Anyone who knows me probably needs to know that my sister and I (and I suspect my mother) have this weird holey / fluid / trans-dimensional annoying memory issue. We forget. We know we forget, but because the ‘thing’ is forgotten, we don’t miss it. Till someone says something like “Remember that time” and we really, really don’t.

This is a blog I wrote 363 days ago. Perhaps read if you want some context, but it is not necessary. I remember vowing to never age another day, but the actual writing of this piece has slipped into that other dimension filled with half bits of my memory. Reading it now I recognize the tone as me, and I can appreciate the idea behind it, but it is not quite right. Just a feeling of ‘offness’ and a vague disconnect.

It was written before the landscape changed so dramatically. And more water has flowed under my metaphorical bridges than I knew existed. Perhaps that is why it doesn’t sit well now. So here is version 4.0.

I turn 40 in a few days. Presents are still mandatory because I love getting them a whole bunch.

Thing is – I don’t feel 40. I don’t even feel 29 or 19. Apart from a whole lot more darkness in my heart and spirit, buffered by hope and knowledge, I don’t feel like time has passed.

So forgive me if I reflect.

I have loved. Or thought I loved. And lost very badly. I learnt along the way that it wasn’t love. It was the broken pieces of my nature that needed to fix / be loved / help. I have yet to love and be loved in the way Hollywood would have us believe is our life’s goal. Doesn’t matter though. For I have learnt to love myself for who I am. More so every day. The journey is ongoing.

I have cried for friends that have passed me by. But I have learnt that those that are meant to stay, do. And those that leave make space for better ones.

I have buried a father I barely knew. Barely remember. He died too young and because of it, I grew up alone with a broken mother. I have learnt to forgive him, and God, for the reality I found myself in. And I look forward to meeting him again one day. Perhaps he will even be proud of me.

I have learnt to accept a mother that is damaged. Still she manipulates and plays on my feelings and still my nature allows it. But I have come to realize that she is not doing it out of vindictiveness or malice. She is simply broken in her own way, and was perhaps never afforded the opportunity to heal herself. She is my mother, she is old, and I love her. I will not abandon her because of her faults. I have my own, and I hope they do not become the sum of me, as they have her.

I have made my own version of an immediate family. Friends, animals, my mother. A sister I never thought I would get along with, who carries me more than she should. A sister who has left to follow her own path. A hard path. One I do not know if I would be brave enough to chose. And for all the times that she has carried me, I will try to carry her this time. These people and these creatures care for me and I care for them. And in the dark moments – that is enough. Love is always enough. 

Forgive me if I look forward.

I will be who I am. That may seem to be a strange statement, but it has taken me an age to accept that I am me. And it has taken me even longer to just be me. Every day, who I am gets easier. I find that my God has of late placed me in places and with people who just enjoy me. I can see it in them and in their interactions with me. That joy means more to my self esteem than I can ever explain. Or perhaps, He has always surrounded me with these fine souls, it is only now that I can see them. 

I will keep dreaming of the day that I get to sit on a train as it slowly winds its way through to Alaska. Or Russia. Remembering another train and the sound of a carriage going over tracks and a father and a family. A time before it was all gone. Perhaps someone will join me. Perhaps I will be alone. Perhaps I will never make it there. Doesn’t matter. The art of dreaming is just as important as the dream. 

I will strive to be the healthiest I can be. Every day my lungs get a little better I think. And every day I hope to lose a tiny bit more weight. One day – I will walk into a shop and buy a small to medium pair of pants off the rack. I am not far from this. I have avoided hospital for an age now and am off most of the medicines that make me feel so terrible. Baby steps will get you there as well. 

I will try to write more. Because in the writing I find peace. Allot of tears, but also peace.

I will love my family as much as I can. No soul is meant to walk this world alone.

I will love my God as I always have. He has seen me through some serious darkness. With patience and love.

I will be who I am, love who I care for, dream big, diet more, exercise allot and write.

I will be who I was made to be.

Every day.