Hey, I'm on vacation, can you believe it! I'm visiting my in-laws in the town where I lived my first years here in the US. I am residing in the house where I got married, and sleep in the bedroom where my first two children slept their first nights out of the hospital. I cannot call those first years in the US "the good years", although certainly many beautiful memorable moments happened here - in this town, in this house, in this bedroom.
The first day of my vacation coincided with my 39th birthday. And today my children and I attended the liturgy at the Greek church in which my first-born had his churchening. The church that uplifted me and inspired me in my faith more than any other church I ever attended.
And tonight I realized something profundly important. There are no years in my whole life I can call "the good years". Not because they were all truly bad. The early years of my life were indeed bad. I was haunted by a monster whose happiness was built on an annual ritual of ruining me for a month or two, then retreat to whatever version of reality it built for itself in order to hide in plain sight among the crowds of everyday people. And so in that respit of ten to eleven months, I would build my own version of reality so that I, too, can be accepted as normal by the crowds of everyday people. And my coping mechanism, my building blocks were desire for life, faith in God, getting lost in worlds of books, and putting bad things in the past. So, what I realized is that it's the continuous use of that last type of blocks that messed me up and kept me from ever having "the good years". You see, I invested so much of myself, my energy, my abilities in building the past - more specifically, building the past by piling up all the bad things there that ever happened to me - that I never lived in the present and could not, therefore, construct a future, which was always something I could only imagine and hope for. And so how could I have ever had "the good years" when most of what I remember are bad things? And even those infrequent good things I do remember, instead of filling me with happiness and inspiration, fill me with deep sadness, because they feel like the glimpses of what my life should have been, not like a part of what my life actually was.
Well I'm done with that futile and pointless work. I am 39 years old, and my today starts - today. For the first time in my life I am not hoping for a future. I know I am having one.