The Easter bunny was not as gripping as Santa Claus for me, nonetheless, as a child, we still decorated Easter eggs and our parents hid them as we searched anxiously throughout grandma’s yard for them. Whoever found the most was the “winner,” though winner of what, I’m unsure, aside from a warrant to boast. And I really loved boiled eggs – still do, though not as much as I did as a child. I especially loved when grandma would devil them up, er, make deviled eggs – I wonder why they are called deviled?
My dear mother was born on Good Friday, my aunt, brother, and mother’s birthdays have all fallen on Easter at some point in history and I am far from religious. Today, I do not celebrate this holiday. When you’re a kid, you’re more concerned with whether or not the Easter bunny is going to bring you a basket full of crap that’s going to “rot your teeth out” as the elders would quip. As an adult, you come to realize how deeply religious this holiday is and I’m just not one of those people that you’ll find sitting in a pew one Sunday out of the entire year.
I do miss the family gatherings, however, and there’s nothing like a holiday to make me realize just how much I miss them. I’d give anything to dye some eggs and whip up a home cooked Easter dinner with my mother right about now. It’s a beautiful, sunny Spring day in Los Angeles and the sounds of gathering families are plenty while the scents of their fruitful meals they’ll sit down to soon waft through the air.
Holidays just remind me of how I lost my family, gained one, and then lost that one, too. Dramatic sounding, I know, but it’s the truth and I kind of hate admitting how lonely I can be on days like today. I hate how speaking the truth can sometimes sound like I’m looking for sympathy when really I’m just looking for a release. And what good is the writing if I can’t release the truth and unload the weight that has burdened me for so long for shoving it deep down inside?
There aren’t many men in my life that I can state have been there for me when I needed them, at least not without some ulterior motive to be met. I can probably count on one hand in all sincerity. This began with the first man to ever have a significant impact upon my life, my dad. He was very good at instilling fear and anxiety but very poor at instilling faith, confidence, and security.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve stopped blaming others for my anxiety, grief, fear, faults, etcetera, and realized he or she only has the power to cause negativity within my life if I allow him or her to. In some cases, this means I’ve had to cease exerting my energy toward a relationship I may have had because maintaining one sided relationships are counter productive to my self improvement. In order to break a cycle of seeking the familiar I must confidently step outside of my comfort zone and seek what I’ve always deserved.
Finding myself utter names I haven’t spoken in years with disdain and anger in my heart is a wake up call. I had no idea I had been suppressing so much out of pure human instinct. We suppress to protect ourselves from painful realities but I’m ready to unpack. I’m ready to face those realities with every ounce of muster I can conjure up.
From being forgotten after elementary school days and waiting what felt like hours for my mother to fetch me and being inexplicably dropped by so-called best friends after ten years of friendship with not so much as a word of clarification, I’m ready. From witnessing my drunken, passed out father from the age of five to his erratic, unpredictable drug-addicted behavior at sixteen, I’m ready. From being the ex-girlfriend of so many once beloveds who have since found their life partner, created a family and overcome personal obstacles to losing both of my parents within a span of four months to losing whom I once considered the love of my life two years later, I am ready.
I have been disregarded, forsaken, and taken for granted by so many, especially the men who have come and gone in my life, but at the end of the day, I love myself and I know my worth. I am now ready to unpack the heavy load I have carried with me for thirty-one plus years.
I’m entering into, for lack of better terms, a new phase in life – one where the silent, uneasy solitude will be my best friend whether I like her or not, one whom I must become familiar with until I do like her. Her company will most likely reveal the desirable and not so desirable filthy corners of an old soul, coercing me into, yet another, inadvertent spiritual cleanse.
It’s like reincarnation because I learned a long time ago that life isn’t a continuous piece of string looping through jungle gyms and obstacle courses. It is several different pieces of string that we’re dangerously swinging from, holding on tightly with weakened hands, possibly with a direction in mind, but always falling or unintentionally veering off course. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not always unintentional. Sometimes one decision, no matter how big or how small, can completely alter the direction our lives have been taking, empirically shifting almost everything about them. It’s like we’re cats with nine lives.
I’m not certain which life I’m headed into right now though if I had to guess, I would guess it’s somewhere around eight. And if I’m right, I better make this shit count! And just in case there’s any confusion, I’m not talking about some hippie, drink only lemon juice and cayenne then meditate for twelve hours cleanse or life, either. I’m simply describing that almost transcendental feeling of ruminating on the past and feeling as if a couple of years ago was actually lifetimes ago or as if it were possibly someone else’s life that I’m merely retelling a story of. Perhaps it was even a book I read?
Either way, I must carry what I learned and experienced to the present and utilize it for the greater good of those around me and myself. I’ve begun to feel as if I was put on this earth to only plant seeds, to be a part of someone’s life for what feels like such a short time because once you truly love and care for another life, time is irrelevant to the emotions. A lifetime can feel utterly insufficient. Enter lesson number 9,153 – My mother always reminded me, “The price of love is grief.”
I have come home in anxious pursuit of unlocking my mailbox to find that letter – that letter from the Los Angeles County Courthouse confirming my freedom, proof that my divorce is final. I have done this every single day for the past two and a half years. I have yet to receive that letter but I know that day will come. I know the day will come that I am no longer addressed as Mrs. (insert married last name), and my past mistakes can truly become just that – a part of my past.
Everyone jokes that a celebration is in order once I do obtain that piece of paper but I don’t find it a joking matter at all – I most definitely intend on celebrating in a very grand way. Ever heard of a divorce party? Well, it’s a thing and it will be a thing in my life – hopefully very soon.
I mull over the last two and a half years since deciding to end my marriage and that repetitive saying that, “life is crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe the roller coaster ride I have been subjected to. Life is downright insane! Life is a bitch as my mother liked to say. I’m a fucking survivor and I have to hold on to the hope and the belief that there will come a day where the fight, the struggle, the need to survive isn’t so necessary anymore. In the meantime, I’ll hang on to enjoyable memories that make my heart go pitter-pat and meaningful distractions that remind me of life’s greater pleasures.
I have been forever young, basking in the wondrous delight of indestructible spirits and I have inhaled the recycled air of last breaths, sharing space and time with destructive disease. I have spent lingering nights tasting the cool, crisp earth of immortal youth and reveling in its naïve sheen and I’ve laid next to death’s inevitable, unbiased truth, shivering in its finality. I have danced in the dim candlelight, made time stand still for an entire song and I have shed endless tears to a single repetitive chorus, red, swollen eyes shielded by a culmination of metal and plastic. I have soundly slept on winter’s sand at the edge of the world without the anticipation of another sunrise and I have wished to peacefully fall into a permanent sleep, one where my mortality calmly meets with a world I am unsure even exists.