At 22. So the big old 22. The name I put on my blog. The age I was when my ex-husband and I returned back to the town where he had gotten a teaching job and we had attempted to start some kind of married life. For the second time. 22 was the age I was when I started this blog. I made a mangled attempt to talk about this once before, but it was four years ago. Four very different, long-ago years.
But, yeah. 15 years ago I started this beastly thing. Someone had told me that I should be a writer after receiving multiple periodic updates from yours truly about my ex, who was in the hospital with in-patient treatments for cancer and going through various stages of ill. Then someone else mentioned something about my writing after we got back to the town with the job for my ex. Then a few other comments here and there along with the suggestion that I should write my story. So that's what this *waves hand over whole of blog disaster* is.
But 22. Yeah. I guess you could say it was the age I made the concerted effort to attempt writing a story of any kind, the processing of it. Kind of like a journal, but better, I guess, because there seem to be similarities between publishing something for the hypothetical world to see and being on stage, in that you work really hard behind closed doors to put it altogether and then you present it. Although that's where the comparison stops. Because looking at the scraps that make up my blog and looking at the scraps that make up my performing life, well, let's just say performing (accompanying, wedding playing, church hymn-ing, one north-tour-touring, pit ensembling, concert banding) has looked much, much cleaner.
The trainwreck has primarily included two-fold agendas: to hammer out the deets to my life and make some sense of some of the more gritty stuff; and find myself as a writer. I have found very little of either.
But I started it at 22. The age I was when I had emerged, barely, from the near-fruitless storm of whiplashing bootcamp of three years of significant dramatic changes: becoming a mom at 18, haggling to get through college, getting married, and moving to a new country. Not to mention the not one, not two, but three separate diagnoses of my ex which spit our newlywed arses into a vortex of uncertainty and instability. I have to laugh at myself, but not too hard. There was so much I was crunching on. But much like a child after a temper tantrum, I came out of my proverbial room, sniveling and sniffing my red-eyed tears away, only to think I had grown oh-so-much, that I had learned something. And I had, oh yes, for sure I had. But as they say, if I had only known, if I had only known...
Each one of medical instances with my ex were difficult unto themselves, but it can definitely be asserted that the last one was the worst one. Last one, as in, he has not, to this date, needed to receive any more treatment. He survived. A happy, miraculous story unto itself. But a story that has defined, way, wayyy too much of my life. I do not, as of this very moment in time (and have felt for a very long time now), want to recite all the terrible things that either of us had to go through as a result of him being the hospital ever, ever, ever again. I have become so very tired of hearing the story come out of my mouth, this many years later, that I am already too tired to recount the nine other years, 6 of which included four - FOUR - entire joint replacements, and anything left of which was the crumbling dust of a relationship. I just can't believe it took so long to figure out that it scarred me that much and that I should have been talking to a professional years ago. (Well, I can, because I did think about it many times in the course of time in my life prior to this one, but it just wasn't feasible.)
But I had to work through all of that, and work through my own demons apart from the marriage, and I couldn't. But that was 22. Since then, I've hacked my way through the jungle of people and years and learned about real boundaries, about my needy and lacking approach to find fulfillment and how to find true fulfillment, about being authentic, about truer, deeper faith, and being okay with being my own person. And having come to all of that, realizing with much joy that I have so much more to learn.