I'm remember that I like myself again.
Which sounds like the wrong thing to say at a time like this because I have transformed into a woman with questionable morals. At least momentarily. And these actions have led to my 'alone.'
But for the first time, since Duncan Sheik performed at 54 Below, I like myself. I found myself laughing at a comment I made on my way home from work...and couldn't help but smile. I started a conversation with a girl in line for a show at SummerStage and forgot how easy it was to speak freely. I fell asleep last night and didn't cry my way to slumber.
I don't have a full-length mirror in my new apartment yet and have been relying on the shadows from the underground to reflect my figure (thanks, MTA, I never realized what a narcissist I was until I never knew how I looked) but I feel more confident, in spite of that. My hair is short again, for me, not long for someone else. My nails have apples on them, for the first week of school. I stopped painting my nails like cupcakes and owls...stopped wearing giant bows...stopped writing, in the end, for this idea of something unattainable.
Love had become an unattainable objective. Object. Objectified. But that's because it wasn't. Not love, anyway, but something more cruel.
And I'd forgotten to like myself.
But, on the other side of it, I'm finding me again. I'm no longer controlled by the letters cell phones type, brainwashed by messages, by shared pictures. I remember that love is supposed to be a place you can come home to--not to run away from. I don't think you have to think about love when it's right. Calculate your every move, based on your partner: Spend your time with maps you drew on napkins and old brown paper bags, to ensure that you are always steps ahead.
The High Holy Days are one of my favorite Jewish traditions. In fact, it is a tenant of Judaism that provides me with a sense of calm--now and always: It begins with a period of time called The Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, is a time where God opens up the book of life. There is one for the thoroughly wicked, righteous, and one for the in-between. Rosh Hashanah is the day of judgement...but this year I vow to make it the day I suspend my own. There are ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the day the books close (or the Day of Atonement). I have a lot to atone. And several more questions to ask. Like why did it come to this? And how do I begin to heal?
This may not be the time for answers but it is certainly the time for closure. For apologies that go unsaid, for forgiveness that remains undeserved, for acceptance that some things will remain as they were. Old dogs, new tricks, horses, stripes.
I'm beginning to like myself again, to improve upon my circumstances; upon the things that make the wounded--wound. The hurt--hurt.
And when the book closes once again, I will be in it somewhere. Another year closer to the place I'm supposed to be.
When the time is now, “Once Upon a Time” feels sort of trite. So we remove ourselves from fairytales. And, when a person dies, “The End” is no longer a sufficient summary for the years they lived or the lives they changed. So we remove ourselves from the vernacular of fairytales. But with the beginning and the end, comes the middle: Unable to have one without the other, there can be no Prince Charming, no dressmaker-mice, no bibbidi, no bobbidi…but we get a lot of boo.
By the age of seven, we have heard enough princess stories to expect the unattainable and seen enough of the warning signs to know that the alternative to a happy ending isn’t something we want. Life is full of boo, so we keep the crowns on a little longer. Wave the magic wands. Spin around in our dresses. Pretend we aren’t spooked.
Lately, my first line of defense has been an acknowledgement. I have run through the forests with the talking trees. I have let them cut off my heel to fit into a bloody shoe. Eaten the poisoned apple. Been asleep for too long. But now I am awake and I will tell you how spooked I am. Once you’ve seen bad, it’s so much harder to believe that good still lives here.
I need a dream catcher, to fall asleep. I need a clock to hold hands with.
Something to make time pass peacefully. But I am afraid of midnight. Afraid, mostly, that every day will stay the same.
Looking back on the last few months, I’ve racked up a lot of stories. Some of which I am hoping time helps to forget. Most of which I just wish has happened in a different order. Few, I’ll never really get over. Lots of “The Ends.”
I can only hope that every end leads to a stronger beginning.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal. Married to my best friend and planning a lifetime of adventure!