My life has been punctuated with various things I have said which I never thought I would say. Let’s be honest here; mainly mothering type stuff. Stuff like: “Please don’t dance on the magazines.” “Quit licking your brother.” “Come stick your hand in the dispose-all.” Then there is the ever popular “Let me see your underwear.”
And things I never thought I would do: CPR on an about-to-be-pronounced-dead-person. Snorkeling in the gloriously warm waters of Hawaii. Riding on a commuter train with a chandelier. Wait. What?
Yes, the other night I shared a ride home with a chandelier. But not just any kind of chandelier, oh no. This was a pineapple shaped chandelier. True story.
To sum it up, one of my sister-in-laws has just purchased her first home with her husband and they are now making it their own. Lots of painting and refinishing and replacing going on….and removing of chandeliers which seemed to be everywhere in that house. Anywho, she gave me a pineapple shaped chandelier because I thought it is interesting and beautiful and I just happened to get it from her on a night I rode the commuter train down into Salt Lake City. So, I took the chandelier for a ride back home on said commuter train. Never thought I would do that. Okay, so it was boxed up and it wasn’t like I was carrying it held high like the Statue of Liberty might have, but still. I took it with me. After all, how many times can you do that? Not many. Pretty impressive for someone who has never taken a chandelier anywhere, let alone on a train.
So, this got me to thinking.
The past 18 months of my life have been rich with things that I never thought I would do. Or say. Or be. Things I never thought I would feel, words I never thought I would say and ideas I never thought I would have–all leading me to be a person I never thought I would be; or even could be.
One of my favorite things to say to the husband is “I’m not the same girl you married”, which is true. But you know what? He’s not the same guy I married, either. So we’re even. However, I truly and deeply am not the same girl he married and I never thought I would be who I am right now. Yes, some things are consistent season after season–I’m talking more than just physically–but there has been a very definite, very pronounced, shift internally.
A cumbersome hurdle in the past slice of my life is getting over who I used to be vs. who I am now. Sounds silly and juvenile, I know. Can you believe I actually mourned–and wept– for the loss of who I once was? In my mind’s eye I could see all of the things that I “used” to do…”used” to be…”used” to love…”used” to want…and it was so very frustrating and heartbreaking to let go of those personal expectations. Depression, a deep and abiding depression, was the catalyst leading me to compare myself B.B. (before breakdown) and A.B. (after breakdown). So, yes. I went through the grieving process for the girl I once was and have had to embrace the newer, and perhaps more beautiful, parts of me. Never thought I’d do that.
I will spare you all of the gory details and give you just a smattering of what I’m talking about. I used to crave approval from others. And now? Meh. Whatever. I have always enjoyed lively social situations and pursued being a social person. Gone are the days I lived for the next gathering. I have to talk myself into being social and attending “social” events–even family soirees. Hermit-like, I just prefer to be at home on the down-low. I used to love to sing for others and would take every opportunity to do so. It was my drug of choice. Now I sing for me. I’ll sing for anyone who asks, but the joy is gone. My spiritual beliefs used to be very black and white with little room for variation and tolerance. And now? Now there are oh-so-many shades of gray. I see with different eyes. I hear with different ears. Out of necessity I have had to take the very essentials of my religion and make a conscious choice to cling to those. These aren’t the only changes but they are some of the largest. Never thought those things would change. Never.
As with any changing, there comes both the good and the bad. Yes, I am no closer to perfection than I once was but I have this swelling inside of me that tells me I am closer to who I am supposed to be. It’s almost as if these changes are following a natural course but were brought about in a very inconvenient way. Through these events I have discovered once hidden and wonderful things about me that I was unaware of before. Things that renew my faith in myself–who I was and will be–and in my God. They feel…right. It is a unique and a strangely satisfying feeling.
Now that I think about it, half of the fun of that train ride with my pineapple chandelier was knowing it was inside the box where no one could see it. I knew it was in there, like my own little secret, but I am sure that no one else would have appreciated it like I do. And that’s okay.
Maybe I’m like the chandelier in the box. I know I’m in here, even though I’m different from what I once was. Maybe no one but me will appreciate these interesting and beautiful changes in me. And that’s okay, because more importantly than anyone else, I appreciate them. I appreciate me and who it is I am slowly and joyfully becoming.
Never thought I’d do that.
1. The anticipation of 5 days off! Woot!
2. Segullah Writing Retreat on saturday. Oh man, I can’t wait!
3. My youngest molding himself against me after just waking up.
4. Allergy pills.
5. Garlic bread. Don’t ask.