The past few days have been busy, busy. I don't particularly like busy, but oh well... I will deal with it. Madalyn is cheering this fall, so that means we have a lovely practice and game schedule. The practice part isn't bad, but most of our games don't kick off until 7:45 (well, in theory... it's been later than that both games we've played so far) so that makes for late nights. Late nights tend to make me grumpy. Grumpy isn't good for anyone. It's a short season, though, so we will make it through.
I do believe I've broken my left pinky finger. I slipped a few weeks ago on a rock in the Cahaba River (words I never dreamed I would ever type) and came down on my left trying to break myself with my hand. It bruised pretty badly and has hurt ever since, but now it's actually hurting more than it was when it first happened. I was hoping I had just jammed my finger, but now I am leaning toward a fracture. So I have an appointment next Tuesday to have it checked out. Good times. I can't imagine them doing anything other than giving me a brace or splint to wear so it will heal. A couple of people have told me just to buy a splint at Walmart, but I just don't feel comfortable self-treating this injury. I would prefer having a professional opinion. And I think that's what you would tell me to do, too. In fact, I'm sure of it.
Last Friday night, Erika and I went to the Homecoming game at ACA. It's been 20 years since we graduated which is completely insane. We never could get a good plan for a formal reunion, so we finally just decided that anyone who could make it should come to the game. Ten of us showed up. Of course, that doesn't sound like a lot, but we only graduated 50 in our class, so ten is not so bad. We had a good time. One of our classmates showed us around the school so we could see how much the building has changed. We laughed and told old stories. I got to see my favorite teachers. And I walked up on the stage where I had so much joy through my years there.
It seemed so small. The stage that felt so large and intimidating in my teen years felt half the size to me as an adult. I guess our perspective changes so much once we age. Things and experiences that seemed so large years ago now seem minuscule. No doubt that stage was intimidating and challenging, but it's nothing in comparison to being a wife or mom. It's nothing in comparison to the things I have lived through, like losing you. I wonder if I had known that back then if I would have savored things more. I don't know that it's possible when you're young to understand that what is big now will one day seem so small.
I drove home the next morning thinking about that stage. How I stood there with great pride way back when. Yes, I was nervous, but I was never scared of failure back then. I thought about where my fear had come from... how did the seed get planted? And I realized it was Tom that put it there, his voice continually ringing in my ear, "You're not good enough... you'll never amount to anything... you're plain and average... you will never be enough." And thinking about that made that hate well up inside me again for him. I am still angry at myself for ever allowing him that deep inside my mind, for ever believing the crap that spewed from his mouth. And then I questioned myself... Have I ever really taken back the power? Or do I still hear that same old tape of his asinine thoughts about me?
I am still afraid to fail. Afraid to rise up. Afraid to go back to school. Afraid to take the next step. Afraid to put myself out there. All because a part of me still hears, "You will never be enough." It's not the dominant voice in my head anymore, but it still comes through loud and clear when I am facing a big decision. It paralyzes me. Well, I allow it to paralyze me.
If you were still alive, I would talk to you about this, and you would say something like, "But you are already enough. You just have to do what you want to do and push your fears out of the way." How I would love to hear you encourage me. Because, honestly, your opinion of me was always the most important to me. Always. Maybe it still is. Maybe that's why it is still so hard to be here without you. I'm still looking for that reinforcement, and I just don't ever find it anywhere. Funny how grown up I am now but I still find myself needing my mother's voice to tell me that I am doing okay. Well maybe I don't really need it but rather long for it.
Life moves on. Time is flying by, and it won't wait for me. And it really doesn't matter if I am feeling confident or insecure, it does not stop. Finding a way to fully step into who I am and what I am worth to this world proves to be a bigger challenge than I ever dreamed it would be. Wouldn't it be easier to just stay in my house and live out my days being wife and mom? Most definitely. But I have to find the courage to move forward with what I feel is the next step for me.
Oh how I wish you could visit for just one day so you could just sit down with me the simple way we did before. But that's selfish wish, you know, to want to pull you away from the perfection of where you are. And so I will keep on remembering the words you said when you were still here. And, of course, I will love you forever...