I'm on the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, where I'm teaching 'Inner Space' this weekend.
The first time I came to Seattle I was 18 and meeting my father for the first time. I was halfway checked-out.
The half of me that was checked-in was watching my every move to make sure I performed perfectly. I mean, I had 18 years to make up for. Immaculate presentation would be the only way to make him love me, right?
Today, I feel I'm gathering up the ghost bits of the girl who was here before, 24 years ago. The ghosty bits that drifted off when she left herself and made cavernous spaces for others to occupy her completely.
How she carried weight of repressed memories, emotions and other people's baggage in her 200 lb body. How she knew she wanted more for herself than this, but didn't know how to identify those elusive things.
There is a photo of her -of me- 18 years old with my mall bangs and hi top reeboks. It was taken by the water, the skyline of Seattle high above. I felt so worldly wise, having not seen much of the US. My dad is standing next to me. I am double the size of him in width because my sadness and number one survival mechanism, the 'good girl' routine, made me grow sideways.
That was then.
Today I walked in Seattle a woman who has fought the good fight. I've fought for liberation of my voice, my scars, and to release the weight of baggage I carried on my body: the baggage of the grown ups who raised me, and the one who didn't.
I have freed myself of patterns of toxicity in relationships and my self-abusive pathologies and ways of moving through the world (because we take the treatment handed out like hot nails in childhood and embed them in our own skin to just ya know, keep the pattern alive because we subconsciously believe that's the only way to survive).
I've fought to release self-hatred, and a hyper-vigilant state of panic that affected absolutely everything in my world and left a devastating trail of hurts and consequences behind me. So yeah. I'm a fighter. And it's pretty clear that if there was ever a time to dig in and resurrect the good fight, it's now.
For all of us this time, not just me.