You know that game, “turn to page 56, read line 5, post it…”
So I did.
“Whatever they had identified with, whatever gave them their sense of self, had been taken away.” *
Pretty fucking awesome, Universe. My, aren’t you funny today…
And so it seems this is where I sit.
My dogs are gone, my house is gone, my money is gone, my fiance-gone.
I could keep going, but this is no country song…
I literally put two suitcases in my car and drove away. Away from the espresso hardwoods, the granite counter tops, and the jacuzzi pool. Away from my little bear. Away from the garden I planted that never grew. Away from the shelves he built for my rows and rows of beautiful shoes. Away from the person who has been by my side for 365 days, times four, and who would have happily stayed there for the rest of our lives.
I’ll be the first to admit, my life was anything but rough. I didn’t have to work if I didn’t want to. He made my breakfast every morning and when I did work it would be wrapped in foil on the counter ready to go. I got back rubs almost every night. He cleaned my car, took care of my dogs, paid my bills. Easy on the eyes and polite as an English child.
I loved him.
So why did I leave. What is wrong with me that I can’t be happy with everything? Why is it I feel “nothing” is more appealing? Am I just hellbent on suffering? Is it glamorous to be homeless and destitute? Did I think starting over on the verge of thirty would be an adventure? Is it a mid-lilfe crisis come early?
I feel like my life has been plowed…and here I stand, staring at the flat dirt, with nothing but my own two hands to hold on to. It’s cold. The friends who pick me up when I fall are miles and miles away. The loneliness sinks in when it is quiet for too long. I imagine him alone in our house, eating ramen noodles in front of the TV, frowning. I cry. I try to figure out what the hell I am going to do with myself, once I find me again.
It’s a slow progression, losing one’s self. It’s like a frog in water. A frog will sit in cool water until it becomes boiling if it happens slowly enough.
First everything is everything, magical and wonderful. Then you realize he no longer likes to dance. So you dance by yourself, because you love it. Slowly, dancing alone loses it’s luster…and before you know it, you don’t even know if you can dance. All those years of professional training seem like a distant memory of someone you used to know. Before you know it, you’re really more comfortable sitting…you probably look silly now dancing anyway…
You were popular. People were drawn to you. But something’s changed about you, they can’t quite put their finger on. You never answer your phone anymore.
You don’t have anything interesting to say.
And the sex-let’s not evade that. Everyone knew there were no dull moments in that room and they could think whatever they wanted about it. You had no shame. You loved it. “Let them talk, their stories won’t be NEARLY as good as what really happened!”
That girl died the day he told you you were past your peak, and you’ve gained too much weight, and that’s why he’s not interested.
And one day, you wake up. You realize that rock on your finger is nothing more than a sparkly cage. You realize you don’t want a dog walker, or a breakfast maker…that the granite and the hardwoods don’t keep you warm at night…you see the insecurity in your eyes in all the pictures from the past year, and realize you’ve never seen your eyes quite like that before. You remember when they matched your smile instead of betraying it. You realize twenty nine is actually quite young, and not at all as old as you now feel. You realize an entire life is still ahead of you.
And by God, if it takes all the guts you have, you’re gonna live it.
I say “you” when I mean “I” because they are one and the same. I share my stories because I know they are never just mine. I don’t know where this one’s going, and I have no idea how it ends. All I know is that I’m no longer afraid. I realized that you become extremely vulnerable and sensitive, yet somehow invincible, when you have nothing left to lose. It’s a lovely paradox. Holding on by letting go, as they say…
Last night, Thad said to me, “you’re incredibly beautiful…intelligent…the way you comprehend things…your heart, your compassion, the way you treat people and want the greater good…you are an amazing, incredibly beautiful girl.” As he spoke I felt my heart breaking, like a frozen block suddenly immersed in sunlight. I felt emotions I didn’t expect, like sorrow…I felt so sad for the person inside who I had lost…how could I let her be treated in such a way for so long that now these words sounded foreign and unfamiliar? Like he must be talking about someone else, not this girl…how dare I let that happen to her, as opposed to protecting and uplifting her, the way I would anything else I love? And how do I get her back?
Today I will spend the day with myself.
I will go do things that have needed to be done for a while.
I’ll use my own two feet to get where I need to go.
I won’t let anyone make her feel small again, not even me.
I will eliminate negative self talk by thinking good uplifting thoughts about everyone I come in contact with.
I will look at the blank page in front of me with excitement, knowing I already have all the colors I need to make it beautiful again.
*New Earth, Ekhart Tolle