Toronto, Ontario, 2016
Sometimes it seems we need those closest to us--those that see both the cracks of light and dark radiating from our infallibly human hearts--to understand and testify to our greatness.
Some days I don’t feel so spectacular. Who doesn't?
Some days I swear I’m on the wrong side of the bed, the universe, and this place they call Canada.
I found myself reflecting on a friend’s post the other day. I remember explicitly saying to myself, “I’m glad I no longer feel the need to write those types of posts anymore.”
And by those, I mean the one I’m about to write right now. #sigh #giggle
You see, my life has been going really great. I feel almost magnetic, like I’m a sun that’s only getting brighter. And maybe that’s what the essence of growth is: our light outweighing the dark that was never us to begin with (tweet it).
And maybe it’s in those moments of shining ever-so-brightly that we run into rogue wounds, memories and beliefs about who we were and fear we may become, again.
I’m sitting at the precipice of what feels like a big wave, except this time, I’m engulfed in it, and this time, it’s light. I’m not drowning.
Yet it seems there’s some remnant shrapnel in this weathered heart-of-mine that’s wanting to see the light of day.
It’s ugly, I think. It’s painful, I wince. I’m done facing the things and places that broke it to begin with.
You see, I can’t seem to get that memory out of my mind.
It was Easter Sunday.
I’d spent the night, awake, laying next to him as he held me. I stared into space like a blind woman for what seemed like an eternity. I looked into the night sky that had crept into the apartment through the windows overlooking 24th St. A blank stare of broken perplexity and exhaustion began to marinate the expression on my face, like that of a slightly tart sazón.
What was I looking at? What was I unable to see?
My body had already quit.
My nervous system was exhausted, my eyes puffy from the endless stream of goodbye flowing from them, and my chest felt like I had pneumonia. I was in a faux fur coat and a red spandex dress I’d gotten a few years ago from American Apparel.
He used to like me in that dress.
He used to look at me in that dress. I wore it once while cleaning his house and dancing salsa, thinking that he would know how much I cared. Thinking I’d win some sort of wifey-to-be award.
It was always a competition, he said. Those words echoed in my mind throughout the duration of our relationship.
On the bed, eyes looking like I’d been in the ring with Rocky, he lay there, still. Sleeping.
He didn’t see me anymore, and morning came.
I suppose this drama had gone on long enough and he decided he wanted to go for a run.
As he put on his running clothes and guided me out the door for what would be the very last time, we found ourselves on the corner of 24th and Capp St. in the Mission, only feet away from his doorstep. It had begun to rain. He held my head in his hands and looked deep into my eyes, “I’m going to see you again. I’m going to come meet you, wherever you are in the world.”
He kissed me, and ran in the opposite direction. That would be the last time I saw him.
I was numb and the world was crying. If it were a scene from a movie, everyone but me would know that he wasn’t coming back. And they did.
The eight month rule.
From the time I was 18, I have yet to live in a single physical residence for more than 8 months.
What does that even mean?
The first time I went to Italy, our tour guide told us to chase life. It was a quote I lived by for years until now, where the chasing of sorts has ended. But the curiosity is still endless.
I don’t know how long it takes us to lay to rest the bones of dreams dead, assassinated, or still born.
I don’t know how long it takes to mourn or heal what feels like a massacre of sorts. Some dreams die with grace, others face public execution. And others still, are never spoken of above hushed tones for their own fate was sorted out in the shadows.
Men are trying to date me and treat me right. Clients are hiring me. Canada is welcoming me with open arms, and yet that stupid memory is etched across my mind.
And it was only in the days I placed between the first draft of this blog post and now that gave me enough perspective to complete this thought.
Memories are endless in their ability to be replayed.
They are the original digital age, but after a certain point, their shelf-live of usefulness dwindles. At a certain point, they restrict more than than they liberate.
It’s at that point that that shit needs to be cut off and let go.
It’s time to retire the person I wish I hadn’t been and that same person I so fear becoming, again. The war is over and it’s ok to pause. I don’t have to fight my shadow on the wall anymore.
And neither do you.
A reader emailed me earlier this week to share that while I focus on the whats of the world, I don’t much tell you how. Thanks Kevin for taking the time to write.
So today, here’s a shot at how.
Love yourself enough to see that nothing else matters, not in the way our mind likes us to think.
How do you love yourself?
There isn’t an easy answer to this.
You can start with talking nicely to yourself. Anytime you find yourself feeling stressed, focus on your breath and begin to whisper sweet nothings into your own ear.
Over time you’ll lessen the need for affirmations.
And one day you’ll be one with the light within you.
We’re not so different from the stars in the sky. To accept that is to love yourself. It’s a strong step in the right direction.
Run that way.
That’s one part of the vast how.