#oldfacebookposts - On the Topic of My 47th Birthday
I love this picture. It is so very me. Even if you haven't met me in person, well you did now. On my middle finger is the 5-year Anniversary ring I bought for myself - a battle trophy. One of the necklaces was a gift from a friend in 1988. The shirt was a thrift-store find I wore in Istanbul. I did my own hair - cut and color.
And here it is, sort of inception-style, because the Facebook post was written four years after the photo was taken. At the time of the writing, I was studying The Art of War by Sun Tzu and applying it to the divorce process. It worked marvelously.
I remember this day well. I was angry; I wanted to leave my husband and this life even then. I didn't want to go to a fucking birthday party of three people in this [ redacted ] town, but I did, and I made sure to have fun.
This is a picture of my battle armor. Between then and now I took it off a few times. I get tired of carrying it and put it down, and then for a while I forget there's a battle raging because the enemy has declared a cease-fire. I can forget because I am not physically in danger, and my husband is not a horrible person. Thousands of wives have tolerated far worse in the interest of moral conviction and What Everybody Else Will Think.
Neither of those factors applies to me.
I've lived approximately eight lives now. I'm still here because I'm tired. I don't want to uproot and repot; I don't want to do it with grace, and I don't want to flee. But my inner child is stomping feet and my inner teenager is self-medicating and I feel like I'm re-living several of my past lives at once.
My dreams from last night were of the present - apparently my brain sees something I haven't recognised and is trying to show me.
Adulting is, I'm told, a series of things you don't want to do in order to create for yourself or others a stable future. For Others. I had kids in mind, because they're a powerful motivator. And I tried to delete that phrase twice but my fingers kept putting it back. So many things I did for others. It's not their fault.
This is a picture of someone who used to be an empty shell and rebuilt the inner workings. At the time of this picture life felt threatened, and fight-or-flight response was engaged, but so was etiquette. No wonder I am tired.
8. Earth Comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
I tried to wage war on open ground and damned if my cannon didn't jam. Fine - fall back and calculate. It isn't over. Watch and wait.
Sun Tzu on The Art of War
Save this link, or download the .pdf. I'm about to get back into it and apply it to the process of relocating. Not yet, but soon...