Yesterday I sat on a swing.
The day was warm and calm and the laughter of children filled the air as I swung high and low.
I watched as they played.
Some were on swings like me. Others were doing their own thing. Some older boys were playing soccer while a few younger girls were making daisy chains. There were hardly any adults. Just happy, carefree children at play.
I could swing all afternoon if I wanted to, or go exploring in the nearby woods. I could be a pirate searching for treasure. Or I could join in with the girls and make daisy chains. In fact, I could do just about anything my imagination allowed me to do and be who ever I chose to be at that moment.
I had no worries, no commitments, no life changing decisions to make, and above all no real responsibilities. Because yesterday, I was nine.
Yesterday it rained, like it had rained the day before and the day before that.
I sat sipping coffee in a coffee shop waiting for a bus.
People hurriedly passed by the window of the coffee shop. Everyone was busy trying to get somewhere. Except for me. I was a nobody going nowhere.
Life was dull. I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t get invited to parties. No one really wanted to be around me … I was not attractive. I was ugly, fat, and frumpy and I was no fun.
My life revolved around my books and school. That was all there was. Every day for me was the same and I wanted each day to end as quickly as it began.
Sometimes I wished I had different hair, different skin, a different body, and a different life.
I hoped that one day people will like me.
Yesterday I was at the coffee shop wondering if I had missed the bus as a dark cloud hovered over my head. Yesterday, I was nineteen.
Yesterday I climbed to the top of a mountain.
I sat with my friend on a cantilever. We were so high up that everything below us had no shape or form. But that didn’t matter anyway. No one mattered except us.
The afternoon sun warmed our skin as we sat on that big solid rock. We felt the gentle breeze of the wind. It kissed our faces as we looked into the horizon where our dreams were. The world was our playground and the trees whispered our names.
I was happy.
There was no anger or hate or self-loathing. I’ve changed.
My mind, body, and spirit had also changed with me.
Of course there were moments of sadness as a relationship ended. But I didn’t need to be in a relationship. I had plans.
My high school studies had taken me out of the town where I grew up. My bachelors degree took me to a place I never thought I’d be. And my graduate studies took me to the top of a mountain.
Yesterday as I sat on top of the world. My life had a meaning and a direction.
I was young, free, and single. My life was an adventure and I wanted to embrace it.
Yesterday I was twenty-nine.
Yesterday I was alone in my house.
The sun was setting in the horizon. It was a long arduous day.
I made myself a cup of warm soothing tea in the new kitchen I had designed. It has taken me almost two years to get the house looking like my dream home.
Yes! I was in debt!
I had two, maybe three loans. Several credit cards to pay off, and a never-ending overdraft, and of course a mortgage. But I had a wonderful career that inspired, challenged, and motivated me. It fulfilled me and it funded my lifestyle.
My dream was almost perfect.
I had worked hard all my life, and all that I had – the car, the house, the vacations – were all products of my work.
Yet, yesterday there was still something missing in my life.
All my friends were either married or in a relationship. Everyone, except me, was living my dream.
How is that fair?
Sure there were men in my life who told me that they loved me. But they saw love as casual, and I saw love as a commitment. Never the twain did meet.
So I let go.
I would much rather be alone than accept the love of a selfish man.
Yesterday I soothed my life with tea; and accepted my wonderfully blessed single life in my gorgeous house, which I purchased, interior-designed, and furnished on my own.
I was happy and I was at peace.
That was yesterday; I was thirty-nine.
I am gazing out the window watching the first snow fall of winter. The fragrance from the cinnamon candles fills the room.
I had come a long way to be here.
I am no longer the carefree nine-year old with a creative imagination, or the sad and lonely nineteen-year old waiting for a better day. Nor am I the adventurous and egocentric twenty-nine year old who took risks with life, or the single and ambitious thirty-nine year old who learned to love herself and find happiness in her own company.
Those were the women of my yesterday.
While I know that I will never see them again, I owe them my gratitude. Their creativity, hard work, courage, and love made me who I am today. They are my inner strength.
Today I am a different person living in a different time and in a different place.
Today, I have many yesterdays, and I will always have them to look back at and smile. But who knows how many tomorrows I will have. So today I do not yearn for yesterday.
Because yesterday I was not with him.
Today I am looking out the window watching the snow fall. The scent from the cinnamon candles fills the air. I am safe, warm, and secure wrapped up in his arms feeling his warm breath on my neck. I lean back into his strong masculine frame.
Today, I am living my dream.
I hope you are too.