3M …Melancholic Memory Monday

30 years ago today was one of the worst days of my life.  Most women are full of joy, hope, dreams, and laughter on their wedding day…I was just a girl, 17, and knew in every cell of my body that this was a terrible idea, mistake, decision, and plan, and that nothing, from that day forward, was going to go the way I had anticipated for my life…All those dreams you have as a teenager; all those wishes for “how’s it gonna be?” totally extinguished in one afternoon at 17 years old…

To be clear, I have in fact had some really awful days since, and some really, really splendidly great days during these last three decades; I don’t in any way intend to imply that my life has been all shite and woe for all this time, but I do intend to express that if today were my last day to breathe life on this planet, I would say that one of my greatest regrets was that day;  having gotten myself pregnant, having been too slow with my phone call to the clinic to get myself un-pregnant, and then being too chicken to fess up to my parents right away, of the mess I had made of my very young life, thus removing any possible chance for them to fix the situation to a solution that would be the best possible outcome for their 17-year-old daughter…so chicken was I, that I made my sister tell them, on her 15th birthday no less…what a f**king mess…not only is the 30th anniversary of my wedding day a melancholic memory, the entire memory from that summer after I graduated high school is a wash of tears and worry and anger and frustration and confusion, it’s really a miracle, looking back now, that I did not just drive my little green Pontiac into a building…it’s a wonder that I managed to get up every day and live…because in my mind now, remembering  that time of my life then, I did not want to live, but did not know how to un-live.

When we are young we have so many hopes and wishes and dreams and we just assume that we are skilled and smart and sharp and will make all the right choices to make our dreams come true.  It used to drive me mad, as a teenager, when my mother would say, “all I ever wanted was to be married and have a family” and I would think, good grief!  dream bigger!  …but the funny thing is that my mother made all the right choices that got her exactly what she wished for…all these years later, perhaps that more than anything, is the perpetual painful thorn in my side, the typical mother/daughter angst that we all know is part of life…that my mother made the choices to get her to her goals, and I did not.

So today what would have been my 30th wedding anniversary, I think about how we think about ourselves and how the choices we make either get us to our chosen destination or keep us struggling to achieve the unachievable, attain the unattainable, access the inaccessible.  How daunting, to think of living this way?  It does not seem like a very healthy way to live, so instead we keep getting up and getting on with our day, and keep trying to do whatever we must to get “it” all right, and surely the “it” is completely different for each one of us.  I know a few couples who got it right the very first time…I know several in fact, both my own age and that of my parents, who are still in love with the person they loved in high school.  I know two couples who went on one date and “knew” that person was their “it” and their life as a singleton was over, and all of these people are perhaps exceptions to the norms of today,  because honestly most people I know are divorced or have been divorced…and just keep trying to find one person, is that too much to ask?! they lament, to find a match, somebody who brings out the best in them and helps them to be better than they were alone, better than they were before…I think it’s perhaps what everybody wishes for, on their wedding day, man or woman; let this union make me better than I am on my own, let this relationship make my life better than it would be if I were alone…

30 years is a long time ago to still harbor ill feelings, so I don’t.  I am no longer angry with myself for all of the stupid things I did & I recognize that all of my years of anger did nothing to get me towards my goals or dreams in life, and regardless of what I always said I wanted in life, I never tried hard enough I guess to get there, so I am here…at this point in my life, full of acceptance…a Mea Culpa to the universe.  Somebody I once knew used the expression that a good relationship doubles the joys in life and halves the sorrows…perhaps that’s all any of us can hope for…two times the smiles, and frowns that are few and far between.

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