"Have you ever felt the wind that the waves create, and on your bare chest? I hadn't....I had never felt the wind on my bare chest at all."
The waves of my life, those same waves that have created the tsunamis of my past, now roll in gently over my feet. That's just how it goes, though - it comes together for some time, and then it falls apart, just to come back together again. The experiences of my life were trying to tell me something about myself, each hardship posing as a lighthouse to lead me back to the shore. And now, I feel the sand on my feet again. The difference this time is that I now understand that nothing is meant to be taken seriously.
I think I've been shell shocked since the day my dad left. It was the tornado that leveled the world I lived in. I was a child who didn't yet have the tools to work through that, so I stepped out of my life and into these giant walls in hopes that they would protect me from the waves that began rushing in. And they did. So I stayed in a remnant of that protection for years, coming out every so often and then going back in when it felt like I was drowning, just allowing myself to drift farther and farther out into the sea. The thing about hiding is that the things you were hiding from don't just disappear. They are right there waiting for you, always. And they build on themselves, so what was once a small thing is now this giant thing and you still don't have the tools to work through it because you've shut down instead of gearing up and living through it. That's been what these last few years felt like - me trying to get where I knew I wanted to be, but becoming too exhausted too quickly and going back into hiding to suppress it all.
And then one day, I looked around and finally saw the world I was living in for what it was. All I had to show for the life I had been living was a mural I couldn't stand looking at; one that showed just how many days I had been in that prison I created for myself. I decided that life was worth living, even if my journey to get there ended up killing me. And there were times I truly thought it might. But the glory of this arrival comes from the apology I accepted, but never actually received. It comes from the forgiveness I gave myself for missing out on the life that could've been lived, but wasn't. It comes in the form of a woman who is ready to rebuild.
"You've seen my decent. Now watch my rising."