For the faithful few who read my blog, and have offered me continued support in my endeavors to become a recognized author, thank you! I realize my posting has been spotty – amazingly enough, I was offered a job that might actually help me achieve my long term goals. Those goals would in effect also allow me to make this book thing happen for real. The catch? The new job is taking up all of my time right now, so posting bits of chapter is going to be spotty for right now. In other, more exciting news, I am knee-deep into the first book of my Trilogy. I happen to be stupid excited about this book – I had a dream about it when I was a child, and it’s been many, many years in the making and I am just absolutely thrilled at the possibility of this being something people will read in the (nearish) future.
OKAY! So, with that out of the way – let’s talk ugly.
As you can see from this post, I was married. I was married for eight years. And because you’re all smart and have read the title, I am married no longer. I’m not going to go into details – that’s for another book I’ll write when I am rich and famous and people want to know how Eli the author started. But what I can say is that it was the most difficult, and terrible, and painful, and heart shredding eight years of my life.
So, pardon the french, but why the fuck do I still celebrate my anniversary? Which, by the way, is on the 17th of this month.
I celebrate it for two reasons.
Before I continue, I do need to clarify that I am not in a place where I yearn or wish or desire for that marriage to have continued. When I say celebrate, I don’t mean it in the traditional sense of celebrating something. I think, perhaps, a better word would be ‘commemorate’.
So, to continue – I commemorate my once-anniversary for two reasons.
The first is that I love the month of October. Those of you who know me, know me to be a bit of a witch bitch (which is a great conundrum for those who also know me as a dedicated Christian. Which I still am, but I’m at peace with my alternative leanings. More on that on another day.)
October. We were on a thought. I derailed myself.
October is when my state gets majestically beautiful. Not just beautiful – my state is naturally beautiful all year round, regardless of the time of year, but when fall really hits my state, something changes. The wind is wiser and the trees talk. The mountains wake up and the skies whisper of the old days when magic still clung to the earth. Something special happens in October in my state, and it’s such a fleeting moment. Very rarely do I feel this mystery for more than maybe a week – it’s incredible to me that, this year, I’ve been feeling it since the beginning of September. It’s a gift, truly. In the wake of the end of the world, I was blessed with the gift of a true fall and a true October.
This year’s October is a lot like the October that I was married in. The air was brisk and refreshing at night, and the sun was accommodating and kind to my stubborn need for scarves and pumpkin spice lattes all day long. It was beautiful, and lovely, and as I write this I am thrown back to a time when I was so naive. Lord, I was so content in that innocence.
I was married on the 17th of October. I tend to associate colors with numbers and letters and for whatever reason, odd numbers in particular tend to be reds and oranges. They’re sharper colors, they’re rich. And the 17th in my mind was perfect. It was also on a Sunday – which I realize is nontraditional because we all want to get lit at weddings and need a day before work to recover, but I wanted to be married on the holiest of days. And so I chose Sunday.
My colors were orange and green – two of my still favorite colors. My dress was….childish….for lack of a better word. I was a child too, when I think about it. But I liked it. My mum took the dress in the night before the wedding because I had lost quite a bit of weight right before and it was far too loose. I had goldfish in my centerpieces, and my flowers were tiger lilies and white roses. I had a sparkly crystal butterfly hair comb and I felt really, really beautiful. Although now, I look back and can see only a child in my mind. What a dorky little child with a dorky little dream of being a dorky little wife with her dorky little husband. Funny how hindsight is so fucking perfect.
There’s so much more I could tell about this day. So much more I could revel in. But really…I like to remember the moments building up to the day. I don’t actually care to re-live the day itself. Not because it’s too painful, or too emotional. I don’t like to remember because when I think back, I remember that I knew something was wrong. I knew that I was not supposed to marry this man. I knew…I knew. I should have run, should have walked away, should have done something to prevent the day from happening, but I didn’t because I was stubborn and I wanted to do the right thing, damn the consequences to myself. And so I did it. I walked down the aisle. I said the vows – and meant them – and signed the contract and celebrated and ignored the little knot in the very core of my being that grew and grew and grew over the next eight years that would be the hell of my life.
But….for all that, I still commemorate it. Because October is magical for me. I refuse to let a day – a mistake of a day – ruin that magical month. I commemorate the day because, at this point it is part of what makes October so utterly and devastatingly lovely to me now. What should have been the best day of my life, was quickly turned into the worst, and yet, my lovely month, my special month, was still lovely. It was still special. Regardless of that bit of black in my lovely month’s world of color. And now I realize that the black actually makes the color more beautiful.
You never know what you really have, or how to really appreciate the good until you throw a little bit of hell into the mix. You need contrast. You need something with which to judge the good. Because if your life is just…good….one – that’s a styrofoam existence, and two – how do you really know it’s good?
The first reason I commemorate my once anniversary is because its ugly makes the beauty of my favorite time of year that much more beautiful and exquisite to behold.
The next reason is a little more introspective, but it’s tied into the first reason. I am an entirely different person today than who I was when I got married. I really was a soft, gullible, impressionable girl. And I look in the mirror today, and I see a well sculpted, intelligent, sharp, unapologetic queen. And the reality of this is that if I hadn’t gone through that trauma, if I hadn’t gone through that pain and suffering, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And I wouldn’t trade who I am today for anything in this world. It has taken many many days, nights, months, years, moments, to be able to say that I love myself. And there are still certainly days when I don’t. But, even during the times that I don’t love myself, I still know that I deserve that love. As all humans deserve it.
I lived for almost ten years with a man who did his absolute best to try and make me forget that simple little truth. A truth that really is simple, but oh so hard to accept. And by leaving, and by growing, and healing, and moving forward, I proved the fucker wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
BUT. Had I not met him in the first place. And I had I not said yes to his proposal that day on the rock in the park where we had our first date, and had I not forced myself down that aisle in the dress that was too big for me, I would not have been forged in the fires that were my marriage. I would have still been the soft, pliable, insignificant, little lump of unrefined metal that I was the day I said “I do”. But I did do all those things. And boy, let me tell you, my friends, God delivered hellfire.
I was purified in that hellfire. I was refined in that hellfire. I was made into a fucking weapon in that hellfire. I evolved and rose and recognized who I truly was and am in that hellfire.
And so, the other reason why I still commemorate my once anniversary is because it was due to that fateful day that I am the entity I call myself now.
I realize this will seem a little flowery to some, and I do not expect, nor want those who have been through their own hellfires to think that they must celebrate or commemorate. Sometimes, the best things for our hearts is to forget. For a long while I did forget, and there is true peace in that path, and I honor those who choose it.
But for me, I’m afraid that in order to continuously be my best self, I have to remember. I have to commemorate. I have to be reminded.
So maybe, if you read this, and it’s the 17th of October, raise a glass with me, and commemorate the things we have all had to endure in order to become who we are today. And know that I admire you for that.