Thanksgiving came and went. I have to say, I was fortunate. I was able to spend it with family, some of which I had not seen in over 15 years. I was able to see my cousin, the one I fought with, yet got along with the best while growing up.
I immigrated to the US just shy of 7 and have only seen him a few times since, the last being when I was 18. I am now 34. I was able to meet his wife and kids, whom I’d only known through Skype and Facebook posts, for the first time. They are also trying to make a new life for themselves. I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my brothers and Mother for the first time in, well, it’s been so long that I can’t really recall the last Thanksgiving we spent together. Most importantly, I was with my wife and kids – the most important people to me in this world.
I should be thankful. I AM thankful. My past is not the same as any other person’s. That is not to say that I had it harder or easier than anyone, but I just had my own experience growing up, as did we all. Some of those experiences shaped me into the person I am today. It could be said, in some cases, for the worse. So, am I happy? Over the past week I faced my own demons and had to be honest with myself about how those demons still haunt me. Through it all I came out a better individual. A happier one.
What are those demons? None of your damn business, that’s what. OK, in all seriousness, regardless of what they were, I have chosen to move on. The closure that I wanted and felt like I needed, I’ve realized, is never going to come. So, I had to create my own closure. I had to face the fact that there are some things that I will never know. Is that a good thing? Whether it is a good thing or not is irrelevant. What I do know is that I’ve accepted that fate and have decided to stop punishing myself for things that are out of my control. Besides, I’ve had it easy compared to others and it isn’t fair to continue to punish others for something they really can’t control either.
Sometimes the truth hurts so much that those closest to you feel like they need to keep it from you in order to protect you. Sometimes we don’t realize it and we want to blame the world – and those close to us – for lying to us, for denying us an opportunity at closure. There are just things I will never know and I must accept them as truth. Someone’s truth anyway. The important part is to move on. I know I will never fully forget and from time to time my mind will wonder back to those topics. I’m better equipped now.
I’ve realized that not knowing the truth is not what bothered me. I had moved on from that long ago. Stopped caring. Maybe even became too cold-hearted in that sense. What really got to me was that someone close to me had kept something from me. Something that I thought was rightfully mine to know. I found out the truth. Well, their version of it. I have chosen to accept that this is probably not the truth either. It may be their truth, what they’ve chosen to believe and tell me. It doesn’t matter. I understand. At this point in my life, I am happy. I don’t feel like I NEED to know this. My happiness comes from elsewhere.
Have I forgiven? I don’t think forgiven is the word. I’ve moved on. I’ve stopped caring. I am less emotionally involved. Yea, maybe that does make me cold-hearted. However, I don’t blame them either, though I did at first and had for a very long time. Forgiveness may never come. I’ve stopped caring. I’ve learned to compartmentalize things, feelings, emotions. I’ve locked this one away as well. Instead of obsessing over this truth that I will never find, I’ve chosen to refocus my time and energy into the things that matter to me. I want to spend more quality time with my wife and kids. My oldest son graduates high school in the next 6 months and my youngest wants to be the next YouTube star. I’m not sure that will happen, but I know I will do everything to nurture both of their passions and interests. I want to continue to provide them the resources I never had access to as a youth.
My wife is starting a new chapter in her life. Soon she will be operating her own business and I will be there to help any way I can. Designing business cards? Flyers? Guerilla marketing to spread the word locally? I’m there. She has supported me in everything I’ve ever attempted. She has more confidence in me than I have in myself sometimes. I know that is one of the reasons why I now feel like I can accomplish anything. Sure, I will try something new. I will fail. Failure is just a learning experience. I will get up and push forward and do it better the next time. I have that confidence because she has that confidence in me.
What is my happiness? My family. My kids. My wife. Enjoying every moment together and being excited for what the future holds.