As I head to my 40th birthday, I think often of the misguided relationships I have had over the years and quite frequently I choose to beat myself up over them. Tonight, as I gazed up at the stars, I had an epiphany. I realized that I am the most magnificent gemstone in the world. I am not well rounded as my elementary teachers would have said, no, I am jagged and rough. I have edges and nooks and crannies and each tells a story and make me who I am. My relationships, however misguided have shaped me into the most amazing of beings.
The time I spent with my children’s father made me strong and focused; able to raise two intelligent and determined children. After my second husband’s unexpected departure, I became more resilient as I pushed myself to finish my Bachelor’s degree in 8 short months. During that time I became so consumed with getting my education and starting a new and better life for my children that I got lost somewhere along the way. When I met Nick suddenly I began to remember who I was and what I liked. I became curious about life and all the things it had to offer me. I learned to play the drums; I took fencing lessons and did quite well, albeit the class was made up of kids all under the age of 13. I painted and composed music and enjoyed myself to the fullest. Nick was only 25 and quite the opposite of what I was used to but nonetheless, he helped me remember all the things about myself I had forgotten. Of course, Nick was not a permanent fixture in my life, more like a gentle breeze that would blow in every once in a while, stir something up and blow out again. I remember my time with Nick with fondness; even if it was a short time.
Then there was Tony. I miss him even though I don’t admit that to anyone. No, it is better for me to stay angry and then I don’t have to hurt as much. Tony was someone who loved me deeply but drained my mind, body, and soul of every ounce of energy that I had. That being said, Tony was also the man that facilitated experiences that alone, I may never have experienced. I saw places on this Earth that under the normal circumstances of my life, I would have never even dreamed of seeing. I accomplished things that I would have never believed that I was capable of doing, regardless of how strong and determined I was in the past. All this said Tony was not a man that I could have stayed with as he took more of me than I could continue to give.
So I can say as I head careening towards my birthday that I have lived more in the past 40 years than many people will live in one hundred. I am a magnificent gemstone with many facets; with edges and nooks and crannies; so many that I have yet to know all of them. I know there is much more to see and do, to explore and to discover about myself…this I believe.