I woke this morning to an epiphany- my husband and I are making something together. We have a joint financial and emotional interest in our project. There is no line of demarkation between us in the undertaking. My independent heart beats a nice steady thump, thump with the realization. I called out from under the covers this morning- “We’re building this TOGETHER, it’s going to be good!”
Yesterday morning, I got a cryptic email from a childhood friend who forwarded a message from a former boyfriend, “Do you know how to get in touch with elroy? Our friend from New Orleans died last week and I think she should know. She probably hasn’t thought of him in years but she and his wife were good friends back then and I know she’d love to hear from elroy.” I stayed in touch with my New Orleans friend until we had a facebook disagreement about the Israeli/Palestinian/Gaza situation and unfriended each other in a huff. Of course, I contacted her yesterday. I’ve been loving her up long distance, helping with all the administrative requirements involved in death. I could give a shit less about the Israeli/Palestinian/Gaza situation now. She is my friend and her husband just died, in his sleep, away from home. She is heartbroken.
I’m feeling unsettled for obvious reasons, one of my friends up and died without any warning at all, in his sleep, at his mother’s house, where he was helping to care for her. It’s more than that. The cryptic message (I maintain many internet aliases to protect my privacy) took me back to the me I was then. It made me miss that girl. It made me sad over the way things concluded. It surprised me that he would think anyone would love to hear from me given that I was so badly behaved at the end. It did not cause me to make contact. There is no point. I am here. I know how I got here. This is where I want to be.
I recently dispensed some advice to one of the young women I know-
“Youthful relationships tend to teach lessons. I don’t think relationships are ever time wasted because you learn to negotiate your boundaries, to decide what is acceptable and what is intolerable.
You are the only one who can determine what is right for you, Honey. You know what the life you want looks like. Be true to yourself and your vision. It may seem odd coming from me because I have compromised and sacrificed to live Beuregard’s life but his life is equally my creation, and because of what we share, disagreements and all, I have become the person I wanted to be. At the end of the day you want to be able to say, truthfully, ‘It was worth it.'”
I should add- Forgive yourself, don’t waste time hauling a box of guilt rocks with you everywhere you go. Accept your mistakes, learn from them, and make amends if you can. The lessons you learn will be a strong foundation for happy life.