She stood there looking at herself in the mirror and wondering what happened. She saw herself but then I didn’t see her real self. She didn’t see that carefree girl who enjoyed life and all it had to offer. She didn’t see the girl who would take chances, who would love unconditionally and was in love with life. What she saw was a woman who was beat down by life. A woman who had let people suck all the life out of her. Her smiles had turned into frowns and griminaces. Her hair was greying like her personality. She couldn’t recall when she was truly happy. She couldn’t even remember her last happy, truly happy moment in life. She thought it was when she had her first child. She was happy back then, beyond happy when she saw his little face for the first time and all his little toes and fingers and when she saw his first smile just moments after he was born she cried tears of joy. She had never loved another human being as much as she loved this little baby boy. She planned out his and her future within hours after he was born. She was going to do everything she could to make a happy life and childhood for this little precious miracle.
Then it happened. Something always happened to steal her joy. On April 23rd at 12 noon her baby boy, just a couple of months after he was born was fighting for his life in a hospital. She prayed, she cried, she screamed, she yelled and prayed again. She talked to God more that day than she had ever in her life. All she wanted was to hold her baby boy in her arms again and take him home. She fell to her knees when the doctor told her that her baby passed away. At first she thought she heard wrong. Her baby could not be dead. He had to be alive. No, she is dreaming. It is all a bad dream. It has to be a dream. But, it was not a dream.
She tried to go on the best that she could after that. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and before long years had passed. She was never the same. How could she be?
She felt like someone punched all the air out of her chest and kept punching and punching and when she started to breathe they punched again. She knew that she had to do better. She had to “move on” like everyone was telling her. She did her best to “move on” but all she really did was move, kept moving in one direction.
She would find love again eventually but it was not to last either. She had been beat down by that love which was bitter more than sweet. She stayed with that love until she realized love didn’t hurt it didn’t take all of your self esteem, it didn’t knock you down and not pick you up. Love was not supposed to leave at 9 am and return at 10pm wreaking of gin and women’s perfume. Love was supposed to be nurturing, not demanding and not threatening and surely not getting phone calls in the middle of the night which had to be answered away from her in another room. Love was not any of those things. She walked away from that love two years after she found it.
Years passed her hair turned grey, her face wrinkled, her skin sagged in places. Her eyes lost their twinkle. She worked, came home, worked and came home over and over again. She sat in her chair and drank hot tea and watched the news, watched the world on TV. A world she was living in but didn’t feel a part of anymore. All of her friends were living their dreams. They were happy. She missed her happiness. It was time.
It was time that she found her own happiness. It was time to say goodbye to her old self and hello to her new self. “New self.” she thought and laughed. She kept looking at herself in the mirror. First of all this hair, she thought. I look like I am not me. I don’t see me with this hair. So, hair, it is time for a change. She grabbed the box of hair color and in twenty minutes her hair was black again. It was long and black like when she was in her 20’s and 30’s. She loved it. She even cracked a little smile. What a difference a new hair color made in her life. She didn’t stop there. She wanted to be happy again and she realized that happiness came from inside of herself. Nobody and nothing could make her happy except herself. She did what she always wanted to do but was too scared to try. She did try once though but she carried the scars from that try on the inside of her being. She wanted to try to make other people laugh. Her first try was a long time ago when she was only eight years old. She got the nerve to stand in front of her mother and her aunts and uncles and told jokes. Not just any jokes, some jokes that she wrote. Everyone laughed and laughed. Well, everyone except her mother. Her mother never laughed and told her that telling jokes was not going to get her anywhere in the world. She had to finish school and graduate college and get a good career. After that she never told another joke in that house again. But, now she was over it. She was going to sign up at the comedy club near her home and she was going to write jokes and tell jokes and she was going to make people laugh. She was going to laugh too. And she did.
She told herself if she could do that she could do anything. She adopted a senior dog. She loved dogs and all animals. She fell in love with the right one too. Her name was Trix. Trix was good for her soul. Trix loved her just the way she was. She made more changes in her life. She started eating well, jogging twice a week with Trix. She started enjoying her own company and reconnecting with friends. She found her joy. She said goodbye to misery and pain and said hello to her new self, happiness, joy, peace and love. It was always there inside of her hidden and now it hides no more. She found her purple fire which lived inside of her soul.