Today, while visiting with Wes on my lunch break, I solicited his opinion of what my next blog topic should surround. I tossed out an array of scenario’s from my past while he quickly nodded in disagreement. He said, “These past events don’t really define who you are right now. You’re happy. Do you realize we’ve discussed nothing significant in the time you’ve been here? I think you should write of finding yourself happy.” And so, here I sit typing, taking his advice yet again.
In the last several days, I’ve found myself submerged in a calm I can’t explain despite my request for it in prayer. At the end of the day, I walk outside and there is still a sliver of light, the weather is perfect. I look forward to my evening walk with my dog. My shoulders and back feel as though they belong to a 29 year old rather than a 92 year old. I sit quietly on my porch, either alone or with an old friend, drinking cheap boxed wine. My roommates, Kelly and Audrey, join too. It’s nice to catch up with them. They both make me laugh. All of my bills are paid and my house is clean. My friend Mike meets me for cheese fries and a beer. He never goes out during the week, but I don’t have to coerce him. When asking if he’d join me, he responds quickly with “sure.” I enjoy his company. He and I formed a friendship after his friend broke my heart (years ago.) We laugh a bit, recalling the oddity of our friendship. He is the silver lining to that particular heartache. He reminds me, sometimes good can spawn from the bad. He may even take ballroom dance lessons with me. I am the hands down worst dancer in America, but I look forward to getting it wrong. I’m too afraid to jump out of a plane, but it’s time I shake my fear of the Tango. And since it takes two…
I’ve leaned on my mother a ton. It’s the first time I’ve fully been vulnerable with her over a boy. It’s also the first time she’s greeted me with ears. She saves her clichés and offers what I really need, quiet. In ‘turn, I’ve opened myself up to her advice. Her wisdom has steered me right. Years ago, she did mention the following analogy originally coined by my cousin Aaron: “If you’re in a plane and it’s going down, punch out. Your parachute works. Employ it. If you don’t, you’re gonna die. The plane is going down, PUNCH OUT!” My family often speak using analogies if you haven’t noticed, but this is a good one to apply in any area of your life. If your love/work/friendship plane is afire and spiraling towards the ground, chose door #2. Select safety/happiness.
He is no longer my first thought when I awake. Sometimes, he does not even cross my mind until very late in the day. I revel in this break though. I deleted him as a Facebook friend because he hasn’t been a real life friend. It’s hard but I know it is best for me. Still, I’ll admit it; I wonder if he thinks of me. I wonder if he has regrets, if he’d take back some of his words…but it doesn’t consume me. We fill in the blanks, the time formerly spent together. The unfortunate thing about breakups, whatever the cause, is sometimes you lose a good friend too. It’s hard to shut it all off at once. It’s like going from 100mph to 0mph in one second. There is bound to be some pain. It usually hurts more the next day, but after time sets in, the pain dulls and eventually, the pain vanishes.
Happy I kept my words sweet even when I could’ve spit daggers. When sweet words were impossible, I chose silence. I’ve gained strength and integrity from keeping my mouth shut. My impulses challenged me and I beat them. Trust me, I wanted to “tag” every single picture of him with “douche bag.” In 15 months, you accumulate a ton of pictures so there would be a lot of tagging. I figured, his picture would pop up every time the word “douche bag” was googled. Ha. Then I realized, I loved, love this man, so instead I “untagged” every single picture. Since it’s out of my hands, I want him out of my head. Out of sight. Out of mind.
Sometimes, happiness is mistaken for boredom. I’ve been standing right smack in the middle of the bright side, confused by this foreign emotion. Happiness replaces the longing, the inspiration (sadness often fuels my writing,) the hollow. I’ve been reluctant to stand on the sunny side, apprehensive of the shadows around the corner. Taking time to recognize the delight. Finally October, my favorite month. And thank God… ‘cause September felt like a really long year.