Anniversaries, Remembrances, All Those Things We Wish to Not Forget

Anniversaries, Remembrances, All Those Things We Wish to Not Forget

Merriam-Webster defines Anniversary as:  the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event; broadly :  a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years <the 6-month anniversary of the accident>. By this definition and applying logic, we can reason that anniversaries are, by and large, calls to remember. 

We remember happy memories, and generally, remembrances are intended to honor.

I choose to honor what was a day that traumatically thrust me into the hardest period I ever experienced up to that time in my life.

Today marks a significant day for the world. We remember a tsunami decimated a staggering number of lives and changed the world as so many others previously knew it exactly five years ago. I know precisely where I was and the insignificant events of my day on this significant day five years ago. My world as I knew it, my world and my life as I planned them both to be, changed forever on this day. When one tragic natural phenomenon captured the attention of the world, in my home another natural occurrence (hardly a phenomenon) was taking place. Something as everyday as a person telling another that he is no longer in love with her doesn’t change the world. But, for this person, her world was entirely changed.

Aftershocks throughout the Indonesian and Thai coastlines did not bring additional torrential waves claiming more death and devastation. Aftershocks following my upset carried wave upon wave of reckonings. The sea of his deception and infidelity regurgitated more loss, lies and injury. Followed with discovery of more lies, betrayal, theft, still more lies, and – still – more pain. Pain he acknowledged he purposefully inflicted on me for the reason that he could.

I really did not think that I was capable of recovering from my emotional trauma and paralysis. I found my old journal this afternoon in which I recorded my thoughts that weren’t too difficult to acknowledge in print. What I wrote were only thoughts and feelings I felt strong enough to sit with long enough to record. Wow – I am amazed at our resiliency, and the ability to heal and grow.

The news today reminded me of my personal “anniversary.” A life I thought I would have…. The version of the woman who I thought I was had to change by virtue of decisions that were made about me, but not for me. Decisions that were definitely not made for my benefit. Decisions designed to purposefully harm me.

I didn’t know who I was as a woman. I actually felt as though a piece of me died a bit in the weeks following. In retrospect, a piece of me did. I am not happy for that, but I am no longer sad.

I remember promising myself that I would get up out of bed everyday, and if I had to go through the motions until I didn’t have to go through motions to make it through a day anymore, then through motions I would make myself go. For as long as it would take, I would go through those motions. I was, very much, in survival mode. But I found myself one day being picked up – by myself. I pause to reflect on that I live in Phoenix. How fortunate that I have my own rebirth in my hometown named after the very mythical creature!

Always look for the rainbow even on anniversaries you might want to forget. Flip sad anniversaries to honor your strengths.

photo credit: Volkan Olmez

Five years ago, today, I was given the opportunity to start living my life for me. I took some time to get with the program, but I am here, and here to stay. Today, I feel gratitude – a very different sensation in my soul than the darkness that used to hang over me. On my fifth anniversary of “starting to find me”, following a wonderful flow class and a hike on Camelback, I reflected. I stopped briefly to remember, but not to mourn. What do I feel? Peace, happiness… and love. Love by me, love for me.

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