic isn’t it?
Until one day. In a seemingly unsuspecting yet very alarming surge—it all came back up to the surface like a tsunami. WHAT the? Uh, oh. Now what do I do?
A blanket of panic set in with me, because I had zero “life-skills tools” in my tool box for this sort of repair job.
The only thing I knew for sure was … it’s time! Healer, heal thyself. And, if you can’t—then get some help.
So I did what any level-headed American would naturally do. I promptly made an appointment for the doctor and got myself an anti-depressant prescription. Along with a prescription for muscle relaxers.
This should do it! I naively believed. (Don’t we all wish we could just take a pill and it’d all be better?)
Yea, well it didn’t! Big surprise there, right? The funny or I suppose not so funny thing is…I tried this route twice, over the course of three years. Until now. The real opportunity of a lifetime, blessing in disguise, full circle moment of truth; forgive, heal, move forward! (oh and have a lot of laughs in the meantime) So, here I am. All thirty-eight years of myself. Looking in that mirror, asking those tough questions, and hitting the re-set button to get it right! Try, try, and try again.
Is it hard work to do? You bet! Am I hoping this will be the big payoff I’ve been silently searching for all my life? That’s a rhetorical question.
Here’s to our collective health! Live consciously, love unconditionally, and laugh often.