I was in a writing class and we had to keep our pens moving no matter what. We were given a prompt, and then we had to start writing and not stop until the bell rang. The word was “Surrender.” (From July, 2014)
Wow. Defeat. Me, the Buddhist — and the first word that comes up is defeat. I refuse to be that person. NO! I will not, I tell you. Ok, take a breath. Surrender. Surrender to the fact that the first thing you thought was defeat.
So what does that say? Where from here? I remember Chloe telling me from her glum 12-year-old place in the passenger seat, “Jeez, Mom, you’re so negative.” Today that haunts me a little. I could have gone anywhere else — but I went to defeat.
What about defeat? What, in my life, has won? Over me? Well, I remember Harry won. (By the way don’t ever get a divorce in Wyoming if you’re a woman. I lost the house and everything else and owed him half of my income for the rest of his life.) But after the initial sense of defeat, I did perform a sort of twisted surrender.
Every month, from 1996 until his death in 2011 — what is that, fifteen years? — every month when I had to write out his check, I would repeat to myself,
“This is tuition to the best school for self esteem I could imagine.
This is how I’m investing in my freedom.
This is how I’m investing in my well being.
This is how much I’m willing to pay — happy to pay — to hear my name out loud and not get a knot in my stomach.
This is how much my unfettered wings are worth.
This is how much my walking around, free to go wherever I want without having to justify or apologize for it is worth.
All those dollars in his pocket?
They are the blessings I stand on today.
It’s a far cry from the romcom movie ending where she ends up with all the money and he goes to jail. But it’s the ending I got.
And the view from here, I gotta say…it’s amazing.
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