Change seems to be a long and slow process. For example a new person starts at work, there is this period of adjustment for everyone from remembering a name, or where to sign out a pen, to secret crap signals, among other little office nuances. In time things become second nature, inside jokes and who gets cc’d on which project e mails.
That change seemed slow but all it took was several minuscule moments in time that set all that in motion. Really, change only takes a second.
Let’s count that out:
In less time than one can blink.
Life for me changed in the matter of a single moment. All the moments that happened in-between and leading up to that ‘life changing”moment have made it so I cannot quite pinpoint which moment was the culprit to my entire world’s undoing. Perhaps I forgot the milk one day and that was really what started it all.
I do know this; within a matter of hours my whole life imploded.
One morning I was dealing with the complete stereotype of domesticated chaos wrangling 2 kids into my new car whilst battling the eternal struggle of time as I’m always late for work and I may or may not have remembered breakfast in the mess of the morning. Looking back now, another part of me knew then something was going to happen, something big.
That evening the man I married walked out of my life.
The following morning the company I work for gave us all the bad news.
In 14 hours, I became a single mom, my dual income household became a single income (for now) and with the knowledge it is soon to be a no income home.
By the end of the week I was down a vehicle after paying the dealership a rather large sum of money to take back my brand new SUV I had picked up a few months earlier and I was now the proud owner of a shiny new lump of debt and humility.
A crippling blow.
I was loaned a car as I searched for a beater to solve my lack of wheels situation.
Within a 18 hours the car I was being loaned wound up totalled.
2 weeks later two letters in from the government stating a mistake was made one of the credits they give to parents and I now had to pay them back several thousand dollars due immediately.
I remember calling my friend after the accident to let her know what happened. I remember her voice coming through the speaker on my phone seeming distant, slightly electronic as her voice was reconstructed by the hardware and software of my smartphone into my ear, her words pummeling my freshly beaten being, her cheerful laughter burning my soul as she mused that when one refuses to step onto their true path the universe responds by sending a semi-truck to push you full force onto it. I remember the hot tears springing from my eyes, scalding my cheeks as they tumbled down onto my breasts, the awful sensation as they crawled further down onto my stomach. Following the sensation with disgust at my human form. I wanted nothing more than to crawl out my flesh bag and leave it to rot. I wanted to watch the magpies and crows swoop down to shred my skin, tear strips of muscle, of fat, from my bones and leave the remnants of my carcass for other scavengers after they had their fill. I wanted to leave my bones to bleach in the sun and slowly degrade in the ditch, to disintegrate into nothingness, blown away in the wind.
I begged every deity and life force present in the universe for another accident in that moment that would take me out of this world.
It didn’t happen.
Her words echo’d in my mind as I looked out the window, the pain of the accident starting to seep into my muscles, joints and bones, the world was rushing by. I remember the hurt, the anger and the disappointment of everything: the accident itself, the family, the relationship, my life, all of it. Completely encompassing . The humility of my entire existence. Knowing that so many out there look at my life as a lesson on failure, on how not to live. The voices in my head picking up their harmonious song “Look at her, she can’t function like a proper human, look at her brokenness. She’s unstable. She’s crazy. She’s fat. She’s stupid. She doesn’t belong here. Look at her failing at being a parent, look at her kids, look at her pathetic life. Waste of breath and flesh.” In the end I hear their laughter as they begin to chant these words over and over. I begin to see their eyes, their gnashing teeth, I feel the pain of my thoughts run through my arteries and veins like tiny little grim reapers, their scythes slicing through every blood cell, every fiber of my being.
Time passed and life has gone on so far. All of the facts remain the same, crippling debt, trauma & recovery, the end of an income slowly looming into view, packing up the house I worked my whole life to get is now in the process of becoming a nostalgic memory of better times, the loneliness that settles in at bedtime, the echo of a life. I’m still consuming & digesting my generous portion of humble pie.
As I make my way through it, I noticed the light in my world grow stronger. I started to date myself, discover self love, discover my happiness. I smile real smiles unhindered by all the things in my life I was trying to hide. I feel a spark in life that was never there before. I reflect on the series of events from the last 20 years and the absolute pain of living life has been for me because of my mental illnesses. During reflection, I realized it no longer hurts to be alive like it used to. I am feeling the weight of guilt, the burden fear has as the experiences slowly unfold. I feel the weight of them lift as I remove them from my soul and return them into the vast dark matter of their birth. I realized that even though my body and soul have taken numerous beatings it shows the ability to endure hell.
When a person falls particularly hard on rough terrain and tears skin there is this time where it hurts to move. It is tender, even dressings are hard to bear while the wound is closing. Then it scabs over & gets a bit itchy as it heals. Over time the scabs fall off and there is this sliver of a scar where the wound was. It’s different, never the same but a reminder of the lesson from that moment when it happened, all the events leading up to it. A story of its own, of a time in space that once existed but no longer does.
Life is fluid and in a constant state of flux. As humans we try to tame it and regiment so much of life from our little box houses, to the time pockets we allot for work and relationships we even box ourselves into tiny little packages. Life cannot be tamed, it is wild in nature; these incidents that crop up and flip our worlds upside down is a reminder of this. When these instances happen, sometimes, we look at life and the people in it in complete bewilderment and amazed that life is suddenly different. In reality, whole time everything and everyone was changing it was just in infinitely small ways that our every day eyes pass it over. Despite the chaos of these situations, they are tragically beautiful because each moment in life is unique. We seemingly only pause to gaze in these infinitesimal moments during times of peace or chaos, soon to realize that this too shall pass.