Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cheers To A Clean Slate


Have you ever seen a beetle on its back? Its legs are moving frantically in all directions trying to get back on the ground to scurry away and survive the moment's trauma. Sometimes you put it out of its misery. Sometimes you'll see someone kneel down and use their index finger to flip it over and let it run free. Other times you see its struggle and keep moving passed it.

I felt like one of those glossy insects fighting to stay afloat plenty of times within the last 12 months. And I had people from all nooks of my life pass me by or use their index finger to turn me over. Others just tried to squash me silent. When you're alone and quiet, you see everyone and everything with so much more clarity than you did when you were living under a shiny mask.

I'm turned over now. And my mask came off nearly 52 weeks ago. I've learned a lot of lessons within the last three years. One being, you can't plan life. Everyone will have opinions on how you should be living it. Everyone had opinions on how I should handle the divorce. And now everyone has opinions on how I should parent Claire. But I cannot make everyone happy. I can make myself happy though. I can make myself excited for life everyday. I can become fulfilled in more than someone else's happiness. And if I'm that kind of woman; a woman who is confident in herself, acts on her sense of adventure and has the courage to use her emotions as strength, that's what Claire will learn. She'll be proud of her mom one day.

I get caught up in sentiment. A calendar date. A name. A note written on a napkin. A song. A symbol. I put meaning to inanimate objects or untouchables. It sticks with me. Obviously, this isn't a trait that only I have, it's all part of being human. A smell, a touch, a photograph ... it can take someone back to the best, the worst and all kinds of memories. But I'd venture to say that I get a bit deeper. I can lock myself inside of it and never budge.

I love James Bay. He was on repeat all last summer. But now, I can't stomach his voice. It takes me right back. I'm sitting in my Jetta with Chaos and The Calm on repeat, driving to spin class and completely drowned in feelings that I couldn't pinpoint or explain yet. I was still crying in corners and under the covers. I wasn't okay. I was composed and that album was my safety. It helped me sort through the worst, the toughest and the saddest of thoughts and emotions. I pray I never feel that way again. And no matter how much I love James Bay, he's erased now. Because I can't stomach him.

And that trickles over to a lot of other things as well. I don't want to be stuck on anything or anyone anymore. 2017 is a clean slate and in a week I'll be singing my cheers with my best friend and a glass of champagne in a new country promising each other to do our best and do things differently. That clean slate includes men. It includes sentiments that don't matter because they pull me down. It includes bad thoughts about ourselves.

I love being a sentimental person. It speaks a lot about what's important to me and, even more importantly, who is important to me. But I'm not going to let the bad feelings drown me or have me lying on my back anymore like those beetles that come out in the spring. I don't want anyone looking at me while my arms and legs are trying to hold steady. I welcome them to look at me with a magnifying glass though. I welcome everyone to see the imperfections. I welcome everyone to see the mess ups and the screw ups and bedroom transgressions. Because all of that is real.

Cheers to a clean slate in 2017. I'll be standing up straighter. With less men on a list. With less triggers of a broken heart. And a lot more motivation for cultivating a life that Claire will want to read about and talk about and be living alongside of me.
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