When the very first thing that you feel in the morning when you roll over on your back is that heavy weight of all your failures even before you’ve opened your eyes and you have to cheer lead your brain – motivate the mother loving eff out of if it – because the day hasn’t even started.
You remind yourself that you’ve overcome yesterday and damn it girlfriend, you’ll do it again today.
Even if your anxiety tells you not to believe it because deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, down somewhere, you know you do.
Above all, you whisper to yourself, remember the greatest truth you will ever know:
I am loved and that anchors me right here, right now.
Right here, right now.
Every once in a while I’ll get the urge to run away when things feel like they’re too much. I think it’s human nature. Or maybe that’s just me? Sometimes if I have time to myself, I’ll get in my car and flip on the radio, turn it up real loud, and just drive around. Clear the funk out of my head. And sometimes during those drives, I wonder what would happen if I kept on going? Past that expressway landmark? The point where it’s too far to make it back in time for lunch or dinner or pick up time.
I never go past it though.
I don’t need to anymore.
Love anchors me here…I’m loved.
Once upon a time I didn’t feel anchored.
There’s an ugly chapter in my book. It can’t be unwritten but often times I’m reminded of it.
When I turned 18 years old, my mom got me the best job ever as a dietary aide at a nursing home. I prepped meals, cleaned dishes, and served as a waitress for the able bodied residents in the dinning room. I adored those residents even though I had heard them tell the most charming stories three, seven, sometimes fifteen times over. I always pretended that I had heard them for the very first time.
I was *Greta’s daughter for about 2 years before her passing. I was reintroduced to *Thom every day. Frank was always amazed by my hands and how I never had to think when I used them. “You just move them Miss Kimberly. Your brain doesn’t do any extra work,” he’d forcibly lift his left hand off the table with his right arm, “I have to think, and think, and think. Now sweat so much and I take a shower.” Then he’d laugh. Despite his circumstance, he still had a wonderful sense of humor.
Then there was my dear sweet wanderlust with a toothless grin – Marilyn.
One day she approached me and squeezed my boobs. “I had a pair like them,” she cackled.
A male coworker said, “Ooh, can I try!”
I brushed it off as I pig headed comment.
Marilyn said, “No, I really did. I will show you.” She went to her room and when she returned, she had clutched in her hands an old framed black and white photo of a gorgeous woman in a bikini lying on a beach.
“That’s me!” she grinned proudly, “Don’t do drugs or drink too much booze. Drink some booze. You need some booze for some fun now! Live a little.” she laughed and then stormed into the kitchen to grab herself her own mug of coffee.
The next day when I asked, “How’s my beach beauty?” she had no recollection of what happened.
I loved her and I loved working there until I didn’t.
*Possible trigger warning – skip to next bold font*
He was well known throughout the building as the unrelenting married flirt. Charismatic. Super nice. Overly nice. Over the top nice.
And for some reason, he wouldn’t let me be.
His compliments about my appearance turned from flattering to creepy and down right lewd.
He followed me into linen closets and then locked me into fridges when I tried avoiding him altogether.
He found out the places I hung out and showed up there.
People saw. People commented. People were disgusted.
But no one helped.
The last day, he locked us both in a dirty utility room and turned off the lights….
It was my nursing instructor that year who helped me to come forward.
My employer said it was my fault. My parents blamed me. The police officer said “He cried!”.
Maybe I made a mistake?
Girlfriends in my nursing class were leaving for Mexico and I needed to run.
I told my boyfriend at the time that I was sorry but I had to go.
I booked a trip with them.
I honestly thought that the weight that was suffocating me – all the problems here – would just have blasted off my chest the second the force from the plane kicked off the runway. I imagined them shattering into a billion pieces and scattering behind me….dust on the tarmac.
They came with me to Mexico.
So I drank myself into an oblivion.
On the last day I bought gifts for my siblings and for my boyfriend if he was still waiting, and packed everything up.
I wasn’t rested when the plane took back off towards Canada. I knew that I was flying back home into a brick wall.
However, when the plane landed…
….my boyfriend of just a few months….
…Shawn was still here.
He was still here.
For over 14 years, he has always been there.
Whatever happens in life, I know this to be true:
I’m anchored now.
Love anchors me here.