Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Up

Growing up can be difficult in so many different ways. I feel like I am constantly dealing with and adjusting to the idea of growing up and being a grown up.

If it isn't about money, it is about jobs, if not that, then relationships, or chores, or learning more and understanding better, or letting things go, or watching my health.

When I graduated with my Bachelors, I got pretty depressed after a couple months. First of all, I had no luck with getting a job in my area. Also, I didn't know how to not be in school. It was a pretty scary adjustment for me.

After the years passed and now that I have finished my Masters, I feel like I understand better and have a little more preparation, but I still feel like I don't always want to be a responsible grown up. Sometimes I don't want to work and do chores and pay bills--OK, no one really WANTS to do these things, but you know what I mean, right?

What triggered this post? Well, in my process of trying to grow up, I really need to clean, consolidate, and reduce the amount of stuff (dare I say "crap") that I have. I was trying to organize and clean the spare room (and I always start one place and end up in a hundred other places) and ended up going through boxes in my closet. I didn't even know what was in most of them.

During my excavation, I found an old shoe box which I had used to hide away some of the most negative and hurtful things from several years ago. This was around the time of my parents' divorce and the horrible falling out with my sister. It was a long time ago and things are so much better now, so I am not going to dig up too many details.

I put away letters, pictures, cards, notes, whatever hurt or made me angry into this little box. I don't even remember who suggested that I do this. I was in such a bad place then.

But it had been years since I have seen or even thought about this box. So I opened it up and opened everything inside up. Some things were pictures and cards that my sister had drawn or made for me, as well as some pictures my family. I used to keep all of these out in my room and then my dorm rooms as mementos and happy reminders. When it got to the point that it hurt to look at these things, I wasn't willing to throw them out (because I am insanely sentimental--to the point of it being a fault, actually, it can be almost debilitating). So when someone suggested a box, I put it all in there. Separated. Then maybe I could separate myself from what was hurting.

I pulled out several pieces of art Kema had made for me. She's quite the artist, you know. And I'm glad that it doesn't hurt to look at them (though it does make me sad--our relationship has never been the same). I found a rough draft of a letter I had written her for her Psychology class. Yes, I kept a copy. It was kind of funny, reading back through that. I know I was trying to show her that I cared and loved her (and I sure hope some of that came through), but man, I was pretty naive, I think. And probably a bit selfish. And I also realize that much of my relationship with my sister seems to center around a weird selfishness that I imposed upon her. And maybe a little jealousy. Despite feeling like I was a horrible sister, at least some of the time, it's funny to look back and see where I tried to show that I loved her. That one made me laugh a little.

I also found a series of notes that I had written my (often very angry) feelings out on and stuck in the box. I had to get the feelings out and keep them separate, you see. Some were about Kema, some were about my mom and the divorce.

I read through the ones about Kema and thought, "I am definitely over this," and I threw them away. It was time. Past time, I think! That was a relief.

The ones about my mom and the divorce actually still hurt though. I think that I have come to pretty good terms with the way my family life has turned out. It was hard and it took a long time, but things are pretty good. But I cried when I read one because I still have dreams that my family is together or just starting to fall apart. It's always my family, my parents, but scenery and scenarios vary. I didn't really realize how often I still dreamed about these things until I read the letter. Some of the hurt is still so close to the surface. And I was actually pretty shocked. Even though I am OK with things, I think I had a really hard time loosing my family and my home life like that and, apparently, it still gets to me.

I had also forgotten what a complete mess I was. Good grief. I am glad that is over. At the same time, though, I can see how much hurt and anger I had. I guess that would make anyone a little crazy.

I'm older now, and hopefully wiser. I was sad, yes, but I think I can look at things a little differently now. At least while I am awake, since I can do little about my dreams.

Growing up is crazy.


  1. Samara, I'm so sorry for all the pain you experienced with your parents' divorce. A family that falls apart is devastating, and I'm glad that you've found a place of acceptance and healing. My grandma's parents divorced when she was growing up, and she always said that it was indescribably difficult for her. I think she always had a piece of her that hurt when she reflected on that experience. I pray and hope that you continue to heal and find peace. Love you, lady.

    1. Thank you, Charlotte. I still have the card you sent me during those times. You are so sweet and thoughtful. And thanks. It is so much better. I think I was surprised that some of the emotions were still so fresh. And I will. Love you, too.