My aunts told me that I need to teach these lessons that I have learned to help other people. But these were lessons that I never wanted to learn. I never enrolled in this class. I didn’t sign up to learn any of this. I still don’t understand this. If roll call was being called in class, I would have said, “Oops, sorry, I thought this was the sugar cookie decorating class,” and high tailed my ass out of there.
As my luck would have it, for some crazy damn reason, The Universe had to be stubborn and said, “Nope, sit your ass down—you are taking this class and learning these lessons.”
Shit. I don’t have time for this, but alright, fine!
Lesson one: Just because this is the beginning, this does not define how it ends.
Ironically, this mug shot would be the photo that would finally set me free. It was the kick in the ass that I needed to gain the courage and bravery to do what I knew that I needed to do for a long time.
Just before the policeman walked me into the “gray bar hotel,” he looked at me and told me, “Just because this is how it is beginning, it does not define how it will end.” Still in shock with what was happening to me, I just nodded. I didn’t realize how right that advice would be until now.
I felt fear, shame, and embarrassment because I had allowed myself to be in a situation like this. I’m a smart woman, a professional woman; I know better.
“How in the heck did this even happen?” would be a question that I’d ask myself over and over again from that Friday all the way to Monday. And each time I’d come up with possible answers, the fog was lifting, and I’d get more and more clarity, which became easier to do with distance and time.
Soon, I’d realize that I needed to embrace this experience and moment, be strong for my boys, and stand up for myself, no matter the consequence. The need and drive to face this chin up and head on, like the queen my mom raised me to be, outweighed any fear that I may have felt of the latter.
So this mug shot became my marriage souvenir. This mug shot is my badge of honor. This mug shot was the wind beneath my wings. This mug shot was my ticket to freedom. Because if it wasn’t for this mug shot, I’d probably still be on the roller coaster of insanity trying to make it work.
Now, It’s probably too soon to make this mug shot my social media profile photo, but I plan on using this mug shot and entire experience to help me stay focused and get through this. When there are moments of doubt, I’ll look back at this mug shot and see how brave I was despite what was happening around me. Some day, after this is all over, I hope to use this mug shot as a reminder of where I was once and how far I have come.
So in the end, if there was ever any thought that I’d fear the fire more than him, silly boy, he had no idea that I AM the motherfucking fire.