BY ALICE LUNDY
Today, I’m thankful for wisdom earned from 52 years on this Earth.
I’m thankful for the men who looked me in the eyes and told me lie after lie back when it used to make me confused. Because now, I’m merely amused, as you can’t see the gap between you and truth. I’m not mad. I need not confront. I’m free to leave your playground and let you go another round.
It’s just the beauty of having learned, because I burned the lessons into my soul. I don’t mind making mistakes; it’s repeating them that gets me. So, let me make new ones.
Let me never again love another woman’s man, just because I can. When I was 20 that felt like plenty. Because I didn’t yet respect love or know how to rise above natural desires or the fire of a man wanting to win me.
But, I’m not a prize to possess or a goal to get. I’m a woman worth knowing and I didn’t know that then. So, maybe I wasn’t ready for a real man. That’s a part of youth and out of it, I squeezed the juice of living fully.
I was out of control and being in control may be the opposite, but what about going with the flow?
Because baby, that’s where I’m living now.
You can lean in for a hug or offer a handshake. I’ll take your cue and meet you where you are because I’m never going where I’m not welcome with someone who can’t see my essence.
I meet with her every morning in the mirror and she mirrors back to me all the love given by my mama and all the drama I’ve been through taught me that’s not a lifestyle that suits me.
I’ve got nothing to prove. I’ve graduated from youth.
I’ve been loved by men who made me feel like more of a woman and I’ve been cut down by nonchalance. Ain’t none of it killed me and I’m going to keep on living until I die. All the best ones do — my brother and my beloved — lights out too soon, but no one can ever say they didn’t shine.
And me? I’ve still got time to live out my divine destiny.
All this gathering of stories and words and yeah, I’ll say it — I’ve got some wisdom from digging deep into death and desperation, self-help and helping others, looking to God, and telling the whole damn world to f*ck off.
It’s called living, baby!
Don’t tell me fear and love cannot coexist. If you believe that, you haven’t lived or seen someone you love succumb to cancer. You haven’t had your heart smashed if you’re not a bit afraid of love — because maybe you’re too young, but I’m not.
I’m old enough to know there will be dark times when I’ll wish I was the one in the check-out line. But, if I can just make it through the night, it’s quite likely I’ll meet with a surprise — something as certain as the color purple or a new man dancing with me on a random Friday night in a bar called Dick’s Den and then…
Even better — yes, even better than kissing him on the cheek — is me getting to be of benefit for someone else, when paying it forward is more than a phrase. When a new friend says she’s trapped in grief’s haze and I’m the fortunate hand to reach for her, I think this, yes; this was worth waking up for.
Going through mine — lessons and grief, great love and loss — has led me to this like being guided by the moon.
I’m silly. I’m delirious. I believe in magic. And I’m wise.
Ha! I’m a woman — alive.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.
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