I didn’t used to think before I lived. I just lived. I acted, reacted, followed, rebelled without really thinking about why. Sometimes this worked for me, but sometimes I didn’t like the consequences. Sometimes I looked back and felt regret, guilt, or shame. The thoughtless actions were just that – thoughtless – and often the things that I did weren’t fully done by my own free will.
I’m going through a pretty rotten drawn-out moment right now, and there have been many of these moments over the past two years. I’m not talking about a temporary case of the blues or an emotional reaction to a negative event. No, I’m talking about the well of hope drying up to the smallest little puddle so that you really have nothing to keep you going.
It is both reassuring and tragic to know that things end. Reassuring for the painful moments. Tragic for the good moments. We never know when it will happen. We will never be prepared, no matter how much we plan and dream or how hard we worry. We cannot predict how much joy or pain the end will bring. And the end is not the end, it just another beginning – it is the passing from one moment into another. It is the merging of two moments until the first disappears and the second takes over. But there is definitely a point, although barely noticed, when the suffering or joy ends.
Every day they pour in, in bursts and in trickles, constant then sporadic, always keeping me on the look out, never giving me a moment’s respite.
Have you ever organized a party only to have it crashed by someone unwelcome? Did it ruin your party? How about a dream?
I had the extreme bad luck (as I’m sure so many of us do) of falling for a colleague. We had a disastrous relationship that lasted well beyond its expiration date and after it was over, well, it was only over for one of us. For months my ex continued to pursue me and since he didn’t understand “no”, it turned into harassment. I spent my days trying to keep him calm, trying to avoid the regular semi-public breakdowns that he staged in response to my meanness (my rejection of him). I turned into the unattractive hunchback with red eyes – wearing drab clothes to remain unnoticed, hiding behind my computer screen, dabbing my eyes with a soggy tissue, waiting for my ex to leave the vicinity to be able to leave my desk.
Saturday and Sunday mornings, before my brain kicks in, I lie in bed in a state of complete relaxation. I can sense the daylight behind the curtains through my closed eyelids. I can hear the birds and gentle roar of distant traffic – a train, a plane, a car, a pedestrian pulling a trolley… Spread like a starfish across the bed with two arms hugging a pillow, I am cushioned by a cloud just warm enough to keep me cosy, just warm enough to allow me to appreciate the fresh cool sheets just five inches from where my body lies should I reach out and touch them. I could languish here forever.