I wrote about calling off my wedding a few years ago and the post just went up on APW. It was an odd one to write – it was like writing about another person, almost. Even the pictures don’t look like me, and that’s just weird.
It’s not surprisingly, though. X loved short hair and “jokingly forbade” me to grow out my hair. So the first thing I did when he went off to the Middle East was to grow out my hair. A small act of defiance that in hindsight shows that I was already figuring shit out. The picture of me at the Omani fort is the only one that kind of looks like me now – that was my second visit over there and my hair had grown out long enough to be forced in to a stubby ponytail. (Also, it was +40oc in the shade that day, and please admire my jeans and long sleeved shirt. The Middle East is so very very different than North America.) When I was going through my photo collection to find photos, it was like looking at the life of a stranger – a stranger with my face. It was hard to summon up some of the memories, until I started surfing through old emails and then it all came flooding back. Except for this time, I was looking at it as a woman with self-esteem, not as a panicky and lost girl child, which is how I felt at the time. Distance does heal, and it did allow me to write that post with far more grace than I would have been able to at any earlier point.
But not that much grace, because I still managed to mention the prostitutes in the essay. Still not the worst thing that happened by any stretch, nor much of the story, but I still worked it in. Which suggests that some things linger a long time, and you know, that one is a logical one to still bug me.
Leaving him was the best thing I could have done. Marrying David was the best thing I could do, and I still occasionally wander around amazed – stupefied – blissful – about how I won at life. Sure, things may not be perfect – it’s life after all – but damn things are good.
And, as it turns out, I have really great hair. Seriously. Mid back, rich brown with natural curly waves that require no upkeep to speak of. That was a nice littler perk to what started as an act of defiance. Little silver linings everywhere.