Seven years ago, at 3 pm on December 18, 2010, I got married. The wedding was beautiful and I was a Christmas bride.
I remember the moments of the day, from the gift the ex-husband sent me that morning, to the massive stain on my gown when aunt flow showed up at the reception. I remember opening gifts with him and smiling for pictures. I remember the first kiss and the first dance. I remember joyfully driving to our hotel room and feeling overwhelmed by the way he decorated the room.
I remember. I may not want to, but I do. I may wish I hadn’t, but I did. And I believe I’m better for it. The 22 year old girl who walked down the isle 7 years ago was desperate and broken. She had no sense of identity other than her sorority and the man next to her. She was beautiful and gifted but buried beneath her own insecurities. She’s so much different than I am today, but she is me. Gratefully, I am no longer Her.
I know Jesus now. I know Eryka now. I have dreams and visions for a future. I have an anointing that college didn’t give me and man can’t take away. I’ve realized and learned to embrace my purpose on this planet and it sustains me on the darkest of days.
I wanted to have something profound and creative to share today. I wanted to prove to myself and anybody who cares that I’m “over” my ex and that being divorced doesn’t define or hinder me. I wanted to somehow honor who I was with who I am now… I love her. I always have loved Her. I am Her. This year, I choose to give myself a 7-year Anniversary gift. Instead of wondering how and what and why… I decide to forgive me. I forgive me for being desperate then, and recently. I forgive me for wanting him more than I wanted my own life. I forgive me for forgetting myself. I forgive me for abandoning what I know to be true for what I thought felt good. I forgive me for thinking I could fix another human being. I couldn’t do it then, and I still can’t. I don’t want to.
I choose me. I choose to live with me. I choose to support me. I choose to clap for me. I choose to endorse me. I choose to LOVE me with all of myself! My mission from this point forward is to completely and wholly Love every inch of who I am. I will give the best of myself, to myself. I will spend more time appreciating myself. It’s crazy to think I can love God while disliking myself.
I like who I have become. I enjoy being with myself. I’m not perfect, but I’m getting better by the day. My life means something. My body is precious. Even my imperfections and flaws have meaning. I am not a divorced woman. I am not a victim of domestic abuse. I am not the girl who gets or got cheated on.
I AM ERYKA.