Looking back on not only this past year, but all of my life, and I wonder why things went the way they did. I suppose part of it is "normal" middle age crap some of us feel. The feeling that we wasted our life, the wanting to be young again. Why didn't I pursue a career, why did finding my one true love elude me all my life. Why wasn't I braver to do the things I wanted to do. Of course the, "why did so much shit happen to me" question is running through my mind as I look back.
It was a big step I made in my mid 20's when I decided to leave my friends and family in California as I pursued my dream of finding myself and the place I was meant to be. I left everything and packed some of my life in 2 suitcases, and along with my dog I boarded a plane to Budapest. I stayed with my grandmother hoping to do some nice things for her, spending some time together and learning about my family's history. I also hoped that I could do a bit a traveling from Budapest and maybe find that elusive place that I believed was where my fate lay.
Things didn't work out with my grandmother as I envisioned, but it was still memorable. I managed a few trips; Paris, Vienna, London. My first impression of London was not one that I expected, but my fears and insecurities overcame me. I thought that at least I would not have to struggle with a new language, therefore it would be easier. I kind of chickened out in respect to the whole living the bohemian travelling life style and living in new lands. I stayed in England.
The people in London were not as hip and cool as I had dreamed. The people of London were not so nice. The people of London did not really notice me, especially the men. Maybe that is why when I met my ex husband and I saw he was taken with me, I went with it even though I was not attracted to him what so ever, and I never fell in love with him, I grew to love him.
Within two months of meeting my ex, I went to stay with him, temporarily, but never left. Six months later I was pregnant, and ironically just before I discovered my pregnancy, I confessed to my ex that London was just not doing it for me and I was thinking of leaving. I did say, mainly out of guilt and to soften the blow, that he is welcome to come with me. He did not seem too perturbed by my desire to leave and he most definitely did not want to leave England, Oh why didn't the light shine bright for me then, "this man is not for you, go girl, go and follow your dream"?
The day I took my pregnancy tests is still very clear in my memory, nearly 20 years later. I cried tears of joy. I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself out loud, "you are going to be a mommy"! I planned a special evening for a few days later in which I would tell the wonderful news to my ex. We were in a lovely London restaurant, Belgo. There we were eating our delicious bowl of mussels on a busy Friday night. I told him the news and he reacted very badly and it made me cry, it made me leave the restaurant. We had a filmed booked at a nearby cinema and though both of us were upset, we still saw it, "Four Weddings and a Funeral" God what a poor choice of films that was! Again, where was the bright light, telling me to leave!? Not the reaction I wanted or deserved and certainly not the rejection our baby needed!
Many such situations occurred in our relationship. Endless fighting during my pregnancy that this is not what he wants or that he does not want to end up like his parents, blah, blah, blah. There were times when I walked out and he didn't come after me. It is too painful and humiliating to think of all the examples of in this loveless relationship. Maybe there was a light going off in my head then telling me that this is not the romantic dream that I was searching for. This is not the reason I left my home. This was not something that was making life worth living. Maybe then I was a coward and I did not leave when I knew I was not happy and this what not what I wanted. This was not what I deserved. Maybe I was too scared, too alone, too proud to admit I had screwed up.
They say to talk to your baby when you are pregnant, to play soothing music, to love it and nurture that child from the very moment you know about that life growing inside you. I wonder how my stress, my tears, my fears and the sounds of his mother and father fighting because of him affected him. I wonder could that have made an imprint on my sweet innocent little boy's mind and heart while still in my womb? Was my baby born with a sense of sadness and emptiness? Is that possible?
Out of this relationship we bore three wonderful, beautiful children, I know this. Out of even the worst experiences we can find something wonderful. However, did this have a negative impact on these children? Of course it did and that is what I find hard to accept. The fact that I choose the wrong path, wasted my youth and beauty, helped create the hell I am in is one thing, but to know I dragged three innocent children into this mess is another thing all together. I should have made different choices. My life would have been different. My children would have been different, but then it is pointless to have such thoughts. Life did not go according to my dreams and hopes and aspirations. Live with it! This is the path, for whatever reason, and while I contemplate how the hell I got here, it lets me move to the next level of how the hell can we improve life? Maybe some of my dreams lay waiting in front of me still, yet to be realized!