I was certain that I had done all of the things “they” tell you to do to make the fairy tale a reality. I went to college, earned a few graduate degrees, got married (twice for good measure), and birthed over the recommended 2.5 children. So, how did I get here? Here, on the porch emailing my husband, begging him to let me in or to let me go. I’m unsure now.
How far back should I go to figure out when I got off of the happily ever after course? Do I connect with my 17-year old self who observed the marriages around her and decided that she was better off unwed? Do I consult the 24-year old who told her mom, after the first proposal, that she in fact did not want to get married after accepting the beautiful princess-cut diamond ring in the presence of family and friends? Or is it worth having a conversation with my 35-year old self who accepted a marriage proposal under not-so-ideal circumstances? At each of these inflection points I listened to what “they” said instead of my gut. What did I know? I was clearly not winning at this one shot at life I was given. How, after following their guidelines, was I gearing up for a life of disgrace as a divorced single mother?
“They” had really done a number on me, but the universe decided that it was time that I was reintroduced to myself. I recently found a love letter that I had written to myself just five days after I was at the literal and proverbial lowest point in my life. How I wrote these beautiful words at that time, I will never truly understand. Their essence must have been the wind beneath my wings propelling me forward.
“What does it really mean to love myself? What would my life look like? As I think about the answers to these questions it’s definitely not about any one person. It’s a state of being. Loving Zakiya feels like being connected to the flow of life. Loving Zakiya is living with an understanding and deep acknowledgement that my desires are fulfilled just because I am open to receiving them. Loving Zakiya means being authentic. Loving Zakiya means choosing love in all situations without an expectation of loves return. Love is free flowing at all times. Zakiya is love. “
What I know now is that “they” can’t tell me anything!