Friday, July 31, 2015

Carpe Diem.

Sitting in the dark, the tears I fought all day trailed slowly down my cheeks.

I didn’t see today coming, and I suspect I would have made missteps and mistakes even if I had. It began easily enough – a rare chance to run in the quiet dawn as my thoughts raced across the hopes and dreams and new beginnings that fill my mind and my heart. But from that moment on it unraveled and like a roller coaster off its rails I couldn’t quite seem to get it back on track.

First the phone call. And then the words on the screen.

And then the deep sadness that permeated the day.

A year ago this week, I closed the final door on a painful past. But in closing that door I was forced to relive every moment of what had brought us there. In a cruel twist of irony, what I needed most in those moments was love to protect me as I fought to protect the memory of love long gone. I did not want to relive those moments any more than I wanted to admit my weakness in being afraid of them.

Closing that door removed the weight of the past. Like a foal new born I rushed forward, stumbling over myself over and over as I chased happiness. And I have struggled with my frustration that while I am ready to rush forward, my heady weightlessness is fettered by simple realities and practical matters that require patience. Time and time again, I have erred and I know that it is simply unbridled joy and desire that is my undoing. If I could only reign myself in, perhaps I would stumble less.

But it is those mistakes that perhaps I should embrace because they show me at my most human, most passionate and most fragile. I love too fiercely and hurt too easily.

And therein lies my problem.

Replaying the day in my mind like a silent reel, I watch the little girl on the screen rage that the wrong parent died and the day’s weight and the fears that I fight rise up and spill over, washing the mistakes of the day away. I love too fiercely and hurt too easily. 

And therein lies my beauty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's Not Me. It's You.

“I haven’t heard from you in two weeks, so I’ve made other plans.”

It’s no secret to anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with me that I’ve changed a little in the last seven years. I’d like to think that it could be described as the natural evolution that one might expect when the rug is unceremoniously – and traumatically – pulled out from under you. And I think you could even agree that while it was, yes, forced upon me, equal parts have been specifically introduced and shaped by me because the person I was seven years ago is not the person telling the story you’ve been following.

Let’s compare Subject A to Subject B, shall we?

Subject A was loyal to her own fault and let everything and everyone else take priority. Subject B is loyal to her own fault and can’t seem to stop letting everyone and everything else take priority.

I know, you’re thinking perhaps my glass might be a little too full of red as my fingers dance across the keyboard. Because Subject A seems remarkably like … Subject B.

Hang on. We’re almost there!

I’m still loyal to my own fault, yes, but if I decide to give you that loyalty I demand much more in return. I’m still and eternally will be prone to putting everyone and everything else ahead of my own wants, feverishly plotting how to get from A to B with stops at X, Y and Z in between to make sure Things 1 and 2 taste what life has to offer. But while I bend and give far more latitude than some would, I expect far more. If I let you in, it’s because you said you could and showed me that you would. And because I believe that you will. And as utterly and stereotypically female as this is … you just don’t disappear and leave me hanging.

I’ve been off and on the market for seven years. And my patience has expired. Yet here I am again, searching for the perfect fit.

“Kids … we’re going to need to get a new nanny.”

“Is it because she didn’t call you back?”

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lost and Found.

“Ummmm … what is that?”

Six months ago, I stopped tiptoeing around the idea of selling this house. To be fair to me … and to put a dagger through the heart of speculation before he takes his first steps … I was very deliberate about this very large, very important, very exhausting and very expensive step. Selling a house is hard work. Selling a house with pint-sized dictators is harder. Selling a house without a partner to run interference with two pint-sized dictators is harder still. Selling a house where the most difficult moments of your life’s experience played out without a partner to run interference with two pint-sized dictators?

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I have, on occasion, felt that he somehow got the better end of the deal.

Six months ago, everything felt right. Actually, it felt right three years ago. 

But a house is more than walls and windows and floors. Memories and momentos are tucked into its corners and crevices and cupboards, snapshots in time to be carefully sorted and sifted through. Even now, after six months of purging and packing, things are turning up where they weren’t before. If I am not watching, the carefully curated treasures of childhood multiply in haphazard arrays. 

Shiny stones. Thousands of tiny rubber bands. Mangled paper clips and duct tape. One sock here, a different sock there. Summer camp artwork. 

Two months ago school ended, that moment when educators around the world erupt in a chorus of joy and eagerly load up their dearly departing students with bags and bags of school-year treasures, trappings and trash. 

Tucked away the very next day in cupboard and closets.

For two months we’ve kept this house spotless, but there’s been something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Like a memory fading, it lingered just beyond my reach. And even as I continued to shed the past and revel in the excitement of the future, there was something in the air left unresolved. Each day it loomed larger and darker, challenging the future I am so breathlessly determined to fulfill, until I couldn’t stand to leave it unfound. 

“Mom (whispering) … please don’t be mad … I think I might have put a banana in my bag.”