These past few weeks have been busy… I don’t know how it happened but one Saturday morning I stepped out on my patio, to soak in the rare, beautiful winter sunshine, and out of nowhere, the thought hit me, “I can feel spring in the air!” (Note: the picture above is from the same day, just not the same moment). There’s still snow on the ground, and I daresay even more on its way, soon, but I could feel a certain change in the air. I picked up my skates and hit the ice. I went to Dick’s and bought new workout clothes. I took Izzie out as you can see! I’m now taking ballet lessons, and practicing hot yoga once a week. I took out my PMBOK(R) guide and started studying. Yesterday, I took my exam and am now a certified Project Management Professional.
Interestingly though, I am not doing any of this merely to stay busy, or distract myself to fight off my earlier feelings of despair. I feel an indescribable surge of positivity around me and I want to use this energy to better myself. Even when I’m not doing anything, like today, I feel peace in my heart. It’s as if calmness has descended upon my world and I’m in perfect harmony with all that’s around me.
That does not mean I have given up, or altered, my hopes and aspirations, or my dreams for a certain future. I still hold all of them close to my heart but I no longer find myself attached to the desired outcome. For instance, I still love Buffalo, and I will keep trying to find a way back any chance I get. But I have learned to accept love without wanting anything in return. I’d rather spend my life acknowledging that love than trying in vain to fight it and move on. What matters is that I’m not going to give up my life trying to chase that love, just so I can have it. I will live my life to its full potential, I will seize every opportunity, but all of it while still keeping an eye on what I love. If I can make it back, it will be a dream come true. But even if not, and when I’m taking my final breath, I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I loved and I tried, and I had a great time doing so.
I don’t know if it was an epiphany or divine intervention, but this has been my most valuable lesson in life thus far. Too often we attach too much significance to the end, the result, “if I get this“, “if I have that“. Then when we realize we can’t get to that end or that result, we give up. We tell ourselves to forget about it, it wasn’t meant to be, to move on and find something else, almost like the ‘sour grapes’. But I am done doing that. I am done running away from love just because I can’t have it the way I want it. I am content in knowing that I found it in the first place. I will not let the disappointment of not having it dictate my life. Instead, I will let love guide my life.
I cannot talk about love and not mention my playboy. Yes, he came back once more (not in person, I was already in MI), and then he disappeared once more, abruptly, without saying anything. I’m sure everyone has concluded by now that he is a toxic presence in my life and I really need to let go; I would give me the same advice had I been on the other side of this conversation, it is the most rational thing there is to say. He probably is toxic. Probably, he is not a nice guy and I should stay away from him. Probably, he is a nice guy but it wasn’t meant to be, so I should forget about him. But does it really matter which is it? I’ve spent three long years trying to fight what I feel for him. I’ve exhausted all my logic and sensibities. I’ve imagined the worst possible things about him so I could loathe him. I have blocked him, stopped talking to him, ignored him. Yet, nothing has worked. But now that I don’t want to have him, I don’t care if I loved the wrong guy, but that I loved. I doubt I will ever forget him, but now I can smile when I think about him and not get perturbed trying to tell myself what or how I should feel.
To be clear, I must add that when I talk about love I don’t mean the cheesy kind they show in romcoms. I mean the kind of love where your heart goes, “I feel at home, I can stop looking now“. I felt at home in Buffalo, I haven’t experienced that before or since. I never felt life an outsider like I’ve felt most of my life. I wanted to have a baby with my playboy, even if I had to raise it alone; I just wanted a part of him. I was the kind of person who didn’t like kids, or babies, and I had sworn I would never have any children. A dear friend and mentor once told me, “Wait till you meet the right person, Pat. I was exactly like you until I met my husband“. Well, I don’t want anything anymore. I am happy knowing what ‘home’ could have looked like, and that there’s still a lot of life left- life that I am going to spend living, not chasing; rejoicing not regretting; trying not giving up.
In closing, after many upsets and some happy coincidences, I’ve learned that the only way to be truly happy, to be content, to be at peace, is to detach oneself from the outcome and enjoy the process. I guess I could have got that out of a self help book or some online resource. But wisdom and life lessons cannot be handed down, one must acquire them the hard way!!