Sunday, January 18, 2015

Blogging To A Better Bonnie? Closer Than Ever.

Oh the joy this blog used to bring me.

In truth, it was an escape. My wanting to get away and have something just for me. To divert my attention from the life I had in order to a create a life I wanted.

But now, I'm building that life. One where I'm true to my wants and needs. One where I take the path I feel is right for me, not the path that I was told was right for me. I'm finally getting to the core of who I am. And not surprisingly, she's fantastic!

And she doesn't need to be perfect... or thin.

She likes herself. She doesn't need to seek attention because she already commands it. She doesn't need the approval of others because she has her own. She doesn't need to be the size she was in her mid-twenties... though, she'd love to split the difference.

I have been separated for over a year. But until I can figure out the legalities and the finances, I won't be filing for divorce. My husband is in no rush. The fact is, outside of just wanting to be clean cut of it, our relationship works this way. We don't have to deal with each other and that makes all the difference.

I went back to work. A career that I love. But six months in, I realized two things: that I wasn't making enough money working commission for someone else and more importantly, that I could do the same thing all on my own. So that's just what I did. And I jumped right in too. Started my own business immediately and made more money in the first month than I had in the previous four, loving every minute of it.

My relationships are stronger. The one with my daughter especially. We really talk. We discuss. Not just the day to day but life as a whole and the world around us. She has always made me proud but to witness the woman she is bound to grow into is a gift. She is remarkable. And I hope someday to be just like her.

And lastly, I have someone in my life who has been a rare blessing. A best friend, a muse, a sounding board, a therapist, a sherpa, a soulmate. Our lives intersected at a time when I was surviving my life instead of living it, and he threw me a life preserver. But he didn't pull me to shore. He encouraged me to swim on my own while never leaving my side. I am the person I am today because of him.

When I started this blog, I was searching for something - A Better Bonnie. And along the way, I found her. She's still growing, learning, expanding, digging, accepting, hoping, praying, but at least now, she's living.

And life is moving in inspiring new directions.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Summer Wish List

Several years ago, my daughter, came to me at the end of summer break just two weeks until the start of school, crying. "I feel like I've wasted the whole summer. Now it's over and I didn't do anything." I tried to remind her of the trips to the lake and all the swimming at the pool, playing with friends and staying up late, but she was too wound up to listen. It was then that I decided, after realizing yet again how much she is just like me, that we needed a plan in place to releave these feelings of uselessness. So I created the "Summer Wish List". Now each year at this time, before the end of the school year, I ask my daughter to write a list of things she would like to accomplish over the summer break.

Her list this year is a good one. From learning to be more organized (yes, please, I agree) to volunteering at a local animal shelter "if I am old enough" to making tie-dye cupcakes, it's chock full of truly wonderful ways to spend some quality down time. And at the end of the summer, she will be able to look back on her time as well spent.

For me though, this is going to be the first summer of her life where I am working. Even when I was working part-time, my jobs were always school based so I too had summers off. This year however, even though I keep my own calendar and make my own hours, I will be working a great deal. A schedule where we both get a good amount of summer fun downtime together is what is plaguing me at the moment. And what to do with her when I am working? Those thoughts have occupied my attention for the better part of the month and I am still struggling with how to make it work.

For the moment, I've created a great workspace in my house so I can work from home most of the time. I've made arrangements for her to "work" at her karate studio when I must attend my weekly staff meeting. And I've decided to make a Summer Wish List of my own to keep myself accountable for remembering to have fun!

So here goes:
1) Spring, oops Summer Clean my house. Not fun, but must be done and something we can do together. She can learn some new skills and I can get my house back to my pre-working days. Seriously, I don't remember the last time I vacuumed and the dust is actually chunky at this point.

2) Take any clutter, surplus, extra collected while cleaning and sell it, consign it, donate it. I love freeing myself of STUFF!

3) Take time everyday to exercise together, to read together, to garden together, to cook together. It's just the two of us now and spending even the most mundane moments together will make our connection stronger. She's growing up, I'm working, her father and I are divorcing, our lives are changing drastically and rapidly. If we don't take the time to share our lives, we are going to miss it.

4) Go somewhere new, somewhere I would probably not have thought to go. The truth of the matter is that I can't afford to travel right now, but there are plenty of little adventures to be had right in our own backyard. New museums, new restaurants, even new towns. Maybe we'll just pull out the state map, pick a place and GO!

