Today was hard. Harder than others.
But today, I need to say thank you.
No, not to her. I'm not there yet. I don't know if I'll ever be.
Today I say thank you to all the beautiful people in my life who are reaching out to me, responding to my public writing through this grief, my photos on social media, my cries for help. The messages I'm getting and the solidarity I'm being shown is beyond beautiful. It's keeping me afloat in more ways than I could have ever imagined. What I thought I needed from my relationship, I can't make her give me (anyone thinking of that awfully sad Bonnie Rait song yet? I Can't Make You Love Me.) But I can give it to myself.
Mostly, my relationship was beautiful. It was special. I'm proud of it. Mostly. I won't regret it once I'm through to the other side, at least I hope not.
But, one thing I do regret in this love is how I thought all the lessons were MINE to learn. I always said she was basically perfect and that I needed to change. I thought my lesson was how to be more grounded, more quiet. That I had to learn to let go and swallow my words and stop pushing and expressing so much. And of course, in that, I died a little. And she disappeared, because I let her. In this, I also forced myself to be reserved. Which means I often failed, or felt like I lived in perpetual failure. I thought if my home was quiet and catered to her, then I could learn to cultivate a better art. I wanted her love (which became absent) to take me into a quiet Mary Oliver-esque lifestyle, where I walked the fields every day, fed the goats, and said almost nothing during the light hours (except when teaching) and loved being and writing in solitude. I thought I'd be a better lover for it, and a better artist. Funny thing? I know better.
I stopped trusting people. I became more fearful of the world. I shut people out to keep my home life happy with my love who said she wanted this life with few people. Just us. I enjoyed it, most of the time. Turns out, we both wanted something more.
No more.In this grief, instead of hiding it or trying to leave it behind me, I am choosing to share it. I truly feel like I have no choice but to share it. I know my darkness, and my darkness was begging me to stay alone and let it consume me. So I've asked for love and help. And I've been reminded of YOU. You humans, you lovers, those I've neglected and even those I've tried to shut out for whatever reason--it is YOU who are reminding me to come more fully into myself. That I'm not hard to love at all. That I'm perfect just the way I am. Remember when I used to preach this? All the advice like this I've given you? To strive be good and of course transform when it's necessary, but to trust more in the nature of who you are? To show up in that first? How did I forget that in myself?
This life is about connection, I'm sure of it. It doesn't mean that we have to connect connect all day long, but it does mean we should ask for love when we need it, and receive it when it comes. And you know what? I'm already saying yes more. I'm not as afraid. I'm walking the dog past strangers and yappy dogs, trusting in his ability to communicate his needs, and I'm learning how to communicate mine again. And when I ask for help, I'm trying not to feel guilty. I'm slowly learning to let you in. Because I've been shut out by the person I loved the most. And that fucking sucks.
I love you all. Thank you. You're teaching me how to be better, and how to be there for you in return. I love people, interaction, humanity. Sure, I need a lot of space and time and solitude to balance my energies and art, but I forgot how much I love being a part of this crazy world. There are lessons in everything, I know. It's hard to feel them beneath the ocean raging in my throat, but I'm open. I'm opening.