I’ve now finished reading my book and am dealing with that nostalgic, sort-of-depressed feeling you get when you find yourself immersed in reading. You mourn that you’ve turned the last page, sigh with sadness as you close the covers, just like you’re ending a beautiful relationship. You don’t want to see it end.
Tiny Beautiful Things had me rethink and ponder of the beautiful and horrible things in my life, mistakes I’ve made, regrets I still have, and fears that continue to hold me back. I learned about forgiving myself. About moving on. About moving on even when you feel trapped and stuck with your proverbial feet in proverbial glue. I learned about accepting situations for what they were and to not get caught up in self-doubt. That none of us have this quite figured out yet and never to assume anything about anyone, because most times, I have it backwards.
I started to think about the future, my future, about what it all means. About why I flounder over the smallest things, take everything much too personally, have trouble keeping my chin up, and knowing when to let go. I thought about where my relationships stand and the thoughts of being a bride again in 2014 perhaps (hi, Michael, if you’re reading this). I wonder about having children of my own someday and how I’d be able to mold them, and shape them by all the love and wisdom I can muster. To do it better in some ways than my own parents did. I wonder how I could fully heal from past hurts in my first marriage and not display those transgressions on a husband in the future; not make him pay for things that Chris did wrong. I think about how I’ve continued to grow up and to think about marriage vows, keeping them, and living each day knowing I’m tackling it with my best friend, someone who promises to be as committed to our team as I am. I think about giving it my all and then some, loving him like I’ve never been broken before, like every thing we reach together will be fresh and new. I have this incredible chance to do it all again, but better.
I think about raising said kids with a father who would be more than physically present, but emotionally devoted and involved in their ballet recitals, science fair projects, and karate lessons. Someone who’s willing and able to catch a breath and help the kids make an even bigger mess. Just because I didn’t have that doesn’t mean that I have to continue the trend. Just because I didn’t have that doesn’t mean my kids would have to do without. Those mini moments matter.
Just as I write this, my cell phone is buzzing with a missed call and voicemail from my mother. I wonder about being able to continue a loving relationship with her, no matter how many tens or tens of thousands of miles in between us. I think about her accepting me for all of my flaws, coming to terms with the fact that I’m a young adult, making changes, mistakes, and even progress every single day, but to love me regardless of our differences in lifestyle. And how reassuring, comforting, and wonderful it is to hear her voice on the other end, encouraging me to continue and reminding me that she loves me.
I realize that even getting over the past will take enormous amounts of work, most events having to be rehashed again and again, all the days of my life. I realize that I may forever struggle with food. This is an ongoing thing. But I have at least one constant presence in my life, ready to help me back up
if when I fall. My life is a work in progress.
But I am ready.