I read a quote the other day from Ann Lamott as I have been trying to sort out why I feel the need to write the stories of the things learned and as much as I try not to use the word...the journey. Why do I feel my stories are worthy of being told and shared... Why on earth this blog? But then this popped up.
"Stories are written and told by and for people who have been broken, but who have risen up, or will rise, if attention is paid to them. Those people are you and us. Stories and truth are splints for the soul."
I knew when I came back here to do this blog, it was because stories had kept me up and night and with some gentle and not so gentle nudging from people who love me to write more. I am here for the telling of the stories and all that comes with them. I am here for truth telling and saying the things I have to say with as much honesty as I can bear. I don't know any other way.
After many years of trying hard to find peace, love, respect, happiness and connection in my marriage, on June 7, 2022 a moving truck came to my house in the morning and picked up 10 bins of fabric, embroidery projects, yarn, clothes and shoes that I had openly packed up over a few weeks (nobody even noticed the stacked bins and cleared off dresser)... the hope chest my dad made me when I was 19, two small bookcases I had recently put together and a dresser from my mom's house. I loaded my small collection of baking appliances and pans, 8 china place settings, my sewing machine and a couple of things that hung on the wall and a hour later the moving truck and my car headed west as I left my home and marriage. I ran away.
I did not give advance warning, I had done all the asking for help to piece it back together I had in me. I didn't ask for anyone to bring their trucks and help haul my stuff to my new home because this was my task and I desperately needed and wanted to do it myself. I had spent the better part of 15 years wondering how to do this and when it was going to be the right time to go. I didn't sleep from the stress and over thinking and I lived in a constant state of heartbreak, hopelessness and fear that I would never know anything else. I stopped asking for respect and support because it was time for me to respect myself enough to do what was best for me. It was time to stop abandoning what I knew was good for me for anyone else's comfort. It was time to go and although I had waited for some big "reason" or crisis to make it palatable to other people, the plain truth of it all is, I couldn't do it anymore. Nobody was coming to save me, I had to become my own warrior girl on own white horse.
I knew where I was going, I had known for a very long time...to a town 2 1/2 hours away, close to the coast, a small town with hills to climb, a downtown that was so similar to where I grew up that it felt like home and beaches to walk on. Every visit to this place had felt like comfort and peace and every time I left to return home, I was on the verge of tears. As I planned and enacted my runaway, I knew was leaving my sons behind but knew they are grown and I ached to do so but knew it was their time to also find what they want for their own lives, I couldn't save them and me at the same time.
I started fresh, living in an apartment that feels a bit like the treehouse I always wanted to live in, I have created and put together a space that feels safe and is so full of pink and pretty things that I can hardly stand it. Every day I wake up (sleeping full nights again at last) in gratitude and although living alone for the first time in my life can be daunting and achy, the peace is everything. I am grateful at the same time I grieve. Still grieving my parents and the loss of our family home, still grieving the loss of the illusion of the relationship I tried so hard to fix and create. I fully accept that if it doesn't feel like love and support, it's ridiculous to try to convince the world and myself that it's those things. I'm so unsure of what is next but letting life help me float back to the surface of things and working on becoming whole without trying to always manage what is next. Solitude is a beautiful but also overwhelming thing at times but I remind myself that this is what I wished, ached and dreamed of for so very long. This town has welcomed me, simple things like lunch on a Friday with my daughter, time with grandsons (I wish all my kids and grand children lived here honestly)a walk on the beach, new friends and a sense of belonging...it all feels like home. I am figuring out all out one day at a time, grateful for this time and place.
I simply did not know how else to get from there to here, from sadness and angst to peace and happiness, I just felt I had no choice. I am not saying I did it exactly right, it was a bit of messy for sure, but I did the best I could. I'm doing the best I can, I am really glad to stop running from my fears, the turmoil and knowing that I wasn't doing the right thing for me. Now I am.