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 has reconnected with me. I’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 dreams I had when I was 18 haven’t really changed. I still want to be independent and not have to worry about money when I grow up, I still want 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 while with the love of friends and most 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 and be independent and who really “gets me.” Making those dreams come true has been a struggle, and I guess most of them are still a work in progress, but I’m optimistic now, more than I’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, got married, and had two daughters who are loving, sensitive, beautiful, smart, creative, caring, independent-everything I could ever have wanted.
I put aside my dreams of writing full-time to pursue a more secure career in business, worked way too much overtime, put my dreams on hold to fit into the world around me. I changed the way I dressed to fit in. I changed the way I thought and believed and expressed myself. 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 wasn’t happy, and the people who had wanted me to change weren’t happy with the changes either. I committed the suicide of my personality to fit in because my being different from 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 I’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 I’d given so many hours to. But a couple of good things came out of it that I couldn’t see then.
First, I got off the career fast track. I stopped putting 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 “fix” me, I began to delve into the occult and esoteric beliefs and discovered a spirituality that felt like coming home. I started my focus on my spiritual purpose and became disenchanted with my soul-sucking career.
Along the way, I had lost my confidence in myself and my abilities, eventually gave up on all my dreams just to please other people, and one day I woke up and realized that the man I’d chosen as my partner in life was emotionally distant and verbally abusive, controlling and manipulative. Though I understand now how he became that way and how our relationship spiraled into one of despair and oppression and though I surprisingly 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 wasn’t working-I filed for divorce. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life, but it was my first step to reclaiming me and dreaming again.
Along the way, I had begun a study for the pagan clergy. It took years and the introspection and clearing out my shadows were extremely difficult. I finally achieved my elevation to Third Degree, then the next morning saw something in my organization’s 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 two before, I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I resurrected the dreams I’d buried in order to keep everyone else happy. I started writing again, publishing again, traveling, making friends, losing them, too. A whole grab bag of feelings I hadn’t felt in years-both grand and awful-and spiritual experiences that amazed me.
Along the way, I said goodbye to my marriage and then suddenly, unexpectedly, totally fell head over heels for a man I’d known and liked for years, but had never thought of in that way because of our professional relationship (plus the fact that we were both “happily” married). I still find it hard to fathom the intensity of my emotions when it comes to him, even now. There were things that passed between us that changed my life 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 we’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 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 rebuild, but it’s still all in the past. What’s important now is the transition I’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.