Sometimes in life, horrible and unexplainable things happen. These things are a test of character. And I. Have. Character.” ~Agatha Trunchbull
I love Matilda.
I love the book. I love the movie. I love the musical.
Book Matilda is going to be my next tattoo. Mara Wilson was the most absolutely perfect movie Matilda there could ever have been. And the musical? Written by Tim Minchin of “Fuck the Pope” fame? That got me through my divorce. I saw it on Broadway with much of the original cast and twice on tour, and sing the song Naughty every chance I get.
Clearly, I identify most strongly with Matilda, so I’ve been caught off-guard when I find the Trunchbull’s movie quote above going through my head. Usually just the first part, and usually when I’m feeling sorry for myself.
2016 was… challenging. I mean, OK, let’s be honest. 2016 sucked. And not only did it suck, but it sucked in a really non-consensual sadistic way, because there were these moments where I would think things were getting better and everything would be OK, and then I was metaphorically kicked in the face. It was like every horrible negative thought I had ever had was being confirmed by the Universe. I felt betrayed by my body, my personality, people who promised to love me.
I woke up on January 1 and decided 2017 would be better, if for no other reason than it couldn’t be too much worse. And you know, in lots of ways, it has been. My new epilepsy meds seem to be working. The seizures are milder and don’t come as often. I’m in a new relationship and working hard to negotiate the dynamic and boundaries. I’m back to being an active part of the community and loving it. I’m happier than I’ve been for a while. I’m discovering how loved I am. I’m learning how to not let other people’s crap affect my life and how to, as I tell my children, “chuck it in the fuck it bucket” and move on.
So yeah, sometimes in life, horrible and unexplainable things happen. And sometimes it’s your fault for being too trusting or for not listening to the counsel of friends or for lying to yourself that a magical fairy is going to come and make everything better. And sometimes other people just suck, maybe on purpose and maybe not. If you’re lucky, you can put your finger on the exact moment in time that things went wrong, and try your best not to make the same mistake twice. But probably you just have to accept that you can spend the rest of your life post-mortum-ing the fuck out of the situation and you’ll still never really get what happened. But either way, these things are a test of character.
And I have character.
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