For me, this unfolding and self-realization seemed to be absent of any validation of my womanhood. All the women in my life seemed to be preoccupied with their own matters. My mom had me young, at the age of twenty, around the same age I had my children. Ages twenty through thirty are tumultuous years, everyone knows that. Kurt Cobain, Janis, and Jimi didn't make it out alive. Hell, I barely made it out alive and that's the truth. Whether you're muddling through college striving for a degree, child-rearing, struggling with an addiction or vicious eating disorder, trying to be a great, or simply trying to find your place in the world, the work is hard and I was doing it alone.
I know my mother was battling her own demons as I was navigating the rough waters of adolescence. Today, I have immense compassion for and a newly found, loving understanding of my mother. She did the best she could with the resources and self-awareness contained within her. For many years, nearly all of my twenties, I grieved the absence of the mother-daughter relationship I craved and needed so badly. Today, in the dawn of thirty, the new light has set me free. Through it all, I turned out okay. That counts for something.
My mom gave me a ring. It is the last relic from her mother and father's engagement and subsequent marriage. Her father died of complications from alcoholism and her mother by lung cancer. When I put the ring on my finger, and it fit absolutely perfectly, I began to release years of tears--for me, for my mom, and for my grandma I barely remember. Their pain was great, and I felt it in the deepness of my being. We are in this together; especially the women. I am saddened but grateful for their pain that paved the way for my strength and freedom.
I look forward with great anticipation to the challenge and suffering of the years that will grow me into the refined and wild woman I've been dreaming of since sixteen candles were on my cake.
With this freedom ring, let me be wild in love, and may each day bring new joy, healing, and remembrance of where I have come from.