Sunday, September 07, 2008

THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH




In exactly seven days, I will step into my fourth body. Most people are unaware that as humans the bone in our skeletons completely renews itself every seven years. So while you sit at work, drive your kids to school, and make love, your bones are constantly shifting and re-growing—discarding things unwanted and unused—the ultimate refinement. Every seven years, we become our most magnificent selves—the updated and amended versions.

In exactly seven days, I will be 28 years old. I have to admit that I am not exactly where I once thought I would be at this time. In college, I had imagined that I would have a stable career, moving up the ranks as a powerful attorney.

I imagined that I would be starting a family with a man that I loved—living behind a white picket fence, the embodiment of the American dream.

I imagined that I’d have the wind at my back—all my loved ones here to enjoy the fruits of my success.

However, at the threshold of my fourth body, I am met by the realities of my life. I am not an attorney. To the contrary, I am still in law school and I don’t have a job.

I am no where near starting a family and the prospect thereof is somewhat daunting. I don’t live behind a white picket fence, but in a high-rise. And the most important of my loved ones is no longer here to enjoy the fruits of my success.

But I am content.

What I could have never imagined is the strength of the human spirit. Seven years ago, I clothed myself in visions of power, believing that becoming a big attorney was the only way my life would be of worth. On the dawn of this new body, I know my worth. I know that my value can never be measured in inauthentic and temporal power.

Seven years ago, I never thought that I would ever have the courage to live my truth--to love a woman in the light, unabashedly unafraid of the consequences. Today, I am no longer silenced by religious rhetoric or my desire for perfection. I have never experienced such freedom and fulfillment as it is to love a woman. This is where I was always meant to be.

Seven years ago, I believed that I would never be able to move forward if the center of my life left this earth. My mother is no longer here; yet, I am still moving.

On my desk, I have a letter my mother sent to me a month before she died. She addressed the letter “To my future attorney” and ended the letter with “Your #1 mom.” Between the salutation and the signature, she told me how proud she was of me.

This letter came after I told her that I was leaving my husband, and after she met my girlfriend, whom she hugged and laughed with and loved. She measured her achievement as a mother, not by my accomplishments, but by the woman I had become. To her, I was already a success. She gave me permission to live my life the way that I see fit—and I thank her for her abounding and unconditional love everyday. I will never be ashamed of who I am for I am deeply loved.

So on the eve of this new skeleton, I say goodbye to the former. You have kept me well. You have offered me protection and fortitude in my darkest hours. I will take this new body into the next seven years, and at 35 it shall return to the earth, and I will come again to pay homage.