5) Work smarter not harder. Ever since I started back to work, I've been running. In many ways and on most days, I love it. I love the work I do and I love being back to work in general. But there are more times than I'd care to recall that I'm just spinning not really getting anything done. That's why I need to learn to walk away when my head is just not in it, take advantage of some of that mother/daughter time, and then once I'm refreshed, come back to it.

6) Learn to meditate. I've talked about this for years but I've reached a point where it would not just be a novelty but a necessity. I need to recharge to keep moving forward. There is no one but me here to handle my life and my daughter's. Without taking time out to put some energy back into me, I'm going to be angry which in turn with effect my daughter and our relationship. I can't let that happen. I need to find a way to center myself and get me back to whole. And I believe that meditation in the secret.

7) Be silly. It's just that simple and yet, just as hard.

8) Remind myself that for everything that is going poorly in my life, there is so much more that is going right. I have been blessed and I have much to be thankful for. But all too often the negative forces in my life pull me down and I'm mired in self doubt, self loathing, envy, sloth. But no more! I've worked too hard to rid myself of these 'loser' feelings. I must remain upbeat, alive, grateful.

That's it. My daughter had 28 things on her list but I've only got the eight. I guess I get to make those tie-dye cupcakes with her so that counts for me too. Seems like a tall order for just three months, but a start is all I need. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Brings New Beginnings

My daughter and I have been away for a long weekend at the beach for Easter Break. This is the time of year that we usually spend on Nantucket and it always feeds my soul, rejuventating me to start fresh the old goals that have lost steam since the first of the year, and creating new plans for myself to build on. But this year, as a newly single parent and newly back to the work force woman, I couldn't afford the trip. We opted instead for a beach closer to home, renting the condo of a friend, figuring it's still the Atlantic Ocean. But while it is essentially the same body of water, it is not the same experience. And the proof is in my mood. 

I have tried so very hard over the last few days to create the kind of joy we always had on Nantucket by keeping up with all our usual Easter traditions. But instead of feeling like lasting memories it seemed more like chores to check off a list. Color eggs, smile for the camera, trip to the beach, smile for the camera. A feeble forced attempt. 

Even the ocean is not breathing new life into my lungs the way it usually does. It was that subtle difference in my perspective no doubt that lead the sea to seem angry and unrelenting instead of powerful and majestic. 

But to be true to this new journey I'm on, the road to self discovery is not always going to be choruses of angels singing me to sunlit epiphanies. Sometimes it's going to be heartbreaking truths and moments of deep melancholy that feel like a boulder on my chest. 

How fitting though on this Easter weekend. Endings and beginnings. Death and new life. Sadness and joy. Our faith tells us to believe in Christ's resurrection without any proof. A two thousand year old religion built on a belief that something wondrous and profound happened without any evidence and yet it is the driving force behind Christianity. Beyond logic, just trust, that there will be light after darkness, happiness after sorrow, a new beginning after an ending. 

We head home today. And while this was not the vacation I had imagined it to be, it was no doubt the one I needed. 

I trust that tomorrow will be a better day and the start of something truly wonderful. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sometimes You Need A Cheeseburger

I woke up feeling a little off. Since finding the power of positive thinking - almost cult-like in some respects - I usually wake up fresh, renewed, and ready to begin a new day of endless possibilities for growth and happiness. And yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds.

But today I felt a pang of the usual negative grouchiness that held me captive for decades. I didn't feel like getting up much less getting dressed up. I didn't feel like having the usual morning chit chat with my daughter or drive even the 20 minutes to work. I was feeling only the grey of the cloudy morning and not the potential for the sun breaking through.

I tried to put a happy face on. Sang "Let It Go" from the Disney movie Frozen, in the car at the top of my lungs with my 12 year old, much to smiles and some snickers from the other commuters on Connecticut Avenue. I chatted on the phone with a friend I hadn't spoken with in a month. I had a midday manicure. None of it worked.

I just felt like I was rushing around, not getting anywhere, running into roadblocks both literally and figuratively, and in the end, nothing was truly accomplished and I had a headache. That's when I said to myself, "Fuck it! This day has been more shitty than not. Let's just call it a loss, hit the reset button tomorrow, and for now, have a cheeseburger!"

