Forgive the helter-skelter nature of this post – I’m going to write as the thoughts come to me. I am not sure how long this post will be, but I hope it will be at least thought-provoking, if nothing else.
I was chatting to Robyn the other day. I’m not exactly how we got onto the subject, but she said if she could live her young life over, with the knowledge she has now, she would do quite a few things differently. In the words of Robbie Williams Youth is wasted on the young. Before you know, it’s come and gone…too soon.
Sometimes though, even when one is older, and supposedly wiser, one still tends to be a touch insane. For those of you who don’t know what I mean – insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Now, as many of you already know, I go through awful bouts of insomnia, some lasting months. It is during these times of relentless awakeness (okay, not a real word, but it is in my dictionary!) that I ponder points such as had I had the knowledge I do today, would I have lived my youth differently? The immediate knee-jerk reaction is Oh yes, absolutely!! But, honestly, I wouldn’t. Absolutely not.
Shocker, I know, but in all fairness, had I done even only one thing differently, my life would very well have been different, although it would have ended up as planned by a Higher Hand. I only need to hold onto the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 to know that. Yes, I know too that there are quite a few of you who disagree with my beliefs, but we have an amazing connection and respect-understanding that religion or spirituality or whatever, has never been a bone of contention. In times of recent difficulties, I’ve confided in a friend in Cape Town, who, by his own volition, has his own belief system. More often than not, he would tell me Faith like Potatoes. And yes, when I’d see that, I would repent for my doubt and ask for forgiveness.
Okay, okay, I’m getting side tracked!
If I look back on what’s happened in my life; long-, medium- and short term, everything has, while been painfully horrifying sometimes, taught me incredible life lessons and moulded me into the woman I am today. Sure, I have my moments. Moments where I feel like giving the world the finger. Moments where I want to get into a little row-boat to an uninhabited island, with nothing but copious amounts of rum. I’ve also had moments. Moment of shame. Moments of heartache. Moments of despair. Moments of bitterness. Moment of hatred. Moments of murderous thoughts. But yet, in the words of Sir Elton John, I’m still standing, better than I’ve ever been, looking like a true survivor… Nothing, nothing that has come across my path has been in vain.
Quite a few people comment on the relationship my dad and I have. We are close. Sometimes even closer than my mom and I. And the irony is, my dad is not my father. He is the man that chose my mom and I when my mom left my father in fear of her (and my) life. The last time I saw my father was 27 years ago. And yes, there was a time when I wanted to try to find him, but after having found out a few things, I know that leaving that Pandora’s Box shut is the best thing. For everybody. So, had my mom not left my father, who knows where she and I would be now? Had she not made that what-I-imagine-must-have-been-a-hard-decision, would I have got to experience the love of a true dad? The answer is a very simple No.
Another example I can use is that of going to an event that led me joining the gym, which, in turn, led me to meeting some incredible people, who I am proud to call my friends. Had I not gone to that function, I would still be fat and frumpish and my life a lot less rich because I would not have said people in my life. I know some of you are probably thinking Oh FFS! What.Ever!!!
I could go into the moments of shame, heartache and despair, but there is no need. A handful of my Chosen Few, in my innermost Inner Circle know the dark hardships and they’ve never turned their backs on me. And yes, sometimes I trust too easily; I take someone into my confidence and see their true colours, but that too is a life lesson. Not everyone is your friend. Some people are simply in your life for a period of time to use you. I read a very powerful thing by Trent Shelton about this very subject:
Everybody isn’t your friend. Just because they hand around you and laugh with you doesn’t mean they’re for you. Just because they say they’ve got your back, doesn’t mean they won’t stab you in it. People pretend well. Jealousy sometimes doesn’t live far. So know your inner circle. At the end of the day real situations expose fake people, so pay attention.
Sure, there are small, unimportant things I would have done differently, knowing what I know now – but the fundamental nitty-gritty hard stuff, both good and bad – I’d do it all over again. Without changing a single iota. I am who I am because of the influences I have (and have had) in my life. And yes, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, or glass of punch, or shot of straight-up Rye, but rightly, as my catch-line says, I’m the piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit. And you know what? I’m goddamn proud of it!