I realized today that the one year anniversary of the promise I made to myself is rapidly approaching. How it snuck up so quickly and quietly is a mystery. This year was hard. I looked at all of the people in my life and evaluated who they were to me. What they were doing to enrich my soul; and in turn, what I was doing for them.
This is not easy. It’s not easy to admit some friendships and romances that seemed as though they mattered now suddenly lack any real sense of true depth or meaning. It’s not easy to admit the bond you thought you’d shared was an illusion from the start.
It’s scary to abandon the fillers who help you to sleep at night. The men you date who are not very interesting but make you feel like you’re trying, at least. The friends who you like to hold onto simply because you’ve held on this long already. To realize some of your colleagues, even neighbors, are suddenly more up to speed on the general details of your life than the people who never call anymore but pretend to be close contacts.
They say it is hard to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it. What a bizarre concept, yet so unbelievably true. It was hard to close the book on men I have cared deeply for this year; to come to terms with the fact that my words will tell them kindly never to call again, not in a nasty way; simply in an honest way. I must let go of these weights around my ankles before I can be whole heartedly ready to trust that love exists again. It’s time to close the book and file this chapter away. And it hurts – why does it hurt? – but I know it is right.
Fillers do just as they suggest: they fill the holes. The holes in my heart and the ones in my mind. They let me refrain from having to think too much about being out there in the world alone. They let me continue to live to some extent in a fantasyland. Eventually, it’s time to face the sun. Face reality. And I decided for one reason or other that day for me was today. And it was long and emotional and my eyes are still irritated and red from the tears that had flowed from them, but somehow I know this pain of loneliness serves as the rite of passage into taking the reigns on my own life.
To paving my own way, creating that life I have always imagined. I have to assume things will fall just the way they should. It’s the only option we have but to believe, and to live the very fullest possible lives (without any fillers) we can while we have the chance.
IT’S FUNNY HOW you can’t understand something about yourself until you’re good and ready, and when you do, it feels like a kick in the head. It’s like something that’s been there all along living and existing inside your guts – like a tattoo across your forehead – yet you never recognized it until the day you decided to see it.
There was a day that came in which the weight of her mind could no longer sustain. Like water balloons about to pop; heavy dew looming in summer air, like buckets before the storm; bubbles left begging to burst.
And when the floodgates of her brain finally opened, she felt so much lighter. Like she was floating through the next door of life, leaving her baggage behind like a tattered old suitcase, entering new territory with only the compass of her own two feet to guide her.
This part of her journey – this new room, with its bare walls and unknown tomorrows – this was the chapter called “Clarity”, when she finally realized life was far too short to worry what anyone else thought. With this newfound knowledge came the feeling of flying, and she was smiling ear to ear as her soul grew new wings.
What I remember when I started to write was that I couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning and get to my characters.
THE SKY WAS THE COLOR OF SEA GLASS: pastel swirls of greens and blues against the navy sea, just like her paintings from art camp all those summers ago. Lia sat alone on the empty beach, her tan toes tucked beneath the cool sand. She picked at the hem of her sundress, wondering how ten years had come and gone since she’d seen him last. Ten years coming back to the beach house on this same early August weekend; the holiest tradition the Mason family had.