Change is good. Change has always felt good. But a change is coming that I never thought I would have to be prepared for, a change I thought would never present itself in my life. In a few months, I will be getting married.
It should be something to celebrate, it is something to celebrate, but I can’t help but think that this is an end for me. A new beginning, sure, but an end nonetheless. It’s an end to who I was before I fell in love and moved in with a man and bought a big white dress. It feels like I’m at risk of facing the end of who I’ve always wanted to be: A crazy woman with little regard to the walls people have wanted to shove me behind.
I don’t have to let those walls exist is what you’re probably thinking. I don’t have to be a victim of who others want me to be in a role that has always existed. My mind hears you, but my ears are also forced to hear the terms of that role anyway from anyone who thinks they’re allowed to have an opinion. It doesn’t really matter whether I choose to abide by anyone’s terms because I still have to hear them, over and over again for maybe the rest of my life.
It’s maddening to have people ask you if you’re taking his last name, when you’ll have kids, how the wedding planning is going and why I chose a ring that isn’t like everyone else’s. Nothing about this seasons looks like those around me and people can’t stop telling me how different I am. I’m over it.
I’m over it because it wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to travel the world with nothing on my back and was never supposed to worry about a savings account. There was so much art I was supposed to make on every corner of every country, but that’s not happening anymore. My life is different now. Who I used to be is gone. She doesn’t exist anymore. I have traded a life of adventure and little regard for my safety for a life of stability and love that tries to cater to the parts of me that still need to run to somewhere new.
It sounds like I’m settling, but I’m not. I love this life I have built and chosen to live. My wild carefree spirit was only wild because no one held me and kept me safe. I was like a stray dog always running from a new dog catcher in a new town. Deep down, I didn’t think I deserved stability or love. And not to keep comparing myself to a dog, but there were one too many men calling me a bitch to allow me to believe I could be loved. But here I am and there I am. A new me is here and an old me is gone.
And no matter how much I love myself now, I also loved myself then. Back then I was whole and now I am whole. It’s hard to explain, but I still mourn the person I was because I loved her just as much. She was strong and resilient and resourceful. Nothing bothered her and no one had her. She was her own and she knew the world because she wanted to know it all so bad. Despite every circumstance and everything in her way, she was whole and she was fulfilled. But who I am now knows more about her than she could have ever bared to know then.
Her strength was holding her together until she was safe to fall apart. She was held together by bubble gum and toothpicks and they could have held forever, truly and honestly, but there was a better way. She was resilient because there was no other way to survive and she was resourceful for the same terrible reasons. At the end of each day, she was who she was because she wouldn’t have made it any other way. If she had stopped to look at each of her days with as much care as she looked to the future, she wouldn’t have made it. She wouldn’t have led me here.
I fell in love and I fell apart. Who I was finally succumbed to her injuries because it was finally safe. There was someone who was willing to spend the time, a lifetime if necessary, supporting her through the rebuilding phases. There was finally someone holding up the pieces she needed to tirelessly stitch back together one the bubble gum came off. Until my last breath, I will mourn who I was. But I will mourn knowing that she is in a better place.