The Sunday before last I had an epiphany that allowed me to let go of a huge piece of baggage I had been carrying for far too many years. I felt great for a few days and then woke up the following Friday feeling batshit crazy. Imagine every emotion you have ever felt and that’s what I woke up to. Not the pendulum of manic depression, but all of them all at once. This coincided with a cosmic trinity of the Spring Equinox, a Supermoon, and a Solar Eclipse. That’s a lot of energy. In particular, that’s a lot of energy associated with new beginnings. And new beginnings have always been more chaotic for me. Endings may stick with me longer, but beginnings tend to make me nuts for awhile. So here I am, over a week after my epiphany, and I feel like I’m splitting open. I feel like I’m getting ready to crawl out of my outer shell. Like a cicada. They do this every 17 years and I wonder where I was 17 years ago.
In the spring of 1998 I was living in Champaign Illinois, taking a break from college after a disastrous first attempt. By that summer I would be making plans to move back to Kentucky, having realized that I was not ready for independence or adulthood. I needed to be closer to my parents. Unfortunately, my dad got a job in Ohio and about the time I moved back to Lexington they moved to Columbus. I could have moved with them, but I had already registered for classes at UK. I felt like I hadn’t followed through on anything the previous few years and decided I needed to stay on the path I had started, if for no other reason than to prove I could finish something. So I moved back to Lexington and started my second attempt at college. The next ten years brought heartbreak and manipulation and a fair amount of emotional and mental abuse. To be fair, it also brought a few amazing teachers and two of my best friends. But I still wonder what would have happened if I had cut my losses sooner and moved with my parents. Who would I have become?
I used to think that I would have become an entirely different person if I had moved to Ohio all those years ago; that somehow I would have magically avoided all the bad decisions I made during that decade. Hindsight can be 20/20, but it can also be delusional as hell. The truth is, not much would be different for me. The players would have had different faces and names, but the patterns in my brain had already written the script. I would have still been drawn to unhealthy controlling relationships. I would have still felt like I didn’t really deserve better. I would have still tried to fit myself into the box of what someone else wanted me to be.
I would have still been me.
And there is my second epiphany in the past ten days.
I don’t feel like that girl anymore, though. I don’t believe that I don’t deserve things. I’m not interested in being what other people want me to be. I’m crawling out of that shell of who I was. But it’s not about a second chance, it’s about making room for an entirely new beginning.