Driving home, I called ahead to our local burger place and ordered up dinner. It was waiting when we got there, still hot from the grill, no other customers in front of me, and the cashier was pleasant and polite. And that's when I knew, it was all going to be ok.

That for all the positive affirmations, the power of prayer, and the peace of meditation, sometimes what you really need...

is a cheeseburger.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Keeps me awake. Angry thoughts.
Try to push them out.

Must find a way to shine through. 
So sleep can find me. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Everyday when I wake up,

I push passed the aches and pains of my aging and overworked body,

I face a list of errands and chores and schedules and responsibilities,

I renew my determination to have patience and love in raising my daughter while also knowing I will fall short,

I breathe deeply through my fears and insecurities to appear competent in a career I've not yet mastered,

I force myself to continue on paths of healthy eating and exercise even when I'd rather not,

I tell myself to have hope that happiness and inner peace are within my grasp even when I'm tired and sad and at the end of my rope.

And I do it all, everyday, against the odds and against my natural inclinations, all the while being kind and outgoing and positive to those around me. 

All that, and I still make time for "you".

I don't truly have time to spare but I find time, willingly, because I want to be part of your life. Unfortunately, it is a very one sided arrangement.

Therefore, I've decided it is best for me to free up that time I've spent on you and use it for the one person for whom I rarely have time.


I think she will be far more appreciative. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

On My Mind

My heart still races
At the thought of him. My love.
How can I unlearn.

He said we’re no more.
I accepted that future.
Is it wrong to hope?

Don’t let me be blind.
If the truth is unpleasant.
Learn to live in it.

But I believe this.
We’ve all we need to rebuild.
If he’ll let it be.

If it’s meant to be.
That’s how I get through each day.
With hope, faith, and trust.

I know this one truth.
We are destined together.
If not him, no one.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Haiku Tuesday... Yes, I Know It's Thursday

What day is today?
Monday? Thursday? Midnight? Noon?
I've lost track of time.

Both busy and bored.
What to do first? All? Nothing?
Perhaps some haikus.

Always running. Next!
Frantic. Frazzled. Head spinning.
Keep going, baby.

I long for some rest.
To sleep, to dream, to stare out.
To even just sit.

Must plan idle time.
Schedule moments of peace.
Savor the quiet.

Meditation. Om.
Relaxation. Reflection.
Listen to breathing.

Still the list is long.
Must work to earn play. Moving.
Time to stop will come...

in time.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Goodnight, 46. Good Morning, 47.

Dear Bonnie,

You've had a very big year! You've done a great deal of logistical life changing, quite a bit of self discover, a fair amount of personal growth. And for that, I believe you deserve the day off. Take tomorrow to be self indulgent.

Eat chocolate for breakfast.
Buy yourself a huge bouquet of flowers.
Take a midday nap.
Reflect on all your accomplishments and be proud.
Look at all your blessings and smile.

You took the road less traveled and it has led you to happiness. Struggles and pitfalls, yes, but ultimately, the path to a deeper understanding of who you are and what you want and that can only lead to your bliss. Keep going!

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow, just be. Enjoy you. You are remarkable. Reveal in it!

I Love You!
Love, Bonnie

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Two Words

"If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in two words?"

That's the question posted to facebook today that has me thinking... which would probably be one of many two word notes to my younger self - Don't Overthink! And for the sake of this piece "over think" is one word ;-)

I have some ideas kicking around in my head that seem to fall into natural categories. Let's try this.

Drink Water
Eat Less
Move Daily
Save Money
Spend Less
Buy Thoughtfully

Don't Chase
Love Comes
Be Patient
Don't Push
Don't Settle

Try Harder
Keep Going
You Can
Dream Bigger
Take Risks
Be Fearless
Be Brave

Be Amazing
Be Astonishing
Be Positive
Breathe Life
Live Life

I guess this is where the phrase 'hindsight is 20/20' comes from. All the wasted moments. Well, not wasted. They've gotten me here. This place called second chances. Where I now can look back and say to my younger self "Hey, you won't understand any of what I'm going to tell you, but you will when you're in your 40's".

It may have taken a while to get here, but I'm glad I'm smart enough to listen now.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snow Day Haikus

Spring waits wearily.
Her time held off by more snow.
Winter laughs again.

Trapped inside four walls.
I seek relief in my thoughts.
But they bore me too.

