When I was in 8th grade the song Love Rollercoaster came out by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was the tail-end of the year. We were full of energy and hormones. We thought we were in love with boys as we did the wave in gym class singing off tune waiting for everyone to finish changing in the locker room. If I only knew how much of a rollercoaster love, and life!, really is back then I may have done things differently. BUT that’s what life is all about now, isn’t it.
I came home today in a pisser of a mood to begin with. I’ve had a tough week at work and I’ve been getting worn out and worn down with everything: keeping my chin up at a school I won’t be returning to in the fall, seeking new employment, seeking summer employment, seeking summer lodging, seeking long-term lodging, and ending my first real relationship which just also happens to double-dip as it’s also a divorce. Yep, just a few things going on.
So, like I was saying, I came home in a pisser of a mood and sat around my room for a bit tooling around on Facebook and Twitter per usual when I was suddenly struck with the desire to listen to this song from the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon: Candle on the Water. I YouTube’d it and was soon belting it out right along with the video clip. I played it over and over and over. It’s beautiful, it really is. And then, what the hell! I thought. I just started looking up all the songs from the movie. It is one of my favorites from childhood, after all. Why not cheer myself up with the fun songs I know by heart?
flowers from my garden
Soon I was dancing around my room like a fool to Brazzle Dazzle Day (love that song) and then ran outdoors, cut a bunch of daffodils and tulips, brought them in, and played it over again. And again.
I soon found I Love You, Too and that did me in. A verse into the song I was sobbing. I was sobbing because the weight of everything going on hit me full force. I had this. I have a person I feel this way about and I walked away. I smashed and bloodied my nose on the brick wall of reality. In desperate need to get away, I called Amy and then got in my car and drove to her place. She wasn’t home. I sat and cried alone in my car for 20 minutes. Then I pulled out of her driveway, determined to grab this bull by the horns and make ‘im mind, and started towards home.
Fate really loves me this week because she slammed me, again, against that brick wall. I was driving along the lake when Magdalena by A Perfect Circle came on the radio: our song. I barely missed two trees and avoided the lake by 3 feet.
the lake I frequent and nearly landed in today
I managed to drive to the parking lot by the lake, secure a parking space, and drag myself to a bench. And there I sat, for an hour, sobbing.
a week ago, but roughly the same time of day as today's visit
I was letting all the anger and resentment and guilt and shame and weariness and loss out. I totally thought I was okay; I totally thought that I had my life under control a week ago. I filled out applications for a second job, I talked to Amy about living with her elderly neighbor, I wrote down a list of schools I wanted to apply to on top of the applications I already have out, and I was running every day, practicing yoga everyday, and not eating so I was losing weight. I felt fabulous.
Then it crashed. I crashed. But not hopelessly. Not permanently. It’s a different kind of crash than I’ve ever had before. It was a crash of reality. It was a crash of normalcy. It was a crash of moving to a new stage of the grieving process.
After spending an hour on the bench looking out over the water, sobbing, and feeling the cold wind on my skin through my thin shirt and low-riding jeans, I felt a little better. I felt real; sad; but real. Upset; but real. Lonely; but real.
I managed to drive home without any major upsets (ie driving off the road) and plopped down in my blue reading chair I dragged up to my room a week ago during my mad dash to make life perfect. And there I sobbed, again. And it didn’t stop for a long time.
Again I called Amy. And this time she answered. And she listened to me for a while on the phone, and then she came over and plopped on my bed with me and listened some more. I talked out all the frustrations and the anger and the disappointments I’ve experienced over the course of my relationship and my career; everything that led up to this present moment. She listened, and then she said:
“Okay, I’m going to psychoanalyze you. I’ve known you long enough that I think I can. You’re finally normal, Jen. You used to not be. You used to be a faker, but you’re not anymore. You used to be the messed up person with a messed up childhood, but you’re not anymore. You’re normal now. Everything you’ve told me is normal.”
And she’s right. She continued:
“You are also a perfectionist. You feel guilty about leaving this marriage because you can’t make it perfect and that irks you. But it’s okay. It’s okay to quit when you’re not quitting because you give up, you’re quitting because you have good reasons and it’ll make your life better.”
And again, she’s right. Amy, you’ve always been right. Thanks!
She also brought to light what I failed to remember: I’m grieving! I just lost the most important person in my life, I don’t have a career-job lined up yet, and I’m moving to who-knows-where, only three of the ten biggest stresses in life.
The conclusion Amy and I came to tonight is that I am now essentially starting from scratch. My life burned down around me. I have no ties or long-term commitments. But I have goals and dreams.
As the Zen poet Masahide wrote:
Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.
I am truly starting out on the journey of a lifetime and my blog title has new and deeper meaning.