(above photo by Hooton Images)
I dressed last weekend in my best wintery outfit, layered just enough as to not get cold but cute enough to not look homeless. Was out the door in fifteen minutes and on my way to meet a stranger.
Because when your friend messages to say, he’s great, you’re great, you should meet, you oblige. Because you’ll never again be this young and you’ll never again be this untethered and why not, what do I have to lose?–isn’t that what they say? Taking chances seem to be the best stories, right?
But as the night ended and after far to many cocktails he asks how I was doing (not in those particular words but in a way where he wanted to know more about me), my breath caught between my teeth, my hand shook.
It’s a question, in that moment that caught me off guard.
You can think one thing, expect one thing, tote around certain truths so as to get through the day, but in the face of that question, something else arises that I couldn’t quite place. So I sat quietly and my eyes filled with water and then I darted for the door but I wasn’t entirely sure why.
Sitting on my sofa the next morning with a touch of a hang over and a massive regret for the ending of my night before, I listened as my tv played a movie (which I forget the name) and one of the characters stated “there’s no such thing as a right decision, life is hard because it’s a series of wrong choices.”
And so the best I can do–the best anyone can do–is make the choice that most aligns with who I am in that moment. Which is very often the hardest choice to make, laced as it is with fear. Fear being a thing that indicates worth.
To make the choice that most aligns with who we are.
Thrity-three and just now discovering this.
But there is power in the recognition of both flaws and failures. Power in the small, and often private declaration that oh-hey-something’s-gotta-change-here. And holy is the man (or woman) who doesn’t need life to pull the rug out from under them in order to begin that process. And so here I am. Not perfect, but better. I’ve found that the people who really and truly like themselves, haven’t always. But no one really talks about that, do they?
And I’ve come to realize I’m still young enough to fail in a particular way, but old enough to know that that window is closing, and closing quickly.
I struggle with depression. Sometimes it is triggered by an event and other times it just creeps up on me for no apparent reason. That isn’t something I like to admit. I really want to seize each and every day. I really want to love every bit of my life but the truth is at some point or another in each year I struggle to pull myself out of a dark place.
Life isn’t terribly long. And wasting time is too costly. But when these lows come (they will always come because that is just who I am) I will be grateful. Everything is a moving target. Dark days give way to very bright days for this I am sure of.
I feel so very intensely. When I am sad, I am very sad. But when I am happy I am very happy.
And so, how am I? Sometimes good. Sometimes not. But wholly myself. And pretty okay with that.