Thoughts of him invade.
Exciting. Inspiring. 
I feel alive. Rush.

But he is a dream.
An illusion made of flakes.
The cold awakes me.

This winter must end.
It's been too full of sadness.
I long for lilacs.

Will butterflies come?
Only the patient Spring knows.
If it's meant to be.

April showers clear.
In the new season there's hope.
Gratefulness always.

For if Spring arrives,
Without lilacs, butterflies,
There is still new life.

In Spring I will grow.
New blossoms will be my coat.
A better me comes.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Has It Really Been Two Years?

Two years ago today, I wrote a blog post about an old HS classmate who I had reconnected with through Pinterest and how our friendship grew to a deep respect and innate connection in a matter of a few weeks. I've reposted it here but feel free to skip to the end for my point in bringing this up ;-)

Level Jumping On Friendship  [posted 2/28/12]

I've been reconnected with an old high school classmate. We were not friends then, but over this last week I feel that we have become so.

He will no doubt be reading this so I feel I must choose my words carefully. All of our conversations have been open and honest but they have been private and for that reason alone, I feel protective of sharing. But I do want to share a bit because I think it is an experience we all can grow from.

We have been filling each other in on the last 20+ years. Surprisingly though, we've only just touched on the broad strokes of life - the where did you work, where did you live, when did you get married. Instead, we've been discussing at length who we have become and how we came to be who we are in a very exposed and frank sort of way.

I'm certain that this level of intimate conversation, for most, is reserved for only the very closest of friends and family. For whatever reason, it seemed utterly natural to start our new friendship this way. There was no facade, no shined up version of ourselves, only truth... sometimes glaringly so. And because of it, we have compacted decades into three phone calls and an on-going facebook message.

But as is my usual course of action, I question things.

Is there a reason it happened this way? Am I seeking more depth in my friendships and so I initiated level jumping and he just came along for the ride?

Have I tired of friendships whose depth only goes as far as talking about what's on sale at the grocery store? Have I allowed myself to get mired in the day to day of life?

Or maybe this is the better way to friendship? No games, no charades, just me, just you.

But there is one more piece to the puzzle. The fact that while we have written and spoken, we haven't been face to face. Does that still give us some anonymity? Are we being as truthful as we think? Are even our issues and conditions and flaws presented with some panache through the written word or in the inflection in our voices?

If you are reading this C, you are no doubt regretting finding me in the first place ;-) But I did tell you this about myself. I question things. I wonder about things. And many times, this is where I come to ask these questions - throwing them to the wind and hoping that someone, somewhere has an answer that will give me some new perspective.

For what it's worth, I have been honest, perhaps with a nod to stand-up comedy in my "prose" but still, that's who I am too ;-) I hope that we will continue to be friends.

So if you are wondering if our friendship continued, the answer is yes. He is the only person who knows me completely - the good and the bad. The person that I go to when I have a problem I can't wrap my head around. The first person I think of when I have good news to share. And after two important and world changing years for me, I can't imagine life without him. He is in fact, my best friend.

We recently had a monumental falling out. It was completely my fault.

Because I'm still carrying huge steamer trunks of old baggage from my past, without much provocation, he bore the wrath of every pent up anger filled corner of my psyche... just because he is a man. And he took it like a man too. By saying goodbye.

It still makes me numb to think about it. How I could destroy such a rare and unique gift that was our friendship with one incredible lapse of sanity!

In recent months I have learned to accept that every mistake is an opportunity for growth. It was a wake up call to just how much more work I have ahead of me to achieve inner peace. It was a sign that I perhaps need to step back from all relationships and assess what I bring to them. It was a warning that even the strongest of bonds can break.

Thankfully, not entirely.

We are back to talking. We are back to discussing. We are somewhat back to normal. An early version of our normal. The one from two years ago.

Perhaps level jumping is not the way to go. Or maybe it is but only when two people are ready for the responsibilities that come with such a precious partnership. Or maybe, this is just the nature ebb and flow of a friendship that is so special.

I never believed in the concept of soulmates. I thought it was just a somewhat juvenile romantic illusion. But if I allow myself to find the truth in the term, I believe he is mine. And if you think about it, two people bound by the bond of friendship for all eternity are going to have bad days. It's how they move forward from them that makes the difference.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Haiku To You

I guess it was about a year ago I started and stopped (remember - great at beginnings) writing haikus. It was a way for me quickly express what I was feeling in the moment and provided a temporary burst of creativity.

