"Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good." - Elizabeth Edwards
I found this quote posted elsewhere, and I thought I needed to write it down to remind myself of a few hard facts. I can never go home, not really. 'Home' will have changed, and 'I' will have changed, and not in the same ways, not at the same rate and many changes will be subtle and unseen and unacknowledged. So trying to fit back into that old mould of myself will cause everyone concerned to feel awkward and probably pretty embarrassed. My old mates, my childhood friends, the people who knew me 'back then' are reacting to the old version of myself, and I am no longer that person. And do I really want to BE that undeveloped, immature and inchoate rendition? As I look back, I find that I was more a rough draft, a sketch, a conception with potential for realisation.
Who wants to live life as a pencilled cartoon? I don't. I much prefer these multi-layers of colour, of form, of texture. It shows I've lived. My face may be lined, but the lines come from laughter, from experiencing , the continuance and struggles and joy everyone experiences when they explore what it actually means to be human on this planet and at this time period.
My hair is greying, because each day I get older, I can't stop the march of time. Last night I actually paused for many long minutes and looked at the hair colouring products on the shelves. I thought, "If I appear younger, will that help me function better? Will I feel better about myself? Will I at least look more attractive?" I picked up the various boxes from the huge array on offer, seriously, it comprises almost an entire aisle in Intermarché. Maybe bleach my hair blonde? Men prefer blondes, I've heard. Or maybe that's just what the blonde bimbos want us to believe. I once had to dye my hair dark brownish-black for a role in theatre, that would certainly be a change! But no, I'd no longer look like the mother of my two very blonde daughters and rather blond son. I tried matching my hair colour to something from a bottle, but nothing really came close. And I really hate to look fake. Plus, I never want the phrase, "Mutton dressed as Lamb" ever whispered about me. So in the end I decided against it. The one and only time I spent the cash to have my hair coloured, not ONE person noticed any difference whatsoever. And frankly, neither could I myself. So seriously, why bother? I guess it helps having naturally Titian hair; more subtle than Red, not as brassy as Strawberry Blonde and more interesting than Ginger. I can see how women (and men) who have dark hair might choose to colour it, but, nah, not for me. Not at this point in my life.
So, since it doesn't matter, why worry over it?
Yeah, I'd like to have back that hot little bod which was me before three caesarian sections and three stints breastfeeding. I wish the car accident hadn't occurred which caused my deformed right leg and constant pain when I walk, if I think about it, that is. I've trained myself to ignore a certain threshold of pain, which is possibly why I never realise I've burned myself in the kitchen, until later, when blisters form. I simply don't feel it. However, no one will ever see the hot little bod since I abhor wearing revealing clothes, I'm extremely modest in my dress. Plus you'll not get ME in a swimming cozzie unless I'm suitably bribed and forced and I must do it to take the girls to the swimming baths or the beach. As it's December, I'm safe for now.
We exchange one thing for another. Life commerce. I traded my youth for my three wonderful children. There's not a chance you'd ever find me wish for different. I'd go back immediately and make the same choices that placed me here where I am right now.
OK, honestly? I'd not make a few mistakes I've made if given the chance. But we live. And we learn.
We cannot live in the past, we cannot go back and *fix* the past, we have to live in the present. If we can learn from our mistakes then perhaps, with time, we'll stop making the same ones over and over. We have to first love ourselves and accept ourselves, as we are. *I* especially need to do that. I need to apologise to those I've harmed with unkindness, whether it was meant or not. Then I need to forgive myself, stop ranting about how life has changed and try to make something good out of what I have right now.
So, I guess that's what I need to focus on.
No one said life would be a cake walk...