Reconnections and Summaries
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
Mercury in retrograde has a way of bringing back people from my past. This one certainly did. A woman who was my best friend in college Â has reconnected with me. Iâ€™ve seen her only once or twice in the past 20 years, and I think the last time was about 16 years ago. We have some remarkable tales to tell each other, and some are a little too similar.
So how do I sum up 20 years of my life in one email? Well, here goes….
The Â dreams Â I Â had Â when Â I Â was Â 18 Â havenâ€™t Â really changed. I still want to be independentÂ and not have to worry Â about Â money Â when Â I Â grow Â up, Â I Â still Â want Â to change the world, and I still want to write and make mu- sic and indulge my creativity, to be myself utterly, and all the Â while Â with Â the Â love Â of friends Â and most Â especially with the love of a good man who appreciates me for who I am and who himself wants to change the world and indulge his creativity Â and be independent Â and Â who really â€œgets me.â€ Â Making Â those dreams come true has been a struggle, Â and I guess Â Â Â most of them are still a work in progress, but Iâ€™m optimistic now, more than Iâ€™ve been in at least the past decade, maybe the last two decades.
Along the way, I got a few more college degrees and certifications, Â got married, Â and had two daughters Â who are loving, sensitive, beautiful, smart, creative, caring, independent-everything Â I could ever have wanted.
I put aside my dreams of writing full-time to pursue a more Â secure Â career Â in business, Â worked Â way too much overtime, Â put my dreams on Â hold to fit into the world around Â me. Â I Â changed Â the Â way Â I Â dressed Â to Â fit Â in. Â I changed the way I thought and believed and expressed myself. Â I changed the way I decorated my surroundings and the jewelry I wore. I changed into what everyone else wanted me to be and lost myself. I wasnâ€™t happy, and the people who had wanted me to change werenâ€™t happy with the changes either. I committed the suicide of my personality Â to Â fit Â in Â because Â my Â being Â different Â from Â those around me was too hard on them. I became the perfect career woman, suits and briefcases and pumps and all.
Along the way, I got hurt on the job, the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Where Iâ€™d been such an asset to my employer before, I was now a liability, and I was treated as such. No one came to my rescue. I felt betrayed by my body and by the institution Â Iâ€™d given Â so many hours to. But a couple of good things came out of it that I couldnâ€™t see then.
First, I got off the career fast track. I stopped puttingÂ my career ahead of my own health and started my struggle for balance.
Second, in the 27 months of persistent, excruciating pain before I found a practitioner who could â€œfixâ€ me, I began to delve into the occult and esoteric beliefs and discovered a spirituality that felt like coming home. I started my Â focus Â on Â my Â spiritual Â purpose Â and Â became Â disenchanted with my soul-sucking career.
Along the way, I had lost my confidence in myself and my abilities, eventually Â gave up on all my dreams just to please other people, and one day I woke up and realized that the man Iâ€™d chosen as my partner in life Â was emotionally distant and verbally abusive, controlling Â and manipulative. Â Though Â I Â understand Â now Â how Â he Â became that way and Â how Â our relationship Â spiraled into one of despair and oppression Â and Â though Â I surprisingly Â hope that he can break that pattern one day with someone else, I decided that I either had to die on the spot or leave him. Since I already felt dead-and that wasnâ€™t working-I filed for divorce. It was the hardest thing Iâ€™d ever done in my life, but it was my first step to reclaiming me and dreaming again.
Along the way, Â I had begun Â a study Â for the pagan clergy. It took Â years and the introspection Â and clearing outÂ Â myÂ Â shadowsÂ Â wereÂ Â extremelyÂ Â difficult.Â Â IÂ Â finally achieved my Â elevation Â to Â Third Â Degree, Â then Â the Â next morning saw something Â in my organizationâ€™s Â leader that reflected the exact behaviors of the man I was divorcing. As much as I loved my spiritual family, I knew then that I could not remain under her leadership when I was breaking away from the same behaviors at home. It was not the hardest thing I have ever done, not by any means. The power I felt from seeing patterns of destruction in my life and realizing I could change my path….well, that made it very easy.
Along the way, I finished the divorce paperwork, kept my girls for most of the time, adjusted to a new financial situation, and soldiered on, still not able to write full-time, but able at least to write again. A year or Â two before, I wouldnâ€™t have thought it possible, but I resurrected Â the dreams Iâ€™d buried in order to keep everyone else happy. I started writing Â again, publishing again, traveling, making friends, losing them, too. A whole grab bag of feelings I hadnâ€™t felt in years-both grand and awful-and spiritual experiences that amazed me.
Along the way, I said goodbye to my marriage Â and then suddenly, Â unexpectedly, totally fell head over heels for a man Iâ€™d known and liked Â for years, but had never thought of in that way becauseÂ of our professional relationship (plus the fact that we were both â€œhappilyâ€ married). I still find it hard to fathom Â the intensity Â of my emotions Â when it comes to him, even now. There were things that Â passed Â between Â us that Â changed myÂ lifeÂ in ways no one will ever know, probably not even him. I will always be grateful to have had him in my life, even for a short period, and for the support he gave me when I felt so unsure of myself. Seems we only got to see each other at our worst, but maybe one day weâ€™ll see each other at our best. In any case, wherever he goes and whatever be- comes of him, he will always be special to me and I will always think of him as The Treat.
And so in summary, those are all things that happened along the way Â since we were friends in college. They all helped make me who I am now, some tearing me down to the ground and others planting seeds to Â rebuild, but itâ€™s still all in the past. Whatâ€™s important now is the transition Iâ€™m in from those things in the past to where those dreams are real and fulfilled in the future.
All those things have happened, but I am still here, still me and more me than ever.