My life has been a constant test of endurance… Not just because my father was an abusive alcoholic who came around only to crack the whip, impede confidence, and destroy fragile hearts; but also because I made piss poor choices every step along the way.
Looking back on my life, it is very clear to me that I have always done everything ass backwards, like having my first child before finishing high school and my second before I even thought to take my first step in the right direction toward self sufficiency. After turning 21, I enrolled in community college hoping to gain a little independence; but I was still a lost, frightened, and confused child emotionally.
Although my life had limited drama by the time I had my second child, it wasn’t easy trying to raise my two boys when the father figure in their life was a big kid himself. My sons were really happy in those days, and we all shared a lot of laughs; but I often wondered if I was giving my children the best shot at life. I was with a man who didn’t seem to want much out of life himself and was content with chasing a dream that ran much faster than he ever could.
We both had a great sense of humor and kept each other laughing all the time; but after 12 years of clowning around, it became clear to me that living in the middle of a drug-infested neighborhood with a dreamer was no laughing matter. Not only did I realize that life is nothing to joke about, I also realized how dangerous the situation was becoming for my children and me to remain where we were. There was certainly no humor to be found in neighborhood bullies picking fights with my children; and drug traffic in and out neighboring houses. It seems life was playing one big joke on me; but I was no longer laughing.
My late but sudden realization was frightening to me. Eric and I had no plans for the future and I saw no hope on the horizon with my limited outlook. My jobless funny man and I were going wherever life took us, never questioning where we were headed. We were simply navigating the hills and valleys as they approached while life quickly passed us by.
At the age of 32 I packed up whatever ambition I could find and attempted to sprout my own wings. I wanted to see what the world had to offer a very late and insecure bloomer. Before I could even begin to soar with my newly discovered baby wings, I met Leon, the man I would eventually marry then divorce; but we didn’t untie the knot before I gave birth to my third and last son six years into our rollercoaster marriage. And in keeping with my backwards way of doing things, Leon and I shared separate dwellings throughout most of our marriage.
We eventually made it through the storm in one piece; but when the skies cleared and the dust settled, we found ourselves knee deep in divorce papers. We didn’t dig ourselves out as thoroughly as he had hoped but instead we settled in the murky mire of painful memories and continued to sink further in despair.
After much soul searching on both our parts and the many failed starts I suffered on my own, we eventually found our way back together and are at least living peacefully under one roof.
Leon caused me a lot of heartache in the beginning of our relationship, but I managed to hang in there with him. Today he is my hero in many ways because he is the one and only man who has always been there to pick me up whenever I have fallen… always taking me back with open arms whenever I failed miserably trying to make it on my own. For that, I feel eternally grateful to him; although I’m not sure gratitude is the right reason to be in a relationship. Everyone deserves to be loved deeply and honestly; and I hope that one day Leon will enjoy such a love.
As for me, I don’t think I have the heart for that kind of love anymore. Even though my heart is empty and my spirit slightly worn, my journey is not yet complete. I will keep trying to fly despite the very faint wind beneath my wings. I have often thought of writing a biographical novel to share my story; but being that I’m nobody in particular, I wondered who would read it anyway. I decided instead to share my life, in prose, here at Tea Room Diaries for passersby along the way… And, of course, for my grandchildren, so that they will have an opportunity to know a little about me when I’m longer here to share my story with them.