It was suggested that I begin writing them again and I plan to add one to each new blog post. And since this is a blog post about haikus, let's jump right in. 

Weary from the fight,
I long for your comfort, ah,
My true love, my bed. 

Haha. Guess I'm tired. I'll try again tomorrow, when I'll be praising my shower for washing away all that makes me feel unclean and my favorite sneakers for their comfort and support during life's uphill battles. ;-)

Friday, February 21, 2014

It Has Come To My Attention

Learning about oneself is fascinating. Accepting what one learns is absolutely terrifying.

I'm reminded of an old early 80's song that goes... "I've been to paradise. But I've never been to me." I'm not sure I ever understood that song then but I get it now. I've lived a very good life. But it never seemed to be one truly suited for me. Not the real me, not the authentic me. I made what I had as wonderful as I could, but it was ultimately not satisfying. And accepting that was my first big challenge.

My life, a gold box,
Filled with the promise of jewels,
But empty to me.

How could such a good life, enviable to many, bring me so little joy? Because, I would come to realize, it was a life not lived. It was an existence. Free of creativity and passion and the stuff that makes our hearts soar.

In fact, it was not only a life void of those things but it one ruled by fear, mine as well as the fears of those around me. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of loss. Those insecurities became my mantras. "I'm not smart enough, talented enough, rich enough, attractive enough, good enough." The emotional and psychological weight of that self inflicted abuse weighed me down physically as well and in my first three years of marriage, I gained 75 lbs. But I can't blame who I was solely on my relationship to my husband. No, the patterns were formed well before that.

As a parent, I have made conscience choices to make a break from how I was parented. If I have given my daughter nothing else, it is the freedom (or at least a large percentage of it) to be who she is, to follow where her life goes, to dream big, to embrace her uniqueness, to love herself. It goes against everything I was brought up with and everything that comes as a first response to me based on my own insecurities. I find myself wanting to "fix" her, much the way I was "fixed" as a child. But I remember how that made me feel and I remind myself of who I became as a result. And I let her go to school with two different socks and her hair unbrushed. And I don't make her stop singing off key (unless I have a headache). And when she says she wants to be an artist or an author, I don't tell her there is no future in that - I tell her, 'go for it'! And I use the word 'weird' as a compliment and she loves it because she knows it means special; not better, just her.

For over 40 years, I lived a life that was a dream to many, sometime to aspire to - an affluent upbringing, an education, a career, a husband, a family, a home, etc. Suburban bliss. And if I could have ignored the pull of my own dream, that dream that was just mine unique to the masses, I could have stayed quite happy until the end of my days, not accomplishing much but being the standard. But that little girl inside, whose dreams were never fulfilled, has been screaming for attention and I just couldn't allow her to go unnoticed a moment more.

Once it had come to my attention, there was no going back.

I want a chance to truly live. To take leaps of faith. To make miserable mistakes. To believe in the impossible. To do it all without fear of failure or ridicule or loss. And to know that no matter how far I may fall in pursuit of my dream, that I can always get up. Because I am not all those things I used to tell myself. The real me is quite the opposite.

I hope one day that my life serves as a cautionary tale. Not because I survived drug abuse to get clean, not because I survived poverty to become wealthy, but because I survived a lifeless dull existence on the road to finding a meaningful vibrant life.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It May Not Be All My Baggage, But I Left A Suitcase At The Door

Personal growth takes work. Determining problems, exploring their origins, devising plans to eliminate them. And even once you've done all that, creating the proper environment and timing is key. But sometimes, the stars align and present you with an engraved invitation which reads:

You Are Invited To
A First Step
In Freeing Yourself Of Your Past
Traumatic Experiences.
Please Join Us Now. 

Today, I received a phone call from my father. He rarely calls so I'm always a bit nervous to answer the phone. Not because I think it will be bad news like the passing of a relative. But more so because I feel a dressing-down coming on. Suffice to say that even at nearly 47, I feel like an anxious child ready to be scolded for something I didn't do. And today was no exception.

He began the conversation by telling me that my daughter had not spoken slowly enough to be understood in her voicemail message to my stepmother for her birthday the day before. He continued by saying that I should also have called to wish her a happy birthday directly. He used the phase "You should do 'the right thing'."

