We live near the city now but I kept the kids in their school. So we wake up early and that is something we have accomplished surprisingly well in our first few post flu days here. Something about driving toward the capital each morning puts a smile on all of our faces. Ada likes seeing it lit up. I like seeing her eyes light up.
I like to see my kids look out the window at the trains and the yellow-green hills. I like to point out the artwork painted on our street, the Mexican restaurants we’ll try, the street signs so they understand where we live, even the ugly oil refinery and always, “do you see the building where I work?”
This morning it was raining. The sky my favorite gray. Easy on the eyes. Easy for my mind. Fitting for my sad mood. A good friend of mine called me and in good friend fashion gave me some perspective that I needed. Some tough love.
My life a year ago is gone. I told my friend “I just wish things were different” and I guess that’s when the suspension bridge spanning that life and today’s life kind of appeared out of the fog. A bridge built out of denial.
I don’t want the pain, the anger, the sadness. I hide that from myself. I dilute it with excuses. I drown it out because I feel bad about being angry, as if I’m not allowed to be. Deep down I don’t want to believe that my marriage was not a forever one, my reality was warped. When I do feel the pain, the anger, the sadness, I want to cut that bridge. I want to watch it fall a great distance and I want to hear the planks shatter. I want no way back. No way back can be scary if you’re in denial like me.
Today, I’m standing on the other side of a year.
Driving back to the city, admiring the gray, I looked directly at my life, first time in a decade having friends of my own and time to grow those relationships. Ten years since I’d been on an airplane, first time on a sail boat and a passenger train tracing the coast, first time I’ve ever traveled alone. Lots of solo hikes. A lot of time sitting on a therapist’s couch and holding hands with a group of strangers praying for serenity, courage and wisdom in some church after hours. I just bought my first house. I just bought my first tools. It hasn’t come without struggle but I’m proud and anyone looking to cut that down is probably standing on the bridge. The bridge that is no longer my concern.