The kids and I went 17 Again this afternoon. It was pretty good, lighthearted fare. The main storyline is a man who is losing his family because he has resented all that he had to give up when he married his pregnant high school girlfriend. In a "freaky Friday" moment, he is transported back to 17. Even though this is a story of redemption, how he finds his way back to what matters most, it made me so angry. All along the road of life we have choices, and we don't get to blame someone else for where those choices carry us. I know - I was married for a long time to a man who resented having to be a husband and a father, but all along the way we made choices together about the kind of life we wanted. It was me left holding the bag, trying to survive and make it all work without a partner. Although not everyone abuses their spouse in their frustration, many people neglect and abandon their spouse. It is infuriating.
I was talking to a friend last night and I decided that I still believe in love. It has become crystal clear to me that no person can fully know another person. Within each of us is the secret life of our thoughts, the private hopes and dreams. That is what makes it so beautiful when two people decide to open their hearts to one another, sharing those intimacies that lay embedded in the human soul and make it work somehow.
That was not the case for me. Maybe it never will be. I wouldn't have to go back to 17 again to know how to keep from mucking things up. I have been working faithfully all along, but found that my partner had abandoned me in a burning building. My life lay in ruins around me with my footprints in the ashes, awaiting the beauty.