Now before I continue with where this conversation led, I feel it necessary to point out that my father in no way determined this on his own. Without a doubt, he was TOLD to tell me that not only had I not done my step daughterly duties but that I clearly was misguiding my daughter in how to address her step grandmother. This is a pattern that I have endured for over three decades. As a child, I had no recourse. No one to defend me. No voice in the matter. As an adult, the pattern continues.

But it was the wording of "you should do 'the right thing'" that gave me the opening. It was a gift that I readily accepted. With more composure than I would have thought possible and with a clear head and voice I replied "Are you actually calling me to discuss what is 'the right thing'?" And as if I was reciting a script I had rehearsed a lifetime, I went into the clearly defined sequence of events that had taken place over the last six months and well before.

Last summer I told my father that my husband and I were separating. I had discussed my marriage with him and the problems we were having for the last two years so this was ultimately not a surprise. At the end of that conversation, he offered to tell my stepmother the news and I eagerly accepted. Her erratic and irrational behavior is well know by everyone she comes in contact with so I thought it best that he deliver this. At the time, I thought "Dad is finally taking a bullet for me." That turned out not to be the case.

Weeks went by and I heard nothing from either of them. A month later, I called my father and asked if he had told her the news. He said he had. I took this an opportunity to call my stepmother directly. She answered the phone with a tone I had heard all too often throughout my life. The simmering anger masked by condescension. She told me she was too busy to talk but she'd tell my father I had called. When I told her that I called to talk to her, she said, "I'm busy" and hung up the phone. I was furious! How dare she take my tragedy and find a way to play the righteous victim. I called my father immediately. I told him what happened and his reply was the final slap in the face "She can handle it anyway she'd like. I'm busy. I have to go." Click.

Months went by with family functions and holidays. My father would call to make plans but I did not answer the phone. When we were together, it was only the most superficial of conversations. In her usual passive aggressive way, my stepmother gave me a tote bag for Christmas with my husband's initial on it.

The new year began and with it, a new career for me and a brand new life. Both of them found ways to dismiss my new role and point out my inevitable failure.

"That's not something I would say. Besides, you stopped taking my calls." my father said in reply to my telling him about the hang-up. "Dad, with all due respect. You said it! And it hurt! And that's when I stopped answering the phone."

I proceeded to tell him that my stepmother's behavior towards me during this time in my life was appalling. That her behavior in general is abrasive and aggressive and tyrannical. That she has put me in the position of defending myself against her complete fabrications of the truth for the better part of my life. AND, that you, my father, have put blinders on to the entire situation.

And I said it all without a waiver of my voice, without a tear, and without agitation.

Then something completely unexpected happened. Unprecedented! My father agreed with me.

He agreed that her behavior is everything I said (he may have even added bitter and nasty). He agreed that he does avoid the issue because he thinks I can handle it (though I didn't remind him that I was only 10 when she came into my life; clearly I couldn't handle it). And he apologized. Not specifically but given that he has never done that before, I took it as a win!

He then said something odd that I will have to give some more thought to. He said I have his "permission to defend myself" and to do so "especially in his presence". Now, I don't know if I need his permission but I have to admit, it does make me feel as if I have the green light to take the low road once in a while instead of the path of the scared child 'doing the right thing'. The "in his presence" thing is, I'm sure, a power in numbers scenario. He's scared of her too.

Bottom line, today I felt the power to stand up for myself. Truly. Without tip-toeing around politeness and 'good daughter' etiquette. Without being scared of what might come, who'll be angry at me, who'll be disappointed in me. I stood tall, made my point, and concluded with my head held high. It was a victory for what has been right all along. And most importantly, it was a first vital step in releasing my past fears, anxieties, and anger, forgiving my father for turning a blind eye, and moving onto a better future clear of anything that hampers my growth.

You see, through therapy I've come to realize that the anger I held from my past was seeping into my present. I couldn't just release it and forgive, like so many others can and do. It was a constant reminder, in some strange way, a badge of honor, that I have endured something profound for many years. But I learned that it comes at a price. I would never be free of the burden as long as I wore the badge. It's time to let go.

The past is behind me. I'm not going there. I'm traveling forward. I'm leaving my suitcase and I'm only taking a carry on... to be unpacked at a later date ;-)