Most people in my life and who read this blog are aware of the events that have led me to this point in my journey. I've never hidden what happened to me and I've always tried to be honest and to face those events with dignity and grace.
It's been over four years since my life disintegrated before my eyes. Since all my hopes and dreams and plans literally vanished overnight. It's taken those four years for me to be whole again ~ to be able to look forward to the future, without fear, without regret, without anger. To be able to imagine coming to Paris for a year, let alone planning it and doing it.
Having the luxury of a year off means finding stuff to occupy that year with. My first month flew by in a whirl. My mind was still on vacation, I was busy setting up my apartment, getting to know my neighbourhood, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Before I knew it, it's five weeks later and guess what, I'm still in Paris! I still have 11 months ahead of me. So now what?
I've always wanted to write. And boy, do I have a story to tell. So you would think this would be the perfect time to do just that. Sit down and write. About what happened. And where it led me. And how I got there. But that means revisiting that past. It means going through the pain all over again. In detail. Remembering conversations and events and people that changed my life. That almost destroyed me. That almost did me in.
But that's the thing. They didn't. They almost did. (And I'm not talking about taking my life here, although there were a few times I didn't think I wanted to go on. I'm talking about giving up. Living, but not living. Becoming bitter. Not feeling grateful, not seeing the beauty in life. Letting events redefine your life to the point that you are not really living that life to the fullest.) But I'm still here. A very different person than I was when that old life slipped away from me on November 20, 2013. A stronger, more aware, braver person that I could have imagined that day. It's trite to say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But I believe that inside each of us, there are strengths that lay there, waiting. They are there, dormant, but available.... just in case. You never really know how much you can take and how strong you really are until that moment comes when you have to draw on those strengths. And then you just do. Because what's the alternative? Just lay down and give up? Let an event outside your control determine who you are going forward? No, you have to look at everything good that is still in your life and focus on that ~ those people who still love you, the blessings you still have ~ your health, your job, everything else that makes you, you.
Just think of everything I wouldn't have experienced if I had given up ~ the people I wouldn't have met, the art I wouldn't have seen, the moments with my grandkids that I wouldn't have treasured, the nine trips to Paris I've savoured since that day four long years ago! Feeling sorry for myself and feeling like I was a victim would have been easy. And maybe even warranted. And there are moments and hours and days that I did. But I was always determined that what happened to me would not define who I was. Would not determine how I would live the days yet to come. So I fought to ensure that it wouldn't. And it hasn't. And I'm happier and more content and more excited about the future than I have been in a very long time.
So maybe it's time to lay that past to rest. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to write that book or not. I don't know if I need to in order to keep moving forward. What I do know is if I do, it will be a very different book than it would have been even a few years ago. It will be about how we move forward. It won't be about revenge or rancour. It will be to help people, not hurt them or even any scores. The past is the past. It can't hurt me anymore. I am who I am because of that past. So I will embrace it. Even be grateful for it because look where I am now! I'm just Letting It Be.......in Paris :)