She feels like she never existed.
That whole part of my life sometimes feels like it never existed. That who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do was all just some fantasy life that I was living. Two separate pieces that were never interconnected.
Sometimes I wonder who would I be today if December 18 never happened. Who would that woman be today?
Would she live closer to home?
Would she have the friends she has today?
Would she have the family that she has today?
What would her university degree be in?
There is a piece of me that will always miss her.
Miss her potential.
Miss her aliveness.
Miss her outspokenness.
Miss her naiveness.
And then I wonder what she would think of the woman I am today.
Would she approve of her?
Would she laugh at her?
Would she question her life?
Would she scream at her?
DECEMBER IS LIKE A TON OF BRICKS
My body knows. It remembers every moment of that day even though I only remember bits and pieces. The mind has a way of protecting us but our bodies always remember the trauma.
No matter how much time passes since starting my self-love journey, there is this feeling that comes over me every December.
A feeling of dread.
A feeling of darkness.
A feeling of hopelessness.
Every December my body reminds me of the trauma that it faced. Some of the trauma I haven’t yet faced since I don’t remember it yet. Some of the trauma I have faced and there are moments when it still reappears to remind me that I still have deeper healing to do.
I am okay.
I am safe.
I am loved.
I am protected.
And still, my body is trying to remind me that there was a moment in time when I wasn’t.
That I wasn’t okay.
That I wasn’t safe.
That I wasn’t protected.
I was always loved. It just didn’t feel like it. Not because those around me didn’t love me BUT because I couldn’t let them in. I couldn’t let them see the hurt, the fear, the devastation that I was feeling. They always loved me. They just didn’t know how to show it.
WHAT WOULD SAMANTHA THINK NOW?
I have felt like a failure for a long time in my life. A feeling that I never felt in the first 18 years of my life. A feeling that was so foreign to me, that I wouldn’t even have known what it was.
When I think back on the Samantha that I was, I think she would be standing tall right now, cheering me on. Being my own support system, telling me to keep moving forward. Reminding me that I have not failed at anything.
I was lost.
I was confused.
I was broken.
But I was never a failure.
She would pick me up and carry me to a safe place, reminding me that I wasn’t alone. That Samantha would remind me of the strength that I had inside to move forward even when the steps were too painful.
The Samantha of 2003 would be proud of the woman that I am today. It isn’t the woman that she envisioned. I don’t know if I can say that this woman is better but I do know that the woman that is here today, fought to be here. She fought with everything inside of her to give herself the best life she could.
There is a strength inside of her that continues to grow. A strength that was always there but she had never really needed it.
The Samantha of 2003 would laugh at the moments that I doubt myself today. She didn’t know what doubt was and she never questioned who she was. She would tell her to stand taller, dress in a way that brings out her confidence and talk to herself as she talks to her friends.
The Samantha of 2003 would thank me for believing in love. For taking the chance on finding it, on falling into it, and on continuing to build upon it year after year even when it can be a struggle.
The Samantha of 2003 would love the children that I have created and raised. They have the confidence that she did.
They are funny.
They are generous.
They know how to push buttons.
She can see pieces of herself in them and that is what she wanted.
The Samantha of 2023 would love the business that I have created. She wanted to be a writer. She wanted to create with words and I am doing that today. Sometimes it is filled with sadness but most of the time it is filled with hope and inspiration.
She would be proud that I am helping women share their stories. She always knew that she wanted to help women, she just didn’t know what that looked like.
I can see moments in my life when who I was back then is still here. In the things that I create, in the love that I share, in the hope that I have. She is in here and she is cheering me on every single day.
This life is a journey. An intentional journey to create something beautiful. It may not happen the way we want it to. It may not even resemble anything that you could have imagined but that doesn’t make it any less incredible.