Like the Crow chasing the butterfly

I would love to say I am the butterfly; beautiful, needed, wanted and out of touch. I am not. I would love to be egotistical and say I am. There are plenty of people who put me on a pedestal to be, but alas I am the Crow. Intelligent, can speak wonders when coaxed and cast aside. I am the one chasing the beauty.

Soul searching. The ever changing path. I am always looking to know myself, and always finding something new. I admit I married Eric for the wrong reasons. I have never given myself 100 percent to anyone. I find the concept absolutely terrifying. To give yourself means to sacrifice, to allow someone to possible dominate you, and to allow someone to take care of you. I am a very selfish person. I am a control freak. I hate acknowledging my weaknesses.

(DISCLAIMER: There are many wonderful qualities about my ex. I am not trying to insult him or any part of him by my next statements.) 

Now, what I am about to say will be egotistical. However, I know my pros and cons. I also know my limits. I made a list (I think my Mom has) of what I needed in a man. I married beneath me. Now by me saying that I am not saying anything about my ex. I married below my standards of what I knew I needed. Yes, he fit a few of the points I made on my list. However, he did not fit the bill.

By marrying beneath me I was playing it safe. I wouldn’t have to worry about conforming to anything. I was set. I thought it would make me the strong one. I wouldn’t be challenged. By going beneath my standards I had to bend. By bending I broke. I can’t explain how someone I didn’t give 100% to could, but he broke me. He pointed out when I left him that he did. It haunts me. He told me he ruined me. He came close to it. I almost lost myself in those two and a half years. I had to bend so much I lost my luster, my wit, my speech. I became an empty shell of everything people had loved about me. I shut down.

It has been almost a year since I left him. I have almost had a year to recover. A year to soul search. Who am I now, and who was I? What will I become? What have I lost? I have found some amazing friends in the last year. I have renewed some old friendships. I am rebuilding. I am fighting every day to come back to life.

I have started building a list. A list of songs people have said reminded them of me. A list of kind things people have said about me. A list of love. It is not meant for my vanity. I feel almost like I have amnesia. I had past letters from friends and lovers I had kept. I got rid of them when I got married. I wish I wouldn’t have. The words, even though the emotions are gone, are still beautiful.

Cannibals eat the people they respect. They consume the person to gain the attributes they want. I am the Crow chasing the Butterfly. When I catch her, I will be beautiful.

What I know for sure

It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

“There isn’t much better in this life than finding a way to spend a few hours in conversation with people you respect and love. You have to carve this time out of your life because you aren’t really living without it.”

Although a few of my relationships have burnt out last summer, some have been rekindled. Some I didn’t even realize could be brought back. It is amazing how some friends you can go forever without speaking, and in a flash it is as if time had stopped just for you.

After I joined the Navy I hated coming home. I miss and love my family, but I would run into people I had been friends with and wonder how they got stuck where they were. I am by no means saying I am better than them. I just chose to live my life in a different manor. I found there are two people when I go home- that I cannot live without: Mark and Katie. I have known Mark since I was 9 months old and Katie since first grade.

“>The shifts of Fortune test the reliability of friends.”

Although I would love to go on about how amazing Mark is (and he is), this note is going to be based off my happenings with Katie. Katie, as I said, is one of my oldest friends. We grew appart when I moved schools. We spent quite a few years not being in communication. Lucky for me, Mark and Katie had started dating during Katie and my off years. When I would come home on leave, not only did I get to see my brother, but also Katie. It was hard not to rekindle that childhood friendship.

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”

Last summer was a rough one for me. I made many life altering, show stopping choices. It was the summer my marriage ended and my new life began. I wasn't planning on it happening when it did. Katie and I got the crazy idea she should come stay with me for a week. It was an amazing week.

We talked about love, heart ache (her and Mark had been over for a while by then), life, and dreams. We laughed and lived. It was good to breath with her again. I confided in her the heart break I was going through, knowing Eric and I weren't working. Although she never said she was for or against my decisions, she supported me through the choices I made. She didn't back down, and she was there for me when I crashed. My friend of sixteen (at the time) years was the one to witness my fall and rebirth.

I don't know if she knows it. I don't know what all I said or showed, but her being there that week is the only thing that kept me going at the time.

“Never explain-your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”

I have learned that to be the truest statement. I didn't have to argue my point. Katie held my hand when I needed it. True friendship is loving and understanding. Katie and I still don't get to talk much. I see her even less. Still, I know she is one of my truest and dearest friends. She will always be my love to laugh with and my shoulder to cry on. Time doesn't matter in a friendship like ours.

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends.”

Since last summer I have made some amazing friends, and I have been blessed to still keep some of my old ones. I have not gone hungry or without. I have always been blessed. I don't know what I have done to deserve these amazing people, but to all of you who are in my life, Thank You. I can not say it sincerely or eloquently enough. I love you, and I don't know where I would be without you.

Dear God

Dear God,

Please intervene and help end this divorce. My husband and I have failed at our marriage and now we are failing at our divorce. This poisonous process is bringing suffering to us and to everyone who cares about us.

I recognize that you are busy with wars and tragedies and much larger conflicts than the ongoing dispute of one dysfunctional couple. But it is my understanding that the health of the planet is affected by the health of every individual on it. As long as even two souls are locked in conflict, the while world is contaminated by it. Similarly, if even one or two souls can be free from discord, this will increase the general health of the whole world, the way a few healthy cells in a body can increase the general health of that body.

It is my most humble request, then, that you help us end this conflict, so that two people can have the chance to become free and healthy, and so there will be just a little bit less animosity and bitterness in a world that is already far too troubled by suffering.

I thank you for your kind attention.
Elizabeth M. Gilbert
(And now Whitney N. Williams)