All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

-J.R.R. Tolkien 

Stop waiting, start walking

You’ve unlocked level one of my backstory 

The above quote by Tolkien has defined my life for pretty much the past 5 years since I graduated college with a degree I didn’t want to use and a strong desire to reinvent myself. The concept that I could wander as much as I wanted without being lost felt right because I was wandering but I enjoyed it. For the first time, I wasn’t being observed. My actions weren’t being scrutinized. The only person I answered to was me. It felt like freedom.

It’s an interesting road map from old Amelia to new Amelia. Somethings are drastically different and some things are very much the same.

So, a lot of people have told me I should write this story. Some people because they think it’ll remind me that I was in love with God once. Some people because it’s interesting from a socio-political point of view. Some people because it’s just a bizarre story.

I want to write it because I’m kind of self-obsessed. And because I think it could make me feel more like the person I want to be.

I wanted to get consecrated when I was 9. Maggie was 11 because she could do those homeschooled retreats and I couldn’t. It made me mad when she got upset when I snuck in to watch the skits. At the time, I thought she was a whiner but now-a-days I can identify with that desires to have something that was just hers. There’s 11 of us. 6 girls. 4 boys. And therefore, nothing was private and everything was sacred. The first time I remember wanting to be consecrated was the day I had to watch Liam in one of the guest rooms at Our Lady of Bethesda retreat center. I ate Mom’s tuna wrap and she got pissed. Again, at the time I was so confused. But Mom was only 36 at the time and now I’m 27 and can barely imagine having a one year old at that time let alone five kids up to 11 years old.

I think the more years I go through the more perspective I get on my parents and my siblings. I start to see better exactly what it means to have shitty days while being an adult and not know who the fuck you want to be. Mom was sad. I knew that. She was always taking on other people’s pain and no one really stopped to ask her if she wanted one kid let alone five. Dad loved her and so did we but they got pulled into what I can only describe as a twisted parody of a path to holiness.

The consecrated and the priests were so happy. They had smiles like slashes and a brightness that was hard to understand. And I wanted that. Mom was sad. Dad was angry. I was frustrated and lonely. And they were happy. No one held them back.

Plus they loved Jesus. Which was my surest way to fame. And I’ve always wanted to be famous. I could have been a model or an actress but saints get tons of kids named after them and they are good (at least in my circles). Love Jesus. Be good. Get Heaven. Be immortal.

The goal was always to be noticed. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is my heart knows that I shouldn’t, I can’t compromise who I am just to get someone to notice me.


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