Reminding ourselves where we come from can be a humbling, beautiful, stark reality check. This is where I am from.
I am from stubbornness.
I am from abandonment. And I am from adventure.
I am from the front pew in my Sunday best,
the smell of musty carpet, the taste of grape juice, the sounds of “glory hallelujah” and the feeling of judgement drilling holes into the back of my head.
I am from a childhood of “do the right thing” and “stop being a martyr”.
I am from straight A’s and pep rallies,
I am from house parties and smoking weed at football games,
I am from getting caught and repenting and doing it all over again,
I am from prayer, loud evangelists, and republicans.
I am from here and many there’s.
I am from always being the new girl and not knowing what to do when I am not:
10 towns, too many new homes to count, oceans, mountains, cultures and jobs – most I had no choice in – a few I chose on my own.
I am from everywhere and nowhere.
I am from watching, adjusting, learning to fit in and yet trying to stand out.
I am from being in a country I do not understand.
I am from America, I am from South Africa,
I am from the ocean and the waves; the creativity and freedom.
I am from fear and worry and the wrong side of a gun with a decision to hand over the keys.
I am from pretending I’m ok.
I am from beauty, red dirt and the sweet smells of humidity, asphalt and jasmine.
I am from doing too much to please too many that don’t really care.
I am from not caring enough about myself until I burn out.
I am from depression and anxiety.
I am from not ever feeling like I am good enough to take it to the next level.
I am from releasing my tongue to say “fuckit”, “damnit”, “shit” and being over doing the right thing.
I am from “I’m done with this marriage” too many times to count,
and “I’ve made a mistake I want this to work” one more time than the former.
I’m from doing it wrong and not the right way.
I’m from being too worried about you and not enough about me.
I am from becoming a mother on a snowy April morning.
I am from a new life giving me new life.
I am from learning to be a single mom 65% of the time. I am from “we will miss you’s” and “welcome home’s” and early mornings or late night static-y Skype chats from Pakistan, India, Namibia, Kenya.
I am from long emails, a big bed all alone, and nights filled with trying to remember my dreams.
I am from exhaustion.
I am from the smell of diaper cream, poopy diapers, that clean baby smell, and the ripe smell of raspberries and cleaner as I scrub the fruit out of the carpet.
I am from sleepless nights – teething, sickness, the sterile smell of the doctors room.
I am from having to keep up with the changes and yet clinging to each moment so desperately.
I am from feeling like crumpling into a pile on the floor – as my toddler does now when he can’t have what he wants.
I am from finally choosing to do it my way and making decisions for myself, most of the time.
I am from evolution.
I am from a seasoned partnership that no longer reflects the dysfunction it once looked like.
I am from fresh brewed coffee, early morning runs to keep my sanity.
I am from trying new things.
And trying to find me.