Pieces are starting to come together now. I can feel it. Things are feeling different, like there’s momentum building to something new. That’s a great change given that for the last number of months I’ve felt much more of stuck and lost than moving and new. I feel very much like I’m taking the first steps on a new journey, a journey by myself. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting on a big rock by the shore watching my empty boat float up and down on the river we just traveled. I’ve watched carefully for smoke signals, anything to tell me she’s out there. Funny enough, the signs are everywhere I choose to see them; fifty a day would be a breeze. I’ve watched the boat float up and down in the water while I’ve sat for a long time by myself. But as I watched and waited, I also have been busy. I’ve collected the wood around me, made some new tools, and have begun to make a new boat.
I just got back from playing my first kickball game. It was fun. Eleven new people and I will spend Wednesday nights together kicking the crap out a rather large rubber ball in the name of fun. Everyone I met was very nice and full of smiles. Despite our unfamiliarity, the camaraderie drove us together toward one common goal: have fun. Of course, winning wouldn’t be too bad if it was forced on us (tonight it was not) but that didn’t stop us from making our stand. It was great to meet some new people who, frankly, didn’t know me or my story. It was relaxing in a way.
Of course, I wanted to stand up and yell what happened to everyone in such a way that not an eye stayed dry. People love it when I do that. It really brings a party together. But I didn’t (I know! Shocker!) I’ll bet I whisper it eventually but for as long as my will power wins out I’m going to keep my mouth shut. But it’s tough to stay quiet about my past. What do I get in return for my efforts? Nothing.
I spent most of last week in Key West. It was a wonderful, wonderful trip put together by a friend who has been going to this specific locale for 16 years. Wow, 16 years. There was no particular goal in mind other than smile, have fun, and enjoy what Key West had to offer. I had a fantastic time and feel like it was very healing. In fact, I realized on Saturday that I hadn’t cried in nearly a week! That’s stunning! For a short while when I was there, I was happy but not in a I’m-forcing-myself-to-smile-and-be-happy way like I’ve been (and still am) doing. In fact, it was very different. For a while, a short while, I forgot to be sad! Not I’m happy more than I’m sad. Not I’m happy and sad. I actually forgot to be sad. Wow, now that’s something I hadn’t felt for a while.
Monday after I got back, I realized that I had found a new energy that put (and has kept!) a smile on my face. And then, as soon as I reflected on how happy I was because of my time in Key West with friends, the guilt hit me square in the nose. Yup, to celebrate this new-found unencumbered happiness, I added guilt. Crap.
How could I possibly be happy, even for a little bit? Why am I not carrying a bag of suffering labeled What Was on my shoulders? Am I betraying my sweet angel? Crap. Guilt because I’m not sad. I didn’t see this one coming.