I'm Dana. 24. Ottawa. ENFJ. Love who you love. Live with no regrets. Make mistakes. Take chances. Don't let fear hold you back.
Marry someone who lets you have a bite of their brownie, even when you said you weren’t hungry. Marry someone who laughs at the same things you do. Marry someone who kisses your nose on a cold day. Marry someone who you can watch Disney movies with. Marry someone who is proud of you whether you earn £5 a week or £5,000 a week. Marry someone who you can tell everything to. Marry someone who isn’t afraid or embarrassed to hold your hand in public. Marry someone who lets you take over when decorating a cake. Marry someone who you can spend the day in Ikea with without feeling stressed. Marry someone who wraps you up inside their coat in the winter. Marry someone who accepts your fears and phobias. Marry someone who gives you butterflies every time you hear their key in the door. Marry someone who you don’t always have to shave your legs for. Marry someone who accepts you all day every day, even when you don’t look or feel your best. Marry someone who puts three sugars in your tea, despite telling them “just the two”. Marry someone who doesn’t judge you when you eat your body weight in cookies. Marry someone who doesn’t make you want to check your phone, because you know they will reply. Marry someone who waits with you to get on the train. Marry someone who understands that you need to be alone sometimes. Marry someone who gets on well with your parents and isn’t uptight about family events. Marry someone who calms you down when you get mad about stupid stuff, and never tells you it’s “only stupid stuff”. Marry someone who makes you want to be a better person. Marry someone who makes you laugh. Marry someone who you love. Marry your soulmate, your lover, your best friend.
My mother once told me that trauma is like Lord of the Rings. You go through this crazy, life-altering thing that almost kills you (like say having to drop the one ring into Mount Doom), and that thing by definition cannot possibly be understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. They can sympathize sure, but they’ll never really know, and more than likely they’ll expect you to move on from the thing fairly quickly. And they can’t be blamed, people are just like that, but that’s not how it works.
Some lucky people are like Sam. They can go straight home, get married, have a whole bunch of curly headed Hobbit babies and pick up their gardening right where they left off, content to forget the whole thing and live out their days in peace. Lots of people however, are like Frodo, and they don’t come home the same person they were when they left, and everything is more horrible and more hard then it ever was before. The old wounds sting and the ghost of the weight of the one ring still weighs heavy on their minds, and they don’t fit in at home anymore, so they get on boats go sailing away to the Undying West to look for the sort of peace that can only come from within. Frodos can’t cope, and most of us are Frodos when we start out.
But if we move past the urge to hide or lash out, my mother always told me, we can become Pippin and Merry. They never ignored what had happened to them, but they were malleable and receptive to change. They became civic leaders and great storytellers; they we able to turn all that fear and anger and grief into narratives that others could delight in and learn from, and they used the skills they had learned in battle to protect their homeland. They were fortified by what had happened to them, they wore it like armor and used it to their advantage.
It is our trauma that turns us into guardians, my mother told me, it is suffering that strengthens our skin and softens our hearts, and if we learn to live with the ghosts of what had been done to us, we just may be able to save others from the same fate.
She was laughing even as we kissed and kissed again. There is no better taste than someone else’s laughter in your mouth.