It took 1.5 villages
Hello cave aficionados!
Since I was sixteen I have kept some form of journal. In these journals are many truths and self deceptions. Added to the journals are several letters that I have received over the years from loved ones. There are letters of encouragement during exam time, support during recovery from broken hearts, letters that showed me that I wasn’t as awful and terrible as I thought I was, and letters that simply relay the events of life.
I love having these because I can finally look back on all of this and have some real since of who I am and how I got to be there…of the huge debt I owe to so many people who made a good-faith effort to love me when I was unloveable, to be there for me despite the bad choices I may have been making, and to celebrate with me when things went well. I was blessed. Deeply and irrepressibly blessed and all I can say for it is “thank you” to the universe, to God, to the beautiful and deeply flawed individuals who were there for me. Thank you to my family, to my friends, to the patient and impatient who let me go through my growing pains, and who still do.
Things I have learned from these mementos:
1. I am loved.
2. My mom was awesome in all the ways she tried to mother me, without smothering me.
3. My Dad really did want the best for me.
4. That I wanted love so much in my youth that I put up with some pretty unacceptable behavior from others and from myself.
5. That I don’t always challenge myself to be my best.
6. That my church group, my summer camp friends, friends from school, work and life in general have all done large and small things to keep me in line.
7. They actually liked me, for me. It took a long time for me to accept that I might be likeable.
8. That regardless what others do think of me, I am still God’s creature, undeserving of his Grace and yet have it accessible. What a miracle is that!