These are the memories that get me through the rough spots.
Winter is always hard on us. My husband has to be active at all times. Staying at home all winter just makes him antsy and agitated. Being a seasonal firefighter always searching for a permanent position has been especially discouraging. Needless to say winter is when we see the hardest times in our marriage. This winter was no different. I don't know that everyone struggles the way we do. I don't know if all relationships have those "divorce sounds easy" days. NO! I DON'T THINK DIVORCE IS EASY! But when I feel broken and depressed over the us that isn't working on those days....I will admit I think those things.
We were just coming out of a really rocky stretch this winter. Then I found this blog post one morning. It was as I felt a light turn on. I read it out loud to my husband with tears streaming down my face. Because it was exactly what I needed to read in that moment.
This is marriage. It is standing on the edge of the abyss and saying, I choose to stay. Today, I will stay.
Then the mail came.
Life gets so busy. We make friends and say "best friends forever". That isn't exactly how it works out. People move (sometimes to ag country in rural California) away and have babies. Those babies have school and soccer and dance. Before you realize it years have passed and those people who you thought you'd spend holidays with got other BFF's. At least that is what I thought.
I wrote a pretty sad post "I feel alone". I just now re-read it and it's pretty dark. My BFF from a million years ago also read it and she was pissed. I know she was pissed because she wrote me a 3 page letter. In the very first paragraph she told me she was "angry, sad, disappointed...." It was part "knock this shit off" part "remember how loved you are" and, mostly "YOU ARE NOT ALONE". I call it her angry love letter. I didn't even know she read my blog.
I think I was a junior in high school when we met. I didn't like her. She was a little too Betty bad ass and, not enough glitter and rainbows for my taste. But we ended up together. She is the little sister I couldn't get rid of, even if I wanted to. She's the one who calls me the annoying nicknames I'd love to smack her for. She's the one who reminds me of the comical mistakes I try to forget. On a day when I doubted myself and really didn't like being me...she lifted me up. She even sent me a bracelet. On the inside the bracelet says "I am beautiful, I am enough, I am strong". She knew I needed the reminder. I cried reading her letter.
For the second time that day I was getting exactly what I needed.
Then the wind was sucked from my sails. Later in the evening I got another letter. Someone I thought was a friend had horrible things to say about me. I was devastated. The build up of happy from my day was gone. In four sentences I was quickly reduced to that insecure dark place I try so hard to run from. I'm really good at beating myself up and I did just that. When I got home my husband told me he had read the beautiful love letter Kristy had sent me. "Almost 20 years of friendship! SHE KNOWS YOU! Listen to her! Don't listen to the people who are trying to bring you down." I tried . I tried really hard.
I spent the next several days eating a lot of ice cream, crying and, questioning myself. I went over and over how I could make things better. How I could have done more and worked harder. I couldn't wallow long though. Our PTA had our first major fundraiser and I had a job to do. It was a beautiful success.
I question myself constantly. I question the decisions I make. I question whether or not I'm a good mother, a good wife, a good friend. I always always always question whether or not I'm a good person. Because I feel like I'm really trying to be.
After that day my husband and I started climbing back to a happier place. I realized I needed to send more cards, make more calls and just say I love you to the friends I miss so much. I can't tell Kristy enough how much her angry love letter means to me. But I wear my bracelet every day and try to remember what it says inside. Even on my best worst day I keep telling myself. I am beautiful. I am enough. I am strong.