About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Release

There comes a point in starting over when you simply need to let go of all that you once were.  Let go of the story of what was or who you were or what was lost or what could have been.  Let go of the weight of the grief and the guilt over wanting to be free of it.  Guilt and grief are weighty anchors that want to hold you in place even as the wind fills your sails and urges you forward.

Part of healing is wanting to shrug off the past while fighting to create a new present that's all your own. The problem is that the story is there no matter what.  It is the history that created present day.  But the story is just that: a story.  It gets embellished with emotion as time passes. What begins as non-fiction becomes distorted with the retelling and reliving until it has more power over the present than it deserves. 

The good news is that we have the ability to strip away the embellishments to get it down to 'just the facts.' Yes, my husband died five years ago.  Period.  Yes, the kids have had a challenging time with it.  Period.  Stripping that story of its power has been damn difficult, but I have done it.  

I haven't blogged much in the past few months for a few reasons.  One reason is that I have had other writing projects that simply absorbed my creativity.  The other reason is that the blog had come to represent all that I wanted to release.  The idea of writing a blog post contradicted what I wanted to do, which was to abandon the story of what my life had been like pre-widow and what it's been like during the past five years of rebuilding.  I felt like the story had wrapped itself around me like a net and the more I struggled to break free, the more tangled I became.

So I stopped struggling.

As a writer, it may seem self-sabotaging to reject the history I often mine for story-lines.  To find peace with that, I decided that the past can be used but not abused.  I don't need my story on a day-to-day basis.  Widow is who I am when asked my marital status, but that is all.  I am not draped in black and hiding myself from the world.  My story has no power to hold me back.  By releasing my attachment to it, I am free to be who I choose to be.  It is such a freeing feeling to let it all go, to create every day, to stop looking over my shoulder, to stop comparing what-if with what-is.

As for the future of this blog, I hope it has more 'adventures in dating' scenarios, 'book signing glories', 'ranting about the publishing world' and 'traveling with kids' stories than anything else.  I am sure the words widow, Sean, suicide or starting over will creep in from time to time, but my heart isn't filled with that story anymore.  No, my heart is filled with such joy for this moment, such hope for all that is and compassion for what has been that I can't imagine going backward. Sure, I might stumble, but I don't foresee losing my balance completely. 

I am free. I have released that old tale.  It feels beyond good.  I recommend letting the story of who you were go.  It doesn't matter.  Not really.  Today matters.  Only today.  And this moment will eventually be the past, so let this go, too.

Peace to you during this end of the year wrap up.  I hope that the new year is filled with spectacular opportunities for happiness for all of us.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mirror

I am over being politically correct--not that I have been for awhile now.  I would rather stand up for what I think is right without worrying about what Joe Blow thinks because, in all honesty, I think Joe Blow is an idiot.

I am not sure when I got it into my head that I needed to run my life via committee--probably my Mid-Western upbringing--but those days are gone.  Perhaps years of being a writer, putting myself out there for review and developing a thick skin have propelled me toward this awakening.  Or perhaps owning my age, respecting my journey and learning hard life-lessons ripped off the blinders to my own insecurities.  No matter the cause of my new sense of being, I embrace the freedom that I have been given.  Freedom of censorship.  Freedom of choice.  Freedom of being authentically--and sometimes weirdly--me. 

For some people this may be a given, but it hasn't been for me.  I can think of too many examples during my lifetime where I surrendered my ground to make things more comfortable for someone else, of how many things I gave up so that I would be acceptable to the elusive "they", how many times I compromised despite my instinct screaming out with objection and how much anger I've held onto because of it all. 

Through all of the compromises, I wandered from my true nature and my purpose.  I didn't even notice it happening because a part of me had become unconscious.  I stuffed my feelings down with food, with distractions, with anything I could think of that would keep me in the dark.  It got to the point where I couldn't look at myself in the mirror without getting upset.  Upset because the stranger looking back at me from my reflection seemed to be saying, "what are you waiting for?"

And that's the question:  what are you waiting for?

I think of that question daily.  What am I waiting for?   For someone else to give me permission to move on, to say what's really on my mind, to live my life, to love, to be what I was born to be?  Hell, no.  Not anymore.

I don't care what Joe Blow thinks.  It is more important to me that, when I look in the mirror, I can look myself in the eye and know I am being true.

There is something telling about looking myself in the eye.  It goes beyond checking my hair or my make-up or seeing how those pants look from behind.  It goes to a deeper level of truth when I look eye-to-eye with my reflection.  Perhaps that is why I avoided doing it for years...I didn't want to acknowledge the truth.  

Have you looked yourself in the eye lately?  I hope you can.  And when you do, I hope you can smile with the certainty that you are living a passionate, authentic and loving life.  If not, if there is sadness or desperation in your eyes, then ask yourself:  what are you waiting for?