Posted by: shellyweave | July 5, 2010

the one where i get really REALLY personal.

I APOLOGIZE FOR HOW LONG THIS IS! Well, kind of. 🙂

I feel like we’ve known eachother long enough, Internet, for me to get completely real with you. Raw and unashamed of the fact that I have been in a rough patch lately. The last twelve months have been a hell all their own, for various reasons. I’ve been through so much and I feel like a completely different person, even though I’ve remained the same in some sort of way- the essence of me as Meghan called it in her recent post. I literally live a wholly different life than I did just a year ago. So I’m going to share with you a letter that I wish I could mail to my past self to make things a little easier.

Dear Shelly of July 4th, 2009,

You’re hair is the longest it will be for the next year, because in a month and four days you’re going to get fed up and cut nine inches off. But it’s okay, because it grows back by May. But in June you slice it off again, even shorter. But this time it’s for a good cause, because it went to help with the BP oil spill. You don’t know anything about that yet, but trust me, it sucks. In fact, maybe you could warn someone about it or something. Just a thought.

Stop worrying about how your arms look in the tank top you’re wearing, because you totally rock it. And go ahead and take a picture for Facebook, it is well recieved. Also, the blue/yellow/green bracelet that’s paired with your rainbow embroidery floss bracelet falls off in the ocean at Huntington beach on the way back from camp in a few weeks, but the rainbow one stays. In fact you’re wearing it a year from now still. You made another bracelet like the lost one only with better colors. You secretly hope you lose this one too, just to be consistent. Or maybe you could give it to some boy at camp next week. Because you know how camp romances are SUCH A GOOD IDEA. By the way, you’re going to start asking about piercing your nose, and then you’re going to completely forget about it. At least until like May. Then you spontaneously do it with Sami in spite of Dad. You’ll see why in a few paragraphs.

Enough of the trivial things, now it’s time to get serious. I really am sorry for the things you are about to endure, but just know that Meghan, the church, and your sisters are there for you the whole time, and things do get better. Camp is going to be rough for you, because for some reason you are used by several people during the week. Some genuinely listen to you, but they happen to turn around and tell someone else that totally betrays your feelings for a particularly ridiculous boy that will ask you one night on Facebook if you like him. You are going to think that he likes you too, but LISTEN TO WHAT MEGHAN IS TELLING YOU from the chair next to you and LIE. Trust me it’s so not what you think it is, and it’s a lot more upsetting than it should be. But even if you do screw it up again and tell the truth, don’t worry, because you get over it pretty freaking quickly. You just don’t forgive him. Because the second you do, you get in another fight around your birthday. It’s waste of time.

Now on to the biggies. You start junior year, and it sucks. From beginning to end. But it’s pale and in the background. On October 30th you will go to a Mountain Pointe football game with Ryan, Hunter, and LeAnne. Ryan will be acting strange, and you will barely notice it. This time, NOTICE IT. Especially when you mention that your mom texts you saying that you are having a family meeting the next morning.

You will make a joke about how your parents are probably getting divorced because of a comment that your mom had made earlier in the week. Ryan’s face will drain but you don’t realize why.

The next morning your world falls to sharp, tiny pieces that will not be picked up for a very long time. Your dad moves out that night, and you cannot look at him without coming undone. You call Meghan, but she is in Disneyland and probably can’t even decipher what you are saying through the tears anyway, so you don’t feel much better. LeAnne is going to shut down, and you won’t talk for awhile. When you find out that everyone in the whole world knew before your parents told you and the girls, you are going to be really really really mad. And you have every right to be. You choose to help Dad move out that night because you are curious about the apartment that he signed a three month lease on, because he “just needs some space”. I urge you to stay home with LeAnne, it hurts more knowing that she is home alone and heartbroken.

The next few weeks are a long blur of sleepless nights, and teary conversations with Meghan. She gives just the right amounts of “this sucks” and “it will get better” sentiments. She keeps you level minded for the most part.

