From the Ashes ∞ Anastasia Rises

From the Ashes ∞ Anastasia Rises

I took my time being born.

My mother's water had broken almost 36 hours before I made my appearance. When she shares my birth story she always marvels at that "there wasn't a wrinkle on you. You were so perfect with a mouth like a little rosebud." I spent years wanting to live up to the idea of this perfect child my mother had birthed. But I just couldn't seem to get it right.

As I grew older I constantly felt like "the other." I was a clueless fool who just couldn't get the joke while everyone else was having a hearty, belly grabbing laugh, rolling raucously on the floor. There was something simply out of my reach that I couldn't understand but everyone else seemed to get perfectly. It was obvious that there was something wrong with me. If I was like everyone else I wouldn't have crushes on girls and boys or ask uncomfortable questions about God, sex, and race.

Obsessed by how other people perceived me, my relationship to myself was confused, painful, violent. And my relationships with others reflected that. All those years I spent looking for approval from others who wouldn't, or couldn't give it me, I suffered tremendously. I never took into account the importance of my own opinion of me. Until finally, I was consumed by all the doubts, fears, insecurities and self-hatred.

It was my birthday. I had spent the night agonizing over why my husband hadn't come home, again. I blazed in a white heat, burning down to the very last bit of me that cared about what others thought. I got out of bed, got dressed, our three sons sleeping in their beds and I knew I had to go. As I made my way towards the door, he arrived. Smelling of whatever he had been drinking the night before. "I'm leaving." He blinked, unable or unwilling to understand what I had just said. Suddenly, my mother appeared in her dressing gown, her worry and apprehension palpable. "Where are you going?" I didn't want to answer, to look at either of them, my anger and rage were consuming me completely. I needed to get out. "It's my birthday. I'm going to watch the sunrise" was all I could say. My husband backed away from the door and my mother relaxed. "I was planning on making you a cake," he said as he swayed side to side. I was silent and took the car keys from him. My mother called after me "when you come home Dushka, we'll go out for breakfast." I didn't answer.

I parked at the overlook, got out of the car, walked down a worn path through the trees and sat to watch the first rays of glorious orange and red light break over the hills. "Happy birthday," I said out loud and the white heat gave up into ashes. I was done. All the broke, hurt, scared and brittle parts of me were being carried in the wind. I promised myself I would rise and rebuild. I would be reborn. I would do whatever it would take to make my life the life I wanted to live, on my own terms.

I pulled out my phone and took a picture of that very moment. That moment when the sun rose to greet me in my 35th year and the ashes of my former self blew into the wind, making room for a new person to be born. I would resurrect from a painful life that had become a crucible. That white hot pain became my means of resurrection. I welcomed that day as Anastasia's birthday.

Anastasia, the resurrected didn't have to be perfect.

What she had to do was take ownership of her life. She had to make the best choices she could, putting her own opinion and instincts above others. She was a baby and I'd help her come into this world so she could be me, I could be her and together, we'd be the person I was meant to be. Not perfect, but authentic and enough.

The reasons why I sought Rebecka Eggers stem from this promise I made myself almost 3 years ago. Since then, I got divorced, changed careers and have re-committed myself to that promise I made on my birthday: to live as authentically as I can, with imperfections and mistakes, but with the help and guidance of those who can get me there. Rebecka is helping me to do just that.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos