I saw that e-card on Pinterest, and it reminded my of the other day when I was told I could hold onto a grudge longer than anyone. It's true. I've held a grudge the better part of my almost twenty-nine years.
I agree with that e-card so much, I'm thinking of getting it blown up poster-sized and hung behind my desk at work. Like, seriously.
I'm honest to a fault, and if, at times, I find it hard to be honest it is due to self-preservation. I've been asked so many damned questions in my life I didn't want to answer, mainly because I knew my answer would not appease the person doing the asking.
There has been a point coming in my life, a point I believe may well be here, when I'm sick to death of having people try to decide what I am. I'll just tell you who I am.
I was the smart-assed high schooler that, convinced by her mother, ran for fair queen (for the scholarship only, I assure you) knowing damn good and well I was going to lose. And I did lose. And a member of the "organization" that sponsors this said event, told me I lost because I said nothing of going to church, and raising a family, to which I replied, wholeheartedly, because I want to do neither of those things." And, true to my nature, after losing, went home, put on a Rolling Stones shirt and shades and proceeded to march through the damn fair smoking a Marlboro Red.
I was the girl who, despite living somewhere where everyone knows everybody's folks, when asked who my parents were, promptly pointed to my momma and another man that the whole damn town knew was not my father, and said "Them." Then they would all talk amongst themselves and wonder why on earth I would deny my father, such a "good ol' boy." It did no good to point out that after 5 years of counseling, he was not, in fact a good ol' boy, and that quite literally a therapist had looked right at my mom and said, "He's a heartless bastard."
I was the girl that did everything and anything I could to push my momma's buttons as a teenager. I thought I had it all figured out, that she had been weak and stayed when she should have left. That's what I would've done. Because I was 14 and had everything figured out and knew the ways of the world, and doing anything less made her a selfish coward in my book. I held that grudge for a long time before I grew up and realized right and wrong sometimes can be muddled, that in the moment what feels like what's right, is only found to be gravely wrong years down the road.
I was the woman who was told I shouldn't be getting married at 22, that's too young! He's too old for you! You should be out dating lots of men, to which I promptly replied, "I'll leave the whoring to your side of the family" and promptly booked a shotgun wedding in the Smokies and married my best friend.
I was the woman who was told we weren't going to be able to have children. I'm sure there may be a couple ex's cheering from the cheap seats at that one. I had one person, who shall remain nameless, because this pissed my momma off to no end, tell me that if he couldn't give me kids, I should divorce and move on, because having children is what the good Lord intended. And I'm not ashamed it pleased me, just a little, through the pain and heartache, to tell that woman that it was ME that wasn't going to be having children. Not US.
I am the woman who will make her dad ( the REAL one, not the biological one) a hat he asked for, even if it causes me to become frustrated and I have to rip the damn thing out 8 times, and even then it's still not right.
I am the girl that is depended upon to be self-sufficient, to be able to handle my business without crawling home for help.
I am the woman who has successfully held a grudge for almost 29 years, and I am the woman who doesn't feel obliged to stop at this point.
I am the woman who naively thought I could be a good stepmom to 3 kids, and I am the woman who is brave enough to say I failed more times than not.
And I am the woman that knows damn good and well, when it's time to cut my losses and step back, to let the chips fall where they may, knowing I have done everything I could, and have still been found lacking.
The last one was the hardest to learn...