Thanksgiving is horribly awkward, because you obviously aren’t a family anymore. You begin to hate your father around Christmas when he only stays for about three hours before he goes back to his apartment, which smells like an odd mixture smoke and hopelessness. You spend every single night praying that God will fix your parents’ marriage, but start to let that thought go around February when things get really bad. Mom and the man that you barely consider a father anymore because of your anger get lawyers, and they write up divorce papers.

You lose all hope in their marriage, and you spend a good month or two firmly believing that love doesn’t even exist.

Your grades are going to slip like crazy through the year, because it’s increasingly harder to focus and work with your life turning into a wreck at home, but you refuse to let that become your excuse, so you work harder than you ever have. You’re going to wake up with mono one day and miss an entire week, and this just ruins you. Your math grade slips to an F, and this terrifies you. You have a student teacher in one of your classes that pisses you off to no end, and you can’t figure out why. But, you paint an awesome multicolored portrait of Jamie Foxx for stagecraft and recieve an award at the Thespian induction ceremony, where your work on Anne Frank and Me earns you a spot on the charter. It’s one of the proudest moments of your life, but your dad still to this day hasn’t said anything about it.

Your photography career grows like crazy in the next year, and you know that you are meant to do it for a living. You can feel it somewhere deep inside you.

Things at home start to get better around April, but they don’t stay that way. The divorce finalizes on the fifteenth and your mom finally tells you the truth that you have been fearing for five months. There is another woman. They started dating before the divorce even kind of existed, but he maintains that they only talked before moving out. She left her family the same week he did.

This destroys you, and you grow to hate him more than you can control. You lose all sense of anything anymore, and you lose yourself. You become even more cynical and hateful and frustrated as the weeks go on with your dad pretending things are normal, and that she is just a part of his life. He sincerely believes that this shouldn’t affect you and your sisters, and this hurts more than anything else. But eventually, slowly, you come to accept the fact that some people are just the way they are and there’s nothing you can do. So it takes a trip to Disneyland for you to finally stop hating Dad, and come to terms that he is never going to be the man you used to love and respect again. It pains you to know that the woman is moving in with him by the end of the summer, but you are determined to put on a brave face. The worst part of it all is that you cannot keep yourself from loving him, because he’s still your father and he still is very helpful and caring, even if you think he’s fooling himself pretending that what he did was acceptable.

At the end of the school year the student teacher you said you hated shows a slideshow about his life, and turns out to be pretty awesome. The whole experience teaches you the good ol’ moral of not judging books by the thier covers, and you feel dumb for awhile about all the not so nice things you said, and the assingments you purposely didn’t do as a small act of defiance. Somehow your math teacher and you work your grade up to a C, and your GPA ends up being a 3.5, something you are so relieved about. Once Hannah moves back to Arizona you spend a lot of the summer with her, and realize that you are really ready to grow up, because you talk about moving out and moving into an apartment with her and Meghan often, and it isn’t so scary and far off seeming as it once was. You get a little wild, and live a little more than you thought you would have, and on July Fourth, 2010, you can honestly look at the totally different life you are living and see where God has worked in it, and where things had to happen in order to work out right.

You still hurt when you think about the fact that you will never have another family oriented Independence Day like the first sixteen of your life, but you look forward to making your own new traditions and new memories. You have a best friend to rely on no matter what, and you are closer to LeAnne and Sami than you even have been, even though Sami seems to pretty much hate you. But you at least have your moments. You are ready for camp next week. You are ready for senior year. And you are ready for life.

Your mom and you rarely fight, but when you do things are resolved quickly. She is truly the strongest and most inspirational person even, on all levels. She’s the reason you don’t lose it comepletely. She’s the reason you are able to let go finally.

Things are finally looking up, and you a stronger person for all the crap you’ve been through in the last 365 days. You still are the “esscense” of you, as Meghan put it in her last Deux Voix post, but you are also changed. Mostly for the better.

Love,

You of July 4th, 2010.

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