In the past several weeks I’ve given a lot of thought to reinvention. This is, in no small part, due to the fact that I’m trying to completely reinvent myself as a woman, friend, potential lover, and as a participator on this weird, spinning ball.
When faced with the unthinkable I’ve decided to embrace change and become better at everything.
It’s Spring. Birds are getting busy in trees and pastel-colored, pretty things are growing. Girls wear short skirts and pink lipstick smiles. Sex and sparkles scent the air.
Earlier this year my life exploded into a million shards of glittering, fragmented glass when the person I have dedicated the last few years to nurturing and loving left me and turned himself to stone. It was an almost unbearable shock. I wept and buckled, I careened into walls, I fell. Now, almost three months later, while still grieving, it’s time to dust myself off and emerge from the ashes. Shit, it’s time to chop those ashes into one long sooty line and inhale them through a rolled up hunji.
Phoenix, I am.
The trauma of loss forces Self under a microscope. This is a good thing. In the laboratory of post-love introspection I’ve come to several illuminating conclusions about my character, experimented with ways to reprogram it, and determined that anything is possible.
It’s no secret that I’ve been a temperamental bitch for most of my life. Only-child spoils and a sense of entitlement have taken decades to smooth over and grind down into some semblance of humility and connectivity with other humans. It’s taken my own lifetime thus far to shake the feeling that the entire world revolves around me, even though, on occasions, I know it still does. If I’m not careful, ever vigilant, my sense of entitlement, coupled with a massive dose of judgment, and, more often than not, a solid and unhealthy incomprehension of life when things are not going my way, can lead me astray. I am programmed to stomp my foot and throw a massive tantrum if my expectations are not reached.
Until recently I was not aware of just how badly I was failing at keeping my inner-monster at bay.
Like all of us, I have my dark stuff. My things to work on and improve. For the last few years I’ve complained bitterly about the city I live in, the weather, the poverty, the filth, the grime. I’ve felt lonely and blamed everyone else for the reasons I was discontent. I’ve demanded and pushed for alternatives without allowing myself to find beauty around me. I’ve constantly craved something different without allowing myself to see how truly lucky I already am.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fucking awesome and I know it. I’m kind, I’m loving, I’m thoughtful and considerate. I care about people and stick up for underdogs. I confront things head on and will work and work and work on something until it’s completed. I am not a quitter. I’m smart and funny and creative and supportive. I am determined to love and evolve. I’m filled with passion and lust and excitement and a willingness to dream. I nurture people. I cook for them and care for them and play good little wifey. I’m a little bit kinky and a lot naughty. I’m still pretty. No, fuck that, I’m a fox.
It all counts for nothing when the person you love walks out the door.
It’s my solid belief that we’re all fucked-up quite deeply. Life and relationships are hard, but, if you’re lucky, you find someone, in all this craziness, whose fucked-upedness is something you can work with. Someone who’s fucked-up in a way you can live with and laugh at. I found that person. I loved him absolutely. His fucked-upedness was difficult and annoying and frustrating and sometimes made me want to throttle him, but I would never have walked away. I recognized his potential to grow around those few aspects of himself that weren’t always beautiful. I recognized our ability to be incredible partners and to help each other heal the holes we both had. God knows that through being together we were certainly able to see those holes. We triggered the stuff in each other that required work. To me that was a precious gift. I was committed to him. I had found my person. My partner in crime.
Not so for him.
And so, alone, I venture forth into a new era. Determined to combat the parts of me that I think need growth. I tackle new adventures. I give myself routines. I work hard and see results.
I wake up in the morning and practice “mouth yoga”, quite simply, I smile. I get up and write three pages of stream of consciousness rubbish and drink a perfect cup of tea. I do fifty kettle bell swings, some Bosu ball crunches, stretch and wonder at my new six pack (seriously). I read a daily meditation and either feel inspired or slightly annoyed at the cheesy vibe (this is still a process). I leave the house feeling accomplished and walk to work seeking out beautiful things along the way. I send happy thoughts out to passersby (“I hope you get laid tonight”, “I hope you find what you’ve been looking for”, “I hope you feel loved today”). At work I practice kindness and compassion even in the midst of all the madness. I do not let stress take over. If things get weird I remind myself that I am loved, lovable, successful, creative, a positive force in the world, a good boss, a great friend, a writer, a lover and a person deserving of incredible things. After work I swing kettlebell’s or go to therapy or acupuncture or a friends house or on an adventure. In bed I write down at least five things I am grateful for from the day and go online and fill in my daily positivity test. I go to sleep and try, every time you think of him, to send him kindness and love. On weekends I’m enrolled in Tango classes, Aerial Arts at the Circus School and am considering salsa, boxing and Capoiera. I’m becoming Super Activity Woman. My body hurts, my heart hurts, but I am very much alive. For a girl who once spent two years in a fetal position with clinical depression this is no mean feat.
In the past twelve weeks I’ve gone from a person who tends to look on the more pessimistic side of life to a person who celebrates the good stuff. I find myself looking for beauty. When I feel my demons rise I know to calm myself and find something in the present to inspire me: sunlight reflecting on a window, a flower in the breeze. My online positivity test has risen from below a 0.5 to 2.5 (out of 3). Stranger yet is the physical shift in my body. Even in the face of tremendous grief and emotional tumult my body is healing itself. For over two years I’ve limped and cringed with knee and foot pain. Not any more. I’m almost pain free.
Wishes do come true.
If those wishes counted for something I’d get time to do it all over. There’s nothing I’d love more than to be able to take these new tools and work towards building an incredible future with the person I love. But it’s an impossible and improbable dream.
He’s gone and I’m growing without him. There’s no going back.
Life goes on and it’s still beautiful. I’m busy filling my life with people and new experiences and have fallen in love with the city I used to hate. The fog is less oppressive and the omnipresent filth and grime look charming in the right light. Something deep and dark has shifted.
Without this break-up I cannot say I believe it would have happened.
It’s an interesting time.
Here, turn your volume up: