Wistful! It’s a year short of a decade since my marriage broke and my family unit scattered rather like balls on a billiard table. In 2010, I was a mother concerned with her nest and babies unaware of the storm about to hit me. Looking back I feel like I was the center ball, safe in the triangle that keeps the balls secured and in place till the start of the game. Then the cue stick of fate gave the first push and the balls that made up my world scattered.
In case you think this is a sob story, it isn’t. It’s a tiny little ode of self-love because I made it! I don’t have anything glorious to show for this decade such as a company I made from scratch or accolades or awards. I am in fact that fourth place winner no one pays attention to. But I have my own milestones and medals that matter to no one but me and by God have I made a little altar dedicated to myself, by me and for me, filled with my own light.
People often ask the question ‘where did those years go?’ For me, I ask how did they go? What is the weight of time gone past rather than its count? I wonder. I went seven years to court alone for my hearings and I made it without false allegations to support my cause. I was no lioness but I was the unassuming beaver that builds dams! I studied to get employed because it was my need rather than my desire. I went from having much to not much which fuelled my drive for skilling and upskilling.
In the process, I discovered what a bloody good learner I am. I discovered I have an infinite capacity to absorb and learn, a gift given to me born of trauma but its opium as well. For this realization, I am grateful. And my boys were scattered too. But perhaps as though tied by an umbilical stretchy wire, they stayed connected and grounded. As if the earth mother herself reached up to gather our strings together and hold them deep in her core. I am blessed they were pocketed quickly at the game beginning. Today… I am a weird mix of harsh and kind, mindful, and mean. But most of all I am wistful and grateful, as much for what was Not given to me as for what was.
Ten years but one, post the big D and in my forties, the LGBTQ anthem sung by Shirley Bassey is my song. And to the decade gone by ending in COVID, I sing in full voice …
I am what I am
I don’t want praise
I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise
I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each feather and each spangle
Why not try and see things from a different angle
Your life is a sham till you can say
Hey world I am what I am
I am what I am