Thursday, June 28, 2012

My House and My LIFE in Transformation

Humpty Dumpty is almost put back together again!

Today we picked out wall color.  No more dirty, flat ugly walls upstairs.  The rooms will be a calming light café-au-lait color. 

The floors will be covered in light brown shag carpet - yup, I said "shag".  Not a long shag (like in the 60s).  I honestly think this will look nice - and it will hide dirt (my #1 criteria for carpet).  It's called "Shimmering Shag" and it's a soft color, not bright like they were when I was a kid. 

My color is between the top & second color... not too dark, not too light.

And praise God, the rest of my new appliances will be here soon!  It will be great to be able to bake again!  No more frying food - yeah!

And my brand new wood floors (our treat to us!) will be here in a few days.  Within one week, I will have a totally transformed house.

And as I think about my transformed house, I am thinking about my transformed life. 

I've come a long way.  Twenty four years ago when people said "you should get married so you have someone to help you raise your boys", my answer was "Marriage is like death!  You do it once and that's it!"  And I was dead serious... the end of my marriage was beyond devastating when it was happening and for many years to come.  I was suicidal for the longest time, unable to bear the excruciating pain.  I am only alive now because my desire for release from the pain was not as strong as my love for my wonderful sons.  I was determined to not leave them, as I had been left. 

Once I was able to not let the pain consume me 24 hours a day, once I stopped crying myself to sleep every night, I promised myself that I would never give my whole self to someone like that again and besides, I didn't think I was worthy of that type of love anymore (having screwed it up the first time!).

Now, today, here I am.  Twenty four years later with a life transformed... And it's all because I wanted to 'date' - NOT marry.  I didn't want anything serious... I figured I had raised my boys and now I needed some adult companionship to spend time with... after all, eventually my boys would be gone.

So onto I went... and after some funny dates & meeting some nice guys and some jerks, I met Don.  He too was not looking to get married again... "Perfect" I thought.  We can have fun without any pressure.  We will live in the moment. 

Time traveled on and we went from just dating to a little more serious, then to a lot more serious.  And while we eventually decided to live together, we didn't decide to get married.  I had determined that I was good with where we were... I never brought up the word marriage.

But then he started talking about it... little things, here and there... and I routinely changed the subject.  What we had was good, I thought... Why throw in the monkey wrench of marriage?  Plus I still had a child at home... A grown child, but my child still the same.  Marriage & kids... that had warning signs all around my head.

And then an opportunity came for me that would allow me to travel for work.  I jumped at the chance, since one of my mottos is "have passport will travel".  And so I began.  Going from here to there to everywhere...Gone for a week or two at a time.  Sleeping in hotels (and sometimes airports).  Eating fast food or bland airport salads.   Finding out that I was missing him more than I thought I would.

Missing that wonderful smile and that strange elf laugh!  Missing him complaining about the sandwich Brandy stole 2 years ago!   Missing him ask me why when it is 90 degrees in the house that I have to have the sheet on me or I can't sleep - even while I sweat!  Listening to him tell me yet again, "well I don't know any Black person who does..." and me thinking -"he needs to increase his social circle!  He's in a box & doesn't even know it!"  Just Missing Him!

I sometimes think that God put that job in front of me so I could be away from him for periods of time so I would think about what it would be like if we stopped living together.  Eventually I realized that I wouldn't want to be without him.  But then fear (or the devil) took over so I didn't venture into 'marriage', I just stuck with the status quo and didn't give the future much thought.  I was living in the moment - yet I was beginning to wonder about marriage, about what that would be like.  I was wondering if I could do it again?  If I should?  I wondered if he really wanted to get married or were his little comments just comments and nothing more... I wondered what my kids would think, what my brother would think.  I wondered about my stuff, his stuff, our stuff... I feared that my feelings would change. 

Then on January 6, 2012, he asked me to marry him.  And with those 4 little words "Will you marry me?", all those fears vanished.  I looked at him and knew that he loved me & that I loved him.  Those words transformed me...

I have a pre-January 6th self and a post January 6th self.

My post January 6th self has taken the lessons of the past with a hope to never repeat them.  My post January 6th self knows that while there are no guarantees in life, and that life without transformation is not life.