Friday, October 5, 2012

Real Gurl Goes to College-The Unicorn Paper

Many of you have been following on Facebook so you know about my disdain for the title of our first writing essay.  See original post below:

So I am not very impressed that my first writing assignment topic in college is unicorns. Why not make it My Little Pony? Sheesh. That's what you get when a teacher trying too hard to be hip lets a class choose the topic....

 Here is the finished product.  Let me know what you think!


            It was about 18 months ago that I was stumbling through life, broken, bruised and sore from a divorce that happened seven years ago. I was slowly moving forward but feeling like I had a perpetual sandbag on my shoulders that I could not shake.  Though I am not a drinker, but more of a thinker, I tried several self-help books, specifically the manuals from Alcoholics Anonymous, to no avail.  Desperately, I was trying to find steps to lift me out of the dark past into a new life, but the right steps eluded me. 

            By chance, (which is not the right word at all because it was more than chance), I called my church to ask to use a room for a ladies friendship group. One phone call… just that one phone call started a deluge of significant events.  It was here that I met Holly. 
            There are many legends and meanings that can be attached to unicorns, but one reminds me of Holly: “A symbol of strength, endurance and hope.” For the purpose of this writing, Holly is my unicorn because from the very start she was a beacon of these things. She wisely walked me through some desperate moments, always offering hope if I would have the strength to endure the process.  She was my God-given guide through The Genesis Process, a set of workbooks designed to bring one to a lasting recovery.   

            I say recovery though I have never faced down an addiction to drugs or alcohol but rather my own demon, an addiction to approval. It was Holly and her quiet strength, eyes that knew me, and her constant questions of accountability, that kept me pursuing my new beginning.  This new beginning was to address my constant and abiding need to please others, without regard to the personal outcome.  It would include learning who I am and how to give that back to others in need. 

            Being alone after my divorce, I was now in my forties and in my own place for the first time in my life. The noisy, busy, family life was gone.  To say I was lost and did not know who I was only gives a small glimpse of the pain I was experiencing.  
            The day I met Holly, I was only looking for a place to meet.  Little did I know, as she allowed me to share my story for nearly two hours, that I had met someone who would become such a friend, confidant, and mentor. After I had unloaded all the sins of the past, nearly exhausted from crying and at a loss as to how I arrived at this state, she looked at me with piercing brown eyes and said, “Would you mind if I mentored you?” 

            Suddenly and without warning, there was the help I had been seeking. For nearly six years I had battled, waging war with myself and searching fruitlessly for direction.  I constantly asked everyone around me if they knew what was wrong with me.  Suddenly someone was reaching out to me and seemed to know something I didn’t.  It was especially sweet to later realize that help came as I was looking to help others. 

            Her eyes continued to burn into mine as she pelted me with questions of my commitment.    “You will have to promise to attend a class every week,” she said. “And you have to promise to do the assigned homework,” she continued.

            This time I answered rather meekly with “O.K.” and she added “Be on time”.  I was in such need that had she told me to jump off a bridge I probably would have done it.  I trusted her from the very start. 

            And so began the most transforming six months of my life.  Holly held the reins perfectly as she kept me on course and held me accountable for my behaviors and actions.  The enduring strength and constant hope of a unicorn began to take root in me.  

            To describe my Forever Friend as an inspiration is an understatement and to call her a unicorn is even more so, but for the sake of Writing 115 I will.  The truth of the matter is she was a gift from God.  Through her love and guidance, I have not only begun to uncover the Real Gurl inside, but it has led me to my passion: counseling other hopeless women to find their Genesis, or new beginning.  I learned a wise truth:   that ruin is a gift for it is the road to transformation.  My life will never be the same.