I’m starting with a picture of my (dry) hand and three rings. The one turned is one that never leaves my hand. It’s my college ring. In high school I was so determined to finish college that I told my Mom not to waste money on a high school class ring. It took 17 years but I finished school with the bare minimum that was acceptable to me. I have my BA and one day when my nest is empty, I’m shooting for law school.
I spoke into a friend’s life many years ago. I stood for her when she wanted to quit high school. I don’t even remember what I said, but for her it was everything. She’s the most badass warrior dragon slayer I know. She’s a medical professional when she was once ready to skip her senior year of high school. She has stood for me in some of the deepest valleys I have been in throughout the decades we’ve known each other. She showed up to speak to the darkness she saw that I couldn’t. She showed up with a Christmas tree. She’s standing for me yet again.
I wasn’t planning on going to my high school reunion tonight. It’s been 20 years, but I didn’t value the time and connection over the daily needs of my family, but she stood for me and told me my ticket was paid for and her stance for me . . . Her unfailing belief in me made me realize not going was about not stepping into relationship and when I do that, I’m the only one accountable. When I see this woman, I see my past. I see my present and she helps me see my future. That’s what badass warrior dragon slayer best friends are for, right?
The rings . . . When I found these two small rings, there was a Reiki instructor selling her hand made jewelry and doing chakra readings. I asked about the rings, and the infinity ring is about eternal love. The arrow is a nod to her Sioux heritage. I’m Choctaw in the way where I know it’s in my veins . . . I’m just not connected enough to my heritage to know how. But these are symbols and meanings are assigned.
Self love isn’t a surface affection. You don’t love just who you are inside. It’s not the light as beauty and the dark as an absence of it. You love all of yourself as a whole. Broken or not, we are made of a whole and we deserve to love all of who we are.
I love the idea of infinity. I will always show up for myself, doing what matters to me, because I’m no longer a martyr to motherhood or marriage. I get to fight for every moment of my existence like it matters because I do. I have a few things going on this weekend. Childcare isn’t an issue because my support systems are remarkable. I asked the kids if they wanted the extra time with their Dad because giving them options offers them control and while only one is staying with his Dad this weekend, I’m getting a sitter or taking them with me because I’m worthy of doing what will make me happy.
The arrow spoke to me differently than the original explanation. I’ve seen enough memes and pictures from Pinterest to remember that an arrow is always pulled back before it’s launched. I saw it and it reminded me that I’ve been launched. I haven’t landed yet, but I’m free and flying. I often hear things like, “you have a great smile,” or “there is so much love in you that it’s shining and beautiful.” I never heard these things when I was being a wife. It was a reality check a few months ago and I had another reminder yesterday.
I showed up last night. A friend and my angel had a soft launch for her product line. I didn’t tell her I’d be there. I surprised her. The look on her face and her hug said all I needed to know. I showed up and the symbolism in being present showed her that she mattered, while the look on her face told me I was loved.
The argument wasn’t important, but I yesterday I heard the words that would have before told me that I’m a bad writer. My followers and hits tell me I have enough people that want to read my words that this might not be a valid argument. I was called a bad mother. I’ve had enough professionals in my home and life tell me otherwise. I was given the words that once wounded me so deeply: that is why I left you. I hesitated for a moment because I remembered the way that used to feel and in that moment I felt freedom. There was a disconnect between the past and the present. I found no point in offering gratitude for what was meant to harm me, but I felt launched and free. I’m grateful that the life I struggled through was taken from me because I feel a freedom I can’t hide.
In this life, I get to look for meanings where life used to be mundane. I get to drop by the ocean any time I need to be refreshed and renewed. I get to experience the sublime and see each moment as a gift to be kept or shared as I choose because it’s mine.
This isn’t a new concept, but it’s an extension of who I have always been. These symbols are less painful or permanent than these or this one. At the end of the day, we see something, hold it closely or run from it entirely, and we get to assign or alter it’s meanings.