The Life of Bon: July 2019

Monday, July 01, 2019


Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.  
It felt appropriate today to post this, 
something I have written off and on the past year, 
while I was 32.

I wish I was nicer to myself when I was 16.

Like yes I was awkward and weird and I'd never kissed a boy and I crushed obsessively.  But I also got all A's and worked two jobs and practiced the piano every day and played Monopoly for hours with my little sister. Only I couldn't see it then.  I saw so many of my flaws.  And I look back and want to hug 16 year old Bonnie and say girl you are doing so great and there is so much more happiness ahead of you.

I wish I was nicer to myself when I was 22.

I was serving a mission in Argentina and no one wanted to listen and my Spanish was horrible and I couldn't get someone to take a Book of Mormon if I paid them and the only person who was interested in listening was the drunk on the street and even he was really only interested in touching my blonde hair.  But I also worked so hard and set and achieved goals and loved Argentina and the people there and dulce de leche with all my heart.  I prayed constantly to God to give me strength and patience and love.  And I look back and want to hug 22 year old Bonnie and say girl you are so great and everyone can clearly see you have put your whole heart in this.

I wish I was nicer to myself when I was 25.

I was newly married, fighting constantly, discovering how deep deep deep the differences went.  Telling myself if I only change this, if I only don't say this, if I can only be okay without this then I can protect this marriage.  Telling myself I held all the power to keep the marriage going and that if I was only better, stronger, smarter, made more money, I could fix all the problems.  Resolving to do better every night, every week, chiding myself because it still wasn't enough I still wasn't enough.  Yet still I was hopeful.  I continued to give of my whole heart.  I risked it all, allowed myself to love deeper, more fully than I thought one person could love.  I look back and want to hug 25 year year old Bonnie and say girl you are so great.  You don't have to do this all by yourself.

I wish I was nicer to myself when I was 28.

I was teaching high school English and nursing a baby and saying yes to a misplaced French teenager being placed in our home and writing five blog posts a week and trying to help my husband who was horribly depressed and pushing to quit his job and quit helping the French teenager and pushing to quit his church too.  We fought constantly- a life I felt I was promised slipping from my grasp.  But I also tried so hard to accept the changes.  Started a business so he could work from home and took the baby to church by myself week after week and taught the French teenager to drive on empty neighborhood streets late at night.  I was resilient and strong and brave and had no idea that it would get so much harder before it got easier.  And I look back and want to hug 28 year old Bonnie and say girl you are so great.  Hold your baby as tight as you can and don't worry for one second about those lesson plans because babies grow up and lesson plans don't.

This leads me to wonder- am I being nice enough to 32 year old Bonnie?  Will I look back and think I should have been kinder, softer, gentler, more forgiving to myself during this time?  I wonder where 42 year old Bonnie is right now.  I could use a hug from her.  I also want to know how the hell she made it out alive from this.

32 year old Bonnie making grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner while Hugh spills water on the floor and June whines that she doesn't like preschool and can't we please eat oatmeal for dinner please please please please???

32 year old Bonnie struggling, struggling to get out of bed in the morning because she knows that what awaits her are dishes, laundry, jewelry, order inventory, figure out something for dinner, work, work, work.

32 year old Bonnie asking her kids every night before bed, after stories and after prayers and after being tucked in, "Did I forget anything?" and June's excited little voice crooning, "Huggggggs and kissesssssssssss" and their two little heads together and her tickling them and kissing them and their tired and happy giggles rising up together into the night time air.

32 year old Bonnie trudging down to the unfinished basement at 9 pm.  40 orders.  She is talking to herself, " I just gotta get 40 orders out tonight and then I'll be close enough to caught up and Lianny can help me with the Etsy orders tomorrow and I can restock the booth on Wednesday morning and I can't forget to order more gold chain..."

32 year old Bonnie wondering how in the world you meet a decent man.  A new age for dating.  Swiping on phones instead of meeting at parties.  This guy looks alright.  Actually no.  He does not have a job.  He voted for Trump.  He has full custody of five children.  This is never going to work.

32 year old Bonnie running down canyons and skiing down mountains and swimming in oceans.  Doing everything it takes to heal heal heal this broken heart.

32 year old Bonnie seeking out friends, making her book club her life support, going on trips and doing everything it takes to stay connected.  Connection is why we're here.  Connection means she's still alive.  Heart still beating.

32 year old Bonnie who clings to God for help.  Who seeks a deeper, wider spirituality than ever before.  More faith, fewer answers.  Who wanders into the temple week after week, sitting on a white couch in white clothing looking up at the bright bulbing chandelier and asking, "What do you want me to know?  What do you want me to learn?"

32 year old Bonnie who allows herself lots of mistakes.  Who shows herself grace when she struggles to get out of bed, when she arrives late again for Sunday family dinner.  Who doesn't beat herself up when her house is almost always messy, who tells herself it's ok that the garage is cluttered and impossible to walk through.  The neighbors can look all they want.  The state of a garage does not equal the state of a heart. 32 year old Bonnie who allows herself a trip without her children, who weekly pays for a pedicure or a massage without guilt.  Who buys an expensive swimsuit full price without looking for a coupon and doesn't feel one ounce of remorse.

And I ask myself,
Am I being nice enough to myself?
Am I being nice enough to myself?

The answer.
A resounding YES!
If there is anything 32 year old Bonnie has learned it's this.
Finally.  For the first time in her life.

How to be nice to herself.