The “first day” mantra treated me well again this morning. I was lying in bed, staring at my sunrise lamp, waiting for the alarm to go off. I was making up excuses about why I couldn’t run, why it was okay to skip class, why I didn’t need to get up until it was time for work. But instead I said, “You don’t want to miss your first day of marathon training, do you?” That, and I promised myself a cigarette.
My aunt sent me a text today about keeping up the fight. How it’s hard for all of us sometimes, but we have to keep going. That’s the only option we really have. I needed that reminder and I got it.
I have been asked for patience.
All the gears squeal and fight against themselves. The flood. Anger and desperation and hopelessness. “Not right now,” has got to be the hardest thing for me to hear. I live entirely on split-second and often horrible decisions. I am made of nows and nevers. But I was asked for patience. And I understand why it’s needed, why it’s vital. I understand in waves. All the instances my friends, my partners have asked for something as simple as a little bit of time.
I’m launched back to the night I made Mason ask me for a divorce even though he wasn’t ready. To filing the paperwork neither of us was sure about. Standing in front of a judge still not convinced I was doing the right thing, but resting easy knowing at least I was doing something.
Always have to be doing something.
But this time I recognize it. This time I know it’s a trip-up. A weak point. This time I can teach myself to fall into the lull of waiting. Uncertainty is not a thing we have to embrace enthusiastically, but we must wrap our arms around it and carry it with us regardless. And I’m in a place where I can practice doing that. Where I can wait.
I was supposed to wake up at 5 AM this morning and go running. Instead I slept in until 8 AM, lazed around, went to the coffee shop, at a savory croissant, and drank a delicious cup of coffee. Generally I would beat myself up about this for the next week, but today I gave myself permission to do it. To listen to myself, to take time off, to just be. That is awesome. That is growth.
It’s been almost a year since our (not even remotely mutual) decision to divorce and Mase and I have had a strained relationship for most of it. Today we got together, ate lunch, took a walk, worked at a coffee shop, and had dinner together. He was my best friend for five years and it’s nice to know we are both willing to put in the work to figure out how to build a post-marriage friendship.
It’s forty degrees and raining again in Seattle. Luckily, I am well-equipped with rain-ready clothing. My boots and coat made the two hour walk I just took very comfortable in what could have been rather miserable conditions.
They say to find your edge and hold it. Adjust to the water one half inch of skin at a time. It’s all about sustainability, finding a pace you can maintain for the long haul. Slow progress. Nothing spectacular. Just figure out little tasks you can do every day and then, after a couple years, look back and see how far you’ve come. But I am a bullet. An avalanche. I plow through with huge intentions and then splatter against the wall. I am a sine wave, all ups and downs.
I gently seek out my limit, toeing forward in the dark, arms outstretched. My fingertips find a concrete wall and fumble around for points of weakness. Where is there room to push through? And then I pummel until I reach exhaustion. Collapse into a heap. Get up again. Repeat. Logically, I know there must be a better way to achieve. I should chip away at it slowly. Be patient. Practice. They tell me this is how people burn out, wear down, give up and I know it’s true. I charge forward and then hurdle back. Have to fight twice as hard to gain a quarter of the distance. But I don’t know how to exist peacefully. I am all extremes.
When we first met he called me “wildfire”. Fierce and raging, unpredictable. He had me pegged within a week of exchanging messages. Knew I would throw back my head and cackle at the thought of hesitation. Deal with the fall out later. I wore the statement like a badge of honor. Wanted nothing more than to live the rest of my life aflame. But I’ve begun to wonder when I will be only scorched earth. What will grow after? Anything?