When I was younger all that I wanted was a normal life. By the time I was 19 I felt like I had lived 50 years. I had witnessed abuse by my father, had been carted around the country and been placed in school after school. I had lived in motels, watched my uncle die of AIDS, my mother die of Cancer and witnessed my eldest sister slowly lose her mind to mental disease. I had been married, cheated on and divorced.
All that I wanted was a version of normal.
I’m 34 now and have been living a pretty normal life for over a decade. For the most part, I’m content with the norm but with distance and upon reflection, I can say today that being a “weirdo” has set me apart in a good way. In retrospect, I wouldn’t trade one moment of my crazy former life for the cookie cutter version.
In general, I feel like I’m a well rounded and compassionate person. Maybe I would have turned out that way if my life had been an all-American Tommy Hillfiger ad or maybe I would be a banal, self-centered girl who evaluated her self-worth by her Jimmy Choo’s. One can only speculate.
I’ve learned a lot from my crazy former life. If my life had been “normal” I would have missed out on witnessing the natural beauty of America. My Father could be cruel but he could also be compassionate and vulnerable. Nature often moved him to tears. He and I share this trait. I don’t just see a sky full of stars. I am connected to it and moved by it’s radiant shimmering. I like to think that stars are souls. Matter becomes matter and science doesn’t take away from religion’s theories of an after life. I don’t need gates of pearls or golden heavenly mansions. I’d be content to be a beam of light, I’d be thrilled to be a beam of light!
When I’m long gone it’s possible that a distressed relative will look up at the sky like I always have. It’s possible that they will feel connected to a shimmering star and turn their thoughts away from suicide like I did when at my lowest points. It’s probable that a star is just a star and the light is just gas radiating but it’s possible that a star is where a departed soul has made it’s home and set up a burning vigil.
Nobody knows the answers to these questions even if they tell you that they do.
I’m stronger for surviving an adverse life and will keep the light of hope burning for as long as I can.