I can feel it starting to fade away now; the feelings, the revelations, the brokenness, the clarity and the need to run. It feels like a version of me that existed another lifetime ago, like a memory of a movie reel playing in the back of my mind.
As much as I want to leave it all behind, move forward and continue on in my newfound life path – I don’t want to forget. Forgetting means leaving behind the version of me that had the strength to stand up for my heart, the person who made a bold call to exit a pretentious life in exchange for truth.
That’s the person I don’t want to forget. I want to shout her voice from the rooftops.
In my early twenties, I made two big decisions that will follow me everywhere I go; into every relationship I form, every formal document I sign, and it will follow me around in my mind, both when I’m sleeping and I’m awake. I sometimes forget that it’s sitting there, in the history of my life. I build friendships with people and forget to tell them the tale of what I did, (and ultimately, didn’t do) and when it eventually comes up in conversation it creates a sort of shock that’s similar every time. It’s the “you were married!?” spoken in open-mouthed disbelief that I’ve learned to navigate in so many creative ways.
Perhaps people are interested because as humans we crave dramatic situations that catch us off guard. I find that people are curious about the details – the when and how of it all. They can relate to the feeling of needing to leave, wanting deeply to abandon an unhealthy situation but instead caving to the pressure to stay. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or a place, naturally, humans are intrigued and inspired when someone drifts away from the “supposed to’s” of life.
Not that I, alone, am important or brave, but what I decided to do was. It was important to stand up for what I knew in my heart to be true, even if I would be harshly judged for it by the Christian community I was involved in.
I wrote this memoir because there are people who need to hear it, people who need to listen to someone else’s story to help rally the courage to make a bold move in their own life. This recollection of memories is for the people who need to find support and retreat in the words of another so that they can translate the hope they find into their own situation.
I wrote this for the shaky, the weary and the lost – for the children of religion who have grown into adults and are now confused, trying to form their own opinions, wanting to let go of what they subscribed to as kids.
I wrote this for my mom, my sister and my possible future children – so they can somewhat make sense of all my careless, yet empowering decisions.
I wrote this for young girls who feel like they have to measure up to an ideal of attaining a seemingly perfect life in the eyes of their mentors.
I wrote this as an expression of a journey I have been on, and will continue to relive for as long as I live, remembering the strength and fearlessness I had to rely on when I decided to go.
I wrote this to relieve suffocation, pressure and judgement in the face of adversity.
I wrote this so I could be free.
“Breaking up in Words & Pictures” is finished, but continues to receive edits – you know how it goes. Currently unpublished.