One Year

July 15, 2013, 5:45pm.  I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for mom to arrive bearing gifts of Sprite and dinner.  Later, Sarah would arrive with hard cider and coconut pie.  My newly single life had begun.

Everyone says the first day is the hardest.  I disagree.  What sucks are all the subsequent days, when you read something you wish you could tell him or have a bad day and wish there was someone waiting at home to drive down to Majestic Diner with.  You miss the company, the history, the comfort.

I watched all seven seasons of Desperate Housewives in a week and a half.  I took cold medicine nightly, so I wouldn’t lie in bed and think of how sad I was, and wonder where he was at that particular moment.  A lot of wine was consumed.  Lots of cookies.

The sharp newness turned to a dull listlessness – empty, waiting, remembering.  August brought my new apartment but then a sharp goodbye to our old apartment, where he left most of his/our belongings to die a sad, lonely death.  It didn’t seem right.  My hopes were raised in September, then dashed again two months later.  Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas, and the bleakness coupled with a nasty case of bronchitis made the holidays less than holly jolly.  I saw 2014 in with the resolution that by December, I’d be me again.  I’d be whole.  February brought the official news that things were truly over, forever, and I made my way to therapy, once a week, because that feeling wasn’t one that had been covered in any book I’d read.

By May, I was feeling that light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about.  I was dating again, I’d come to terms with everything that the relationship between Ry and I wasn’t.  I was moving on, accepting, and I could feel it.

And here we are, July 15, 2014.  It’s funny how time can feel so slow until you forget to count the seconds as they pass.  I am healed.  I am well.  My life is heading towards the place I’ve always wanted it to be.

I still feel sad sometimes.  My therapist says I’ll always be a little sensitive in spots, so it doesn’t bother me too much when something pinches. And I figure if I have to reach back to feel that devastation I felt last year then I’m doing ok.

I have a bucket list of summer and fall things to do, things I never would have done if I was still in a relationship.  I’ve checked off a huge chunk, but I panicked the other day – the summer is passing so fast, and I feel like I’m running out of time.  And then I realized: this isn’t an ending.  There is no deadline.  I have countless summers ahead, with all the time in the world left to start again.  And it may not be the life I had planned for myself for so many years.  But unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.  You just have to have faith.

I finally do.

What Started it All

When I was taking my first creative writing class at GPC, our professor instructed us to find two samples of creative nonfiction and bring them to class. Below is the second example I found, and the words that inspired me to be a writer. Enjoy.

Mask
by Denice Aldrich Jobe
Brevity

“Danny’s Camaro was primer-gray and had a broken window crank on the passenger side that I cut my leg on when he took a turn too fast. I still have the scar.

It had sun-bleached burgundy seats, and the air inside smelled of too-sweet cherry licorice — a pot of air freshener under the seat to mask the smell of sweat, decay, vulnerability.

He spent too much on a set of rims. Flashy jewelry for a dying thing.

*

We chose a direction and drove, and I hung my head out the window like a dog, eyes closed against the whip of sun-streaked hair. He sped through intersections late late late at night, never bothering to stop, resting his heavy forearm on the window frame, looking at me, instead of the road.

*

We walked the grounds of our high school, leaned against its cool stucco walls, and stared at its doors — closed for the summer — as if to ask, What now?

I liked to step behind him, press my forehead between the blades of his shoulders, wrap my arms around his waist. With every breath his flesh filled my palms.

*

Vagabond, wanderer. Boy of no fixed address. I counted on you to just show up at my door, until one night you didn’t.

I heard you got married. Your friend told me in the 7-Eleven, somewhere between the cat food and the Slurpee machine.

“I thought you knew,” he said.

*

I marvel that the smell of cherry licorice can conjure up that old primer-gray Camaro and its driver, and I wish I could say that fourteen years later I can flip through these scenes as I do old vacation photographs, with mild interest.

But with one whiff I can remember, vividly, how damned hard it was to smile at Danny’s friend in the 7-Eleven and say, ‘I’m so happy for him.'”

Halfway

It’s July!  As one of my favorite bloggers said, we’re in the midst of summer.  I’m delighted that summer is moving so slowly this year.  I feel like standing outside and soaking it in, reveling in the sweat and humidity and heat.  After all, I still have memories of this

Ugh.

Additionally, today marks the halfway point of 2014.  Six months behind us, six ahead of us.  My initial year has been crazy; I can only imagine what the rest will hold. 

I’m spending my summer days drinking coffee, working, writing, relaxing by whatever pool I can find, and exercising.  Old friends are coming into town weekly.  Reading has never tasted so good.  I’m doing more than I’ve ever done before, and I can feel myself changing, in more ways that one.

Tonight’s post is a short one, friends, for I am sleepy and headed to bed.  Perhaps some Bob Ross while I drift off…his happy clouds are the best sleep companions.

Brownies and Locally Made Wine

So here I sit, the 4th Friday night of my new life.  It’s been quiet…there was a productive visit to the gym, some laundry, and dinner and wine.  A good night.

I sit here thinking of the weekend, random thoughts swirling about in my head.  Seeing mom tomorrow.  Helping a friend tomorrow night.  Brunch Sunday.  I don’t have to go to sleep early tonight if I don’t want.  I can sleep late(ish) in the morning.  I should follow up with some writing leads I’ve gotten this week.

It hits me.  I am satisfied.  I’m not dreading Sunday nights anymore.  My life is linear, and it’s stretching on and on, unforeseeable, infinite.  Possibility.  Who knows what will happen in a year, six months, a week, tomorrow.  I track how much I’ve changed in the past year, and I almost can’t place myself.  But that’s ok.  It’s good.

The apartment is quiet and the twinkle lights are plugged in, gently lending their glow to my kitchen.  I’m showered and sleepy; the wine has taken affect.

Happy Friday, friends.  Here’s to making your future exactly what you want it to be.