Some days, I kind of miss her. The person I used to be. She was light hearted. Funny. Like really funny, although most people outside her inner circle didn’t necessarily get to see it. She was quiet, except for with those she felt most comfortable, then you could hardly shut her up. 😏
She was independent and smart. She was silly. Easily amused.
She was laid back, rarely anxious. She honestly couldn’t even understand what an “anxiety attack” was. I mean, like everyone else, she had her issues that she had to deal with in life and in marriage, but mostly she believed that things were good, and were surely going to get even better. She didn’t really know what pain and heart ache was. Not really.
She was hopeful. When times got tough she always tried to believe for the best and know that everything would be ok. She could find at least a little something good in everyone. She certainly never despised or hated anyone. Her heart was fairly shiny still. The bright pink color of it only dulled slightly by the normal wear and tear of the few real issues that life had dealt her.
And sometimes, I really miss her. I miss the girl that didn’t know that feeling of anxiety. That ‘heart racing, knot in your stomach, can’t sit still but also can’t move, just need to escape but there’s no where to run from this feeling’, feeling. I miss the girl that had never held hatred in her heart. I miss that kind, joyful, easy going, funny girl. The one who’s heart wasn’t broken.
There’s a song whose lyrics describe so accurately what it’s like to go through something, and realize how it changes you, and the struggle of coming to accept this new and different existence.
“She used to be mine” by Sara Bareilles:
“It’s not simple to say
That most days, I don’t recognize me.
It’s not easy to know
I’m not anything like I used to be
Although it’s true
I was never attention’s sweet center
I still remember that girl
She’s imperfect but she tries
She is good but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up
And baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone but she used to be mine
It’s not what I asked for
Sometimes life just slips in through a back door
And carves out a person
And makes you believe it’s all true
And now I’ve got you
And you’re not what I asked for
If I’m honest I know I would give it all back
For a chance to start over
And rewrite an ending or two
For the girl that I knew”
But there is no rewriting. And the me that I am now, the me after all that pain and heartache…well, I like her too. She’s not as quiet. She’s more open, easier to connect with. She is bold. She is brave. She refuses to let fear win or keep her from doing the things she is meant to do. She’s still independent and smart. Although sometimes because of that independent streak she tries to handle too much on her own.
She is stronger. She has strength, SO much strength, that she never imagined she had.
She can still find the good in most anyone….ok, if she’s being honest, maybe there is ONE specific person in this situation that she has yet to really find the goodness in. The jury is still out on that particular resolution. Definitely lacking closure in this department I suppose. But alas, that’s a blog for another day. 🤔😕
There is almost always a heaviness, like someone placed a concrete block right in the center of her being. It’s less heavy than it was at first, and some moments it’s heavier than others, and there are even a few blissful moments now occasionally where it’s light enough that she almost forgets it’s there.
She knows all too well now what anxiety feels like. How there are certain triggers that incite anxiety, and heartache as if it was all fresh again in just a moments time. But she pushes past it. She has hope that over time, that concrete block will crumble and get lighter and lighter, and those triggers will fade and lose their power, to some extent at least. She has a stronger faith. A closer relationship with God. And she’s still funny. Just ask her friends. Or her coworkers. Or her family. They’ll tell ya. 😜😘 She’s still quiet at times, but certainly not because she’s afraid to speak. She has a husband that no longer takes her for granted, that loves her in a way she’s never known before. She has the capacity to forgive. She has hope, and faith, and knows exactly how surrounded by love she is. She knows the countless number of people that showed up for her in her darkest days. The girl I was before had no idea just how well loved she was and what a large network she had of people that truly cared. The woman I am now, bears the scars of betrayal and brokenness. The woman I am now still has some wounds that aren’t fully healed. But she also sees so much goodness. So yes, I do like her. I am thankful for her. I wish sometimes that becoming her had not come at such a steep price. But I really like her.
The more I think about it, I know that the person I was and the person that I am now, are not all that different. The qualities and the imperfections of both have all been there the whole time somewhere inside of me, hiding beneath the surface. The things we go through are sometimes just the necessary tool to bring those things out of us. The qualities and purposes that we hold back, and the ones that we weren’t even aware we had. And sometimes…no, most times, the price of getting there, to that person you are meant to be in it’s fullness, comes at a price.
As that song says: Would I like to rewrite it all, and create a different ending for that girl that used to be mine? The answer is, yes. And the answer is also no.
Yes, I would love to take a giant magical eraser and wipe out all that heartache, and erase all of the unbearable grief. To live without that heavy concrete block of pain and sadness. A million times yes. But it’s made me into who I am now. And this new me , she has qualities that I wouldn’t want to give back.
This new life I have has blessings that I wouldn’t want to give back. It brought me a better husband and a better marriage. It brought me a heavier hearted me, but it also brought me an improved and more authentic me. This story that I didn’t want, has also brought me purpose. This story that I didn’t want has allowed me the ability to bring hope to others. So the answer, yes or no? The answer is both. In a perfect world I would write myself a story where I get all the goodness of this new life without any of the heartache. But then I wouldn’t know what a treasure this new life really is. I wouldn’t know the depth of love and relationship I have in my marriage now. And I wouldn’t know the tenderness of the way God loves us through our heartache, and that is a precious, precious thing to experience.
So, the answer is really that there is no answer. The answer doesn’t matter. The question doesn’t even matter. Because I can’t rewrite any of it. And honestly, God can write my story immensely better and more beautifully than I ever could. He writes a story for each of us that can be more than we could ever imagine or dare to hope for, but we have to let go and let Him write it. For any of us that are going through a tough season in life , the only question that really matters is:
Will you let this situation take the very best of you, or will you let it make you your very best?
We can’t rewrite our histories, so for every one of us, perhaps the biggest question is:
Do you want to keep trying to rewrite your own story, or are you going to let God do what He does best and write you a masterpiece?
Let’s choose wisely, my sweet, sweet friends.
Amy Thurston Gordy