I’m not the same person I was ten-and-a-half years ago, when we married, barefoot on the beach accompanied by hymnsong. I had all the right answers then, in that vague half-light, and none of my own heart. I lived as I thought I should, as I was expected to, as I had been taught.
We were on a mission, and had no idea how lost I was about to feel.
I’m not the same person I was four years ago, when I birthed our first child. Then, I was six years deep in the dark.
Not the windswept wilderness darkness full of the starlight only witnessed when the moon is new. It was the cramped darkness of trying to fit my soul into poorly lit rooms, the familiar spaces now outgrown.
Hell, I’m not the same person I was yesterday.
And yet. I am the same person. With the same family and relationships as always.
So what happens when they don’t change with me? When I am morphologically different? When they inhabit all the same space as before?
Part of me wants to bring them along on this journey to freedom, because it is so damn beautiful, this metamorphosis. Getting to discover all the ways he speaks; becoming all this wonder I was always meant to be.
But it’s as if we speak different languages now (even though I introduced some of them to speech itself), and I feel unsure.
How to invite, without knocking out the foundation laid lovingly by our past selves.
How to debunk what needs calling out, without breaking apart what is holding precious souls together.
How to offer, when I feel so fragile myself, like a strong contrary breath could send me crashing to pieces again.
How to love, deep and true, as myself, when they don’t really see me. They see who I was (with a few minor modifications, perhaps). They see what they need from me. They see what they want to see.
I fall apart with their questioning, when it was questioning itself that brought me out into this wide-open space. I let others teach my boys what to believe, because I am still just a bit shaky on my feet. Better to give them SOME foundation than NONE, my unconscious reasoning goes. Until I remember how much I had to fight to make it out alive when that very foundation crumbled.
So here is where I land:
It is not perfect, this loving through the mess of uncertainty. But it is what we all most need. To love and be loved deep, to always be moving more and more in the direction of the truth and our truest selves.
Even if it means shaky hands, we will hold tight.
We will nurture the life we see, the little sprout of green truth pushing through dark soil.
because the truth will set all of us free.
I met Jamie Bonilla in one of those strange and wonderful ways that begs of the mysterious. I have been constantly surprised by her ability to write with such strength and grace. She is a dear friend and poet-artist and currently lives in Southern California with her husband and two boys, and a dog she’s learning to love. READ HER BEAUTY HERE .