My #BeReal guest today is Gretchen Kellaway.
It doesn’t really happen that often. At least not to me. I read a piece written by a stranger and feel it was MEANT for me at exactly the right time. Gretchen wrote this when she submitted the piece:
“Here is The Dance! I believe it may have always belonged to you! I hope it has a good home with you.”
Then I read the piece and I got goose-bumps. She was right… It belongs here. Thank you Gretchen
My hope is that next time you’re crashing to the ground that you find you’re able to fly.
I drifted, floated, spiraled! The wind rushing past me, slowly at first, cool and calm with just a hint of warmth in its touch. The movement was peaceful, graceful, just enough to feel a bit of a rush.
Then reality squirmed it’s way in. The drift became a shove, the float a gale force twirl. I was no longer spiraling, now I was falling, faster and faster towards the hard ground below. It all came crashing down, everything, all around me, like an earthquake just shook the foundation of my life. I fell with it, hard and fast. No drifting. No dance on the wind. A solid thump, hitting hard pavement, crushing my heart, my soul, my mind with the fall.
Memories came flooding back as I laid there, crushed beneath the weight of the destruction. Agonizingly slow. Painful even in their simplistic beauty.
His eyes on my face the first day we met, those eyes that made me fall in love so fast. It wasn’t a slow drift back then, I should have known the end would be a disastrous fall as the beginning was an exciting crash. I still see those eyes, as he held our first child in his arms. The look he had when I stood at the top of the stairs, resplendent in white organza, feeling like a fairy floating to the place we would swear our final vows to each other.
When did those eyes change? When did I change?
I don’t know! Yet the fault lay somewhere with both of us, fighting then quitting the fight, for a fall too soon, an end too late. Maybe it was because we jumped towards each other that we sprang back so hard. A force between us that would never allow us to come together fully. Always standing just out of touch.
The end is usually the beginning of something new, yet at that moment, I was just laying there, bleeding. I couldn’t see this end as anything more than the absolute end and I was broken. Painfully aware of all the happiness that was, and all the happiness that wasn’t. All the blame, bitterness, and anger that brought the world we were living in crashing down. Yet, while I was dying, he was not hurting at all. That is how I saw it.
It took me years to stop blaming myself, to stop crippling my mind with the what if’s and why’s. Even when faced with a new mountain to climb. Years in which I stood ready for the new foundation I was building to shake and crumble too, as if built on quicksand, not solid ground.
It took so long for me to stop questioning whether or not I was worthy of being in love or being loved by anyone again. I knew that the end of my first marriage was my fault. I knew that it was all me, I was certain of it. I fought through that rubble and somehow came out alive, yet broken not quite willing to face life, yet having no choice. So, to start again. To trust again. To allow myself to think I could even try again without failure. That was the hardest part of falling in the first place.
I came out of the fall worse, yet so much better. The end is a beginning. I had to just relearn the steps and travel a different path.
It was a journey for myself that was hard, I tested my limits, I faced my own doubt with just more doubt. I broke myself. I never held myself up, just kept beating and stomping on my own self esteem until it was so unstable that I felt there was no chance of mending.
Others can not heal you. Only you have the power to do that. They can help, they can offer you the tools. However, you are the only one who can glue the pieces back together and come out of it okay.
It took me years to build myself back up. I am still cracked and unfinished, flawed in places that may never mend. I am better though, I am stronger for the struggles I put myself through.
Now I am spiraling again, sometimes fast and out of control. Sometimes slow like a leaf in a gentle wind. I control the tempo, I control the speed. I am the only one to keep myself drifting and the only one who will let myself fall.
This is my emotional whirlwind, always present in my mind. This is the dance of a soul worth taking, a journey to self discovery. That only crashing to the ground can make you truly understand.
It took me years to discover who I was, it takes others moments to try and break it all to pieces. It’s up to me to decide whether or not I will allow them to stop my dance.
Gretchen Kellaway is a mother to 4 small boys, married to her lifemate, who lives in a small New Jersey community. Outside of her writing she is a Cub Scout leader and devoted to her family and home. She writes for therapy; heart, mind and soul. She takes inspiration from her family, her life struggles and her children. A lifelong love of reading and creative arts has melded to make her who she is today. She has been called a storyteller and she has many more stories to tell. Follow her journey on Facebook at How My Brain Works and the blog of the same name.