I added some blonde color to my hair this evening. I’ve had it darkened close to its original color, but the blonde makes me feel more alive, brighter.
While adding the highlights, I glanced into the mirror and studied what I saw. Lines under my eyes, crows feet and fine wrinkles where there weren’t as many last year.
A fullness to my face that I haven’t seen for a long time. Dark circles under my eyes. A neck with sagging skin and a strange, wrinkling bunch of lines.
But as I looked into my eyes, I saw a woman who knows who she is, and is happy with who she’s become. I saw lips that still love to smile and break into laughter. I saw contentment, and love. Hope and dreams. I saw lips that were voted the most kissable in high school.
I also saw things that I regret in the blue eyes staring back at me. I saw sorrow for mistakes of the past. I saw sadness for loss in my life. I saw remorse for hurting others…both unintentionally and on purpose.
But most importantly, I saw a joy in the knowledge that I’m not the person that I used to be. I keep pieces of her, because there are parts of her that I like, that I’m proud of. I saw the love I have for my spouse, despite my fight with insecurities I have had all my life. Trust is hard for me. But I see that my insecurities and issues with trust are my own. And I alone am the one that has to put these issues to rest.
Finally, I saw the girl I was, the woman I am, and the person I’m becoming. I’ve decided that as much as aging truly sucks, I want to grow old with an acceptance of what I’ve been given. I want so much to eradicate the focus on my looks, and concentrate on working on being a person that helps others, a person who is honest, true, and forgiving. I want to love the person that looks back at me in the mirror. After all, if I can’t learn to love her, then how can I give the love to others that they truly deserve?
I want to learn to like what I see, when I look at me.
I’ve decided that I had disappeared long enough. I titled this post Changes because well….things are so very different in my life. I married Scott MacMeeken on May 18, 2013. He’s my best friend, my heart. He’s changed me for the better….or perhaps brought out what had been buried for years. I’ve left my roots for the first time since I was a child. I live away from my family and friends. But in doing so, I’ve found myself again. No regrets. Scott and I have had a rash of hardships since our marriage. His precious mother passed away just months after I had met and come to love her. She was the kindest, most lovely person. She drew me into her heart right away, and I am her daughter. She did a remarkable job raising her son…and all of her children. I miss her everyday and I know all that knew and loved her do as well.
Financially, we’ve been on a roller coaster. My porphyria has reared its ugly head a couple of times and had me hospitalized. I’m currently waiting to see if my liver is holding up, as I’ve had abnormal test results. In short, it’s been hard. Yet I find myself happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m peaceful inside. That’s a new feeling for me. I’m where I belong, with the man I’ll love until I draw my last breath. Through the changes, I’ve found my place at last. Slainte!
Yesterday, I made an announcement that I am now in a relationship. As did the man that I’m in said relationship with. We’ve received nothing but well wishes from both friends and family. Thanks to all of you….I know you join us in our wish that our lives and love are long and joyous! <3
As you can see, I’m muddling through this learning process at a snails pace. The very idea for my own website/blog stemmed from my desire to share parts of myself with others, and also from a friend who believes that I have something worth sharing.
For the past couple of years, my life has completely changed from anything I had ever known. I distinctly remember the beginning of the changes. I had long known that I wasn’t “normal.” Most of my friends are chuckling right now, because of my sarcasm and dry sense of humor. But this normal was different. At the age of four, I remember lying in my bed in Charleston, South Carolina. We lived on a Naval base, and every morning my mother would come in and raise the blinds on my window to wake me. As I lay there, snuggled against my Philsbury Doughboy doll, I remember hearing her open my door and the sound of her footsteps padding across my floor to the window. As the sound of the “wooosh” of my blinds going up, I heard my ma scream. It jolted me fully awake and I can only remember feeling very scared. As I would learn later, her scream was the result of seeing her four year old daughter covered with bruises and blood blisters. They were in my eyes, my mouth…everywhere. I was first diagnosed, wrongly, with Leukemia. Later, I was falsely diagnosed with ITP- a blood disease. Fast forward forty-two years later and I was correctly diagnosed with EPP. Erythropoietic Protoporphyria. Googled, it’s also known as Vampirism. From the age of four the sun bothered me. As I aged, I could spend less and less time in the sun without feeling as if my skin had been scraped raw with steel wool pads, and set on fire. The magic number for me is three. Three days of this torture after a long exposure. I was in ERs, to specialists….for so many years. Most thought I was crazy. Or trying to get out of outdoor chores. I learned to shadow jump, to go out at night or walk in the rain. And from that very same time, I had a fascination with all things Celtic. But that will be covered later.
After this diagnosis and worsening of my symptoms, plus a plethora of other physical disorders, my marriage of twenty-three years dissolved. I moved in with my grandmother at that time. We had always been so very close, and she spent many of my early years helping to raise me. I moved in with her in June….and she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in August. I spent that month with her in the hospital, and cared for her until her death on October 6, 2011. I then had the enormous task of settling her estate. It was a devilish few months.
Now, I live with friends and try to keep positive. I’ve loved my job as a nurse, and a Registered Sleep tech. But my health has stopped me from performing those things now. I have been involved in a clinical study for a medicine to control the excruciating pain of the symptoms of EPP, so I have been able to attend many Celtic festivals and concerts that I wouldn’t otherwise get to do. So in a nutshell, that’s where this seed of a thought came from for the website and blog. At times I will expound on separate parts of my story. But for now, maybe you will have a better idea of how I got where I am….and how I plan to get where I’m going. Slainte!