I love my life.

Life has been peaceful, yet busy...

School is going well. I had been afraid that I would hate my Spanish class, because although it's only once a week we meet for 2 1/2 hours in the evening. I feared that it would draaaaaaag, but my fears were unjustified. The class is fun, the teacher is dynamic, and I learned a lot. I am actually looking forward to the next class session!

I adore my yoga class, of course. I'm usually so relaxed at the end that I can barely function lol. I can tell that my strength is being challenged, but it's not in a way that totally exhausts me (most days). It's challenging, but invigorating. My teacher is really neat, and she shares these little nuggets of wisdom with us. I like the philosophy behind yoga, at least what I've learned so far. It really resonates with me, and I find myself very drawn toward its teachings.

On another note, I'm happy.

No, really.

I've realized lately that I'm very happy.

Sure, my life is, well, challenging at times. I've got a past of abuse and dysfunction to wade through, which I'm doing. On that note, I realized today that I can actually say that I am a relatively healthy individual. I never thought I'd be able to say that! It felt as though my experiences had scarred me so deeply that I would never be able to heal, much less be healthy and functioning, but... here I am. I have good boundaries, I am self-aware, I'm learning to be kind to myself and others, I don't hate myself anymore...

I think the best part is that I am able to be authentically myself these days. I was talking to Gramma about it a little yesterday. I am who I am, I am where I am, and I will not apologize for that. I like myself, and I'm proud of all I've accomplished and continue to accomplish. I am a fighter in so many senses, and I wear that badge with pride. More importantly, I no longer behave in certain ways to try to gain other people's approval. The "Bible worker" mask is gone. I don't play church anymore, desperately trying to be a good person. The funny part is that now that I'm done with trying to be a good person so that I can stop hating myself... I don't hate myself anymore. I know that I am a good person-- I don't have to constantly feel pressured to do this or that so I can be a better person according to the standards set up by someone or something else and hate myself vehemently when I fall short of the standard (or the standard as perceived by myself, which is usually even higher than the actual standard).

I am able to be authentically myself. It is so freeing to be who you really are without fear of repercussions.

The thing is, none of this invalidates what I did or was trying to do. I was honestly trying to do the right thing, and I meant every iota of it. I am not a hypocrite. And now? I am honestly trying to do the right thing, and I mean every iota of it. I used to think so black and white... like, if you're one thing, then  you can never ever change otherwise it cancels out everything. Like, if I make a decision, I can never ever change my mind. Ever. If I do, I have to have some super spiritual reason for it to make it okay.

Now? I have the freedom to change my mind if I so desire. For instance, I used to say that I never wanted to pierce my ears at all. Then, in a rush of freedom and a touch of rebellion, I got my cartilage pierced-- something I've wanted since I was in my early teens. Lately I've been thinking about piercings again, and I've decided that I do, in fact, want to pierce my earlobes. Honestly, I want to wear cool and funky earrings!

This medicine that I'm on, the pain killer, is helping me to see who I really am, as it significantly lowers my inhibitions. I'm much more of a sexual creature than I thought previously, which surprises me... I'd never really learned to associate sex with good things, and sexually free people were bad-- girls with loose morals and no self-respect, you know? But that's not me. I have a ton of self-respect, and my morals are pretty high. I just like sex, and I'm not afraid to own that fact anymore. There's a difference between that and promiscuity.

So, anyway, back to the happiness business.

I've realized of late that I am deeply content with myself, with my life, and even with my current circumstances, challenging as they may be. I'm even okay with my health problems. It's kind of like... I can't snap my fingers and make it go away, so I accept it as my reality and find happiness within it.

I love my fiance. He responsible for a great deal of the happiness and contentment that I am experiencing, I think. He's my steady rock, and our relationship is so wonderful. Being home for Christmas was an eye-opener. Mom and R have a pretty stormy relationship, which is nothing new... but I saw the contrast between their marriage and what our marriage will be like, and it's pretty drastic. I see the contrast between our relationship and our good friends' marriage, and it's pretty drastic. We are happy, we are healthy, and we are solid. How many people can say that? There is a serious lack of healthy relationships in the world today, but we're one of them. (Yeah, never saw that happening, either!) It continually baffles me how well-suited we are for each other. Once I was able to let go of my bigotry and prejudice and see C for who he really is rather than through the lens of assumptions and other's opinions, I seriously fell in love with the dude. All over again. But better this time. I was immature during our first go-round, stuck in survival mode and dealing with severe PTSD without realizing it. He was good for me then, too... but it's so much better now that we've both grown and are healthier and more mature.

I am looking forward to establishing a home and a family with him. Where I used to be terrified of settling down and being stuck with one person in one place forever, I now contemplate the thought with thrilled anticipation. Why the change? It has nothing to do with circumstance, as those haven't changed in any way except for the wedding getting closer (which had me sorta panicking a few months ago). I think the change has come from within me, as I've healed and learned to accept myself. I don't think that I was really afraid of being with one person forever... I think I was afraid of being with myself forever. As long as I was on the go, I didn't have to face myself deeply. Now, I'm ready to do that. Shoot, I have done that! I've faced myself deeply more often these past few years than I ever thought possible... and I'm sure there's more coming.

But I'm in a place now where I am not afraid to face myself, to be myself, and to link myself with another authentic person... forever.

I looked over at C recently as we were driving to pick S up from work. My heart swelled at a joyous realization, and I burst out, "You know what? I just realized that we're getting married, which means... that we get to do this for the rest of our lives! I get to sit in the passenger seat across from you forever I never have to leave. That makes me happy." He smiled and kissed my hand, which means that it meant a lot to him to hear that.

And I am happy. So very happy. Despite my fibro. Despite family drama. Despite the facets of abuse that I still bump up against. I am happy. I am content. For maybe the first time in my life, I am utterly... happy. I love my life. Have I ever been able to say that before? Yes, maybe in spurts. But this life that I'm leading, this life that I'm choosing... it stretches out wide and golden before me, and as I embrace it I can say with utter assurance that I love this life and I am glad to be heading into the brilliant light with such a one as C by my side.

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