Over two years have passed and it still stings. I wrote a piece once to pay respects to that ending but it didn't offer me closure. Maybe closure is overrated. What is closure? It isn't resignation, because I have that. Maybe closure is peace, which I do not have. However, resignation is peaceful and I will take what I can get.
When you see me, I will probably look content. I'm very good at being content. This is the life I've got, not necessarily the one I wanted. No one gets what they want, right? I celebrate because I am here.
Oddly, I am mostly happy.
I think a lot about other people. In this lifetime, we fight disease and loss and instability. There is suffering. If there isn't, there will be; life spares no one.
I let myself go there sometimes. I think about others' journeys as a way to honor to their struggle. Sometimes I say this. Most times I don't.
I laugh a lot because life is funny. And I shed tears because there is pain.
Pithy take-aways from this unwelcome transition:
- Shitty patterns are shitty. Don't develop them. Spend more time laughing than fighting. Read what Dr. Marriage (aka Jonathan Gottman) has to say about relationships. The man's a genius. http://www.gottman.com/49853/Research-FAQs.html
- Ask yourself, when faced with a choice, what kind of memory will this make? Don't lose yourself to an emotion without checking yourself first. I once ran out into traffic to yell at a man who'd just hit my sister's car. I am still ashamed that I did not check my temper in the middle of that busy Manhattan street. Excuses, excuses: emotions were high, I'd had little sleep for days and I'd just visited my mom in the hospital and was worried sick about her health. The man that lost control of his vehicle had just seen a dog get hit by a car a block earlier and wasn't in his right mind either. But assigning blame helped no one. You cannot fix a wrong with an apology. It only appends the wrongdoing.
- Speak your truth honestly, even if it will hurt. If you do not, the delay will compound the hurt. As soon as you know your truth, you must share it.
- You're okay because you're you. (I'm still working on this one.)
- Don't lose yourself. You are not less important.
- Create and nourish something every day. Art. Photography. A craft. A human connection. An animal bond. A book. You are born to create. If you do not, a part of you will wither and die.
- It is more important to get enough sleep than you realize. The vessel that holds your soul has a few unyielding requirements. If you don't sleep/eat/exercise well, it will break down just like any other machine. Give your needs top priority. I shouldn't have to remind myself this but indeed it is one of my biggest struggles and occurs nearly every day.
- Try hard. Even if you can't give your best, keep trying. Your best on your worst days will still be appreciated. Every day is a new day.
- Befriend yourself. Extend the same kindness and understanding to yourself as you would your best friend.
- It's all a learning experience. "You do what you know. When you know better, you do better." -Maya Angelou
- When you're sad or lonely, listen to comedians on YouTube.
- Know you're not alone.
- And, oh, wear sunscreen.