What happens in 10 years.
I look at this image of myself from 2010 and see the cheerful smile, the chin and shoulder blades with no flab. I remember how I managed the set up and hauling of all my things to the Riverdays festival alone. The gardening I tackled. The standing and selling of quilt tickets for a fundraising raffle. Talking to people all day. The tours I would give in the heat, with enough stamina for just about everything. I remember the exercise I could do, sleeping on my stomach, and I remember the lack of doctors. I feel grief that so much has changed in a decade.
Then I look beyond the picture. Moving from my home of 10 years. My second job. My third job. The music lessons I taught—all just to make ends meet. I remember the drama of helping a preteen adjust to divorce. The crummy apartment. No internet. A tiny budget. Stress. The move to my townhome. No partner with whom to share this ever-changing world. My Mom’s cancer. Politics at work.
I felt awful about seeing this memory for a long time. Full of regret and mourning for my functionality and ability. Then I really thought about what that picture represented—where I was, how that all felt at that moment—and no.
No. I wouldn’t go back there. I wouldn’t want to trade my farm life, my college kid, my new husband, my new job, my anything. Anything. Not to relive that transitional pile of trash and agony. I have a hot mess of a body now, thanks to EDS. Absolutely. I have extra weight, more doctors than fingers, but now…now I have happiness and contentment I’ve never felt before.
Now I can look at this image and feel gratitude for what that woman evolved into. Without her, I wouldn’t be me. And dang, this zebra is pretty great!