Monday, April 28, 2008

Forty

Yeah, I know. I usually blog about everything else. Kids, the occasional trip, other family, other things.

I hate blogging about myself. Or talking that much about myself.

Oh, I have my secret blog. The one where I do reveal a bit more of what goes on between my ears. The one that's painfully voyeuristic. The writer part of me says, "Hey, that's pretty good stuff! Intense. So what if you're stripping naked, there? It's an effective and affective read."

Still, I hold the link to it pretty closely. It's for someday, maybe.

A great and wonderful internet friend who died recently told me once, "Och, Shelly! You've never had to search for your sorrows! But 'tis all grist to the mill for the writer."

She's so right. Whenever anything happens, no matter how negative it might be, there's this small voice back there whispering, "Man, this would be a great story!" Sometimes I know I separate my life into two categories--Interesting and Not So Much.

Yeah, I know. I'm a housewife. In a small town. How could anything interesting happen to me? Well, you'd be surprised. I know I have been. And I continue to be. I have stories . . . yes, I do.

And well, I guess I should say something about turning forty. It's not so bad, really. Surprising to me that I've made it this far. Sometimes wishing, even, that I were twice this age--sometimes I'd rather look back on the life I've led than to be living through it, now. Strange, eh?

But turning forty hasn't allowed me the introspection that others might think I'd have. It's not like I planned my life out and then have milestones in my life with which to compare that plan.

I grew up not knowing what each year would bring. Thirteen schools in twelve years. Many, many moves many times that number. Finding whom I thought was the love of my life, and discovering that not only was he not that, but in the end--he almost cost me my life. And that's one of those tales that indeed belongs in the "Interesting" category, but the telling of that one must wait.

And of course, finding the love of my life and my best friend as a result of the direction my life took when I married that first time.

Someone recently asked me why we take the risk of loving someone when it is so likely we might get hurt. I told her it is because the potential payoff is often worth the risk.

I'd go so far as to pose the question, "Is it ever a mistake to withhold love from someone?" I suppose it depends on the type of love I'm referring to, and what type you are thinking of. I like to think of my love as a gift without strings. It is there for the taking. I give it freely. Even to people who don't much care for me.

Yeah, I know that sounds grandiose. It sounds over-the-top. But if we have to choose which and how to feel--if there is something within us that calls out to us to make a decision as to how we feel about a person and not an idea, I have to choose love over hate. I may hate what a person does. I may hate ideas that people have. I may disagree with people. But I choose love.

Is that choice easy? Hell, no. It's incredibly painful. Infinitely so. But worth so much more than hating someone. Even if he/she hates me. Even if he/she even seeks to hurt me. By choosing love, I am not allowing them to control my actions. And I can weep with them unseen at the pain they must be feeling to cause them to act in the ways they do. I can still see the parts of them that are beautiful, even when they act in ugly ways. Because we all have those times when we aren't pretty. It's a wonder and a privilege to look past those things and see the beauty that lies just beneath.

It's not a perfect system, I'll admit. I can be much more gullible because of this choice. I can set myself up to be hurt many times over. And there will always be some people I will refuse to look at in this way; Ted Bundy and people who seem to have no soul in them escape my ability to forgive them right now, to release them for their crimes. People who prey on innocents. Especially children. And people who hurt the ones that I love.

But given that I grew up with many occasions to harbor resentment, I choose not to. I choose.

I choose.

Those are powerful words for someone who grew up without having choices.

I choose love.

I like those words even better.

2 comments:

Laura said...

You've been tagged by me :)

Here are the basic rules of this

*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Post the rules on your blog .
*Write six random things about yourself.
*Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
*Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
*Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Cassiopeia said...

Very beautifully written. Brightest Blessings! Kim