A Letter of Wisdom-ish
In the event I should die, or rather when I die, here are some things I’d like to share with you. Please forgive me if I repeat myself. I know how you detest that. I’ve chalked-up this annoying bit of my personality to my obsessive-compulsive nature. This letter is from my perspective which means that the truth of it is all mine. It may not be truth to anyone else. So, take it how you will or not at all.
“So, take it how you will or not at all.“
FIRST, listening to adults, including your parents, does not guarantee you’ll make less mistakes in your own life. There were many who should’ve known better, who wholeheartedly approved of my teen marriage. Was it a mistake? Maybe. But having the two of you was most certainly not. You are the highlight of my life. For all I’ve done wrong, I must smile at how insanely amazing you are despite me.
SECOND, living your life for anyone except yourself is always a mistake. As far as I can tell no matter how hard you try, you will never please everyone in your life. But the big relief I discovered in my forties and am even more sure of in my fifties is that you don’t fucking have to. You don’t. You are not here to make me or anyone else happy. You are here to become the best version of you that you can be. And that can change as many times as you need. Do what makes you happy. Do what feeds your soul, what brings you the most joy you can squeeze out of this life. If this makes people in your life unhappy, let them deal with it. You are in charge of you and only you and if you’re not happy with yourself, you cannot be happy with anyone else.
THIRD, take time to cry. Sit with your unhappiness, experience your losses, then move on. Don’t dwell long in sadness. The past is called the past for a reason, and you don’t live there anymore. If you must, visit from time to time, but make your visits short. Spending too much time in sadness will suck the life out of you. Keep you weighed down, tied to things you cannot change. I don’t mean to say that you should forget, but I am saying you should not be afraid to move on.
“Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.”
FOURTH, forgive. Forgive. Forgive. I cannot express this enough. Forgiving yourself and those around you frees you. Alternately, hate is a poison that destroys you from the inside out. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength. Anyone can hate but it takes courage to forgive. The truth is you will release hate’s hold on you the moment you forgive. This is the best gift you can give yourself.
FIFTH, perspective is everything. It’s easy to believe your parents should’ve known better, should’ve had all the answers. They don’t, obviously. But if you don’t consider their ages as they were raising you, then you’ll have a skewed picture indeed. I (like my own mother) was eighteen when I got married. I was twenty-three and twenty-eight respectively, when I had you. Ponder what you were doing at eighteen, what you plan to do at twenty-three, twenty-eight. I know I was young, scared, and ill prepared for adulting. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I still don’t. But now I have perspective and it makes all the difference.
“I was young, scared, ill prepared for adulting.“
SIXTH, I was born gay into a predominately fundamental Christian county, town, and family. I attended church nearly every Sunday from birth. I fully believed I was sinful, in need of saving. I was taught all other faiths were false, I feared what I didn’t understand. My religion was strict and left no wiggle-room for self-exploration.
After high school my friends talked of college or travel adventures, I planned my wedding. Nobody forced me to get married, but getting married was I believed, expected of me, so I got married.
Luckily your dad was my best friend, and in the beginning, we were happy together. We made each other laugh. Yet, despite our best intentions, our marriage was wrought with dysfunction. At times we behaved more like siblings, squabbling, competing for one another’s time.
“Denying who you are, like a buried sliver, will eventually break through the skin of your life.“
Denying who you are, like a buried sliver, will eventually break through the skin of your life. When this happens, you’ll no longer be able to hide. This was our fate, your father’s and mine. We lived as who we believed we should rather than as who we honestly were. Over the years we continually let one another down and, in the end, and most devastatingly, we let you down.
This brings me to my most important and final wish for you, honesty. That you will be honest with yourselves to the very deepest core of yourselves. I am convinced that no matter how messy or unattractive, honesty is always the answer. And inevitably will set you free. Don’t be afraid to live your truth-to be openly, amazingly, uniquely, and honestly you.
From the very first pages, Lorinda Boyer’s pile of confessions moved me. Lorinda is a master with a pen. She incomparably describes what it feels like to be a Christian woman who must comply with fulfilling the role of being a perfect, dutiful wife and mother at any cost. No saints exist in the pages of this exceptionally written memoir, yet what stands out is the way Lorinda writes about how much her beliefs, confusion, and other people’s actions or lack of them affected her behavior. Overall, Straight Enough by Lorinda Boyer is a triumph of embracing one’s identity, redefining love, expressing one true self, and freeing oneself from feeling unworthy of love. It portrays a flawed, loving woman who repetitively struggles with excruciating guilt and thoughts that say she deserves to be punished by God.Amanda from Reader’s Favorite