Last night was a bittersweet evening. One that was full of warmth and laughter, full of emotion, full of power. In what seemed like a whirlwind, a dear friend had just announced a week ago that she and her family would be moving across the country. So, as is par for the course, the girls came together for one last “Mexican cruise” (i.e. a night out at the local Mexican restaurant).
It was hard not to cry. At some point, each of us had tears in our eyes despite being adamant that we were not crying! (A pathetic statement of course…it was a bunch of women.) Some of the tears were sad, some were from laughing, and some were just…emotional. One by one, as the night bled out, we said good-bye to our sweet girlfriend in the manner of Dorothy having a moment with each of the characters before she leaves Oz. For my whole life, I will have this bittersweet image of each of us finally breaking away from our circle on the street and heading off into the low-lying heat of a late August night.
This brings me to my purpose in this post: change. This friend–lets call her Heather–has been a part of my life for nearly a decade. As in…I didn’t know her before I was 30, so 30 years of life went by that we weren’t connected. And many months of those ten years that we were connected passed without communication. Why? Life. Kids. Jobs, husbands, everything. But it was one of those magical things…six months might pass and the next thing you know you’re trick-or-treating with a litter of children or rocking out at Jimmy Buffet and its like no time at all has passed.
And now–Heather leaves. And we will all still have that connection, but in the grand scheme of time, she will have been an active part of my life for just a blink. An important blink: the years of childbearing, of growing up. I looked around at everyone last night, as we stood on the street and obliged in renditions of “Purple Rain” and good-natured humor, and thought of when I first met her. How we all were, ten years ago. Babies.
Since then, nearly all of us have been through hell and back in some way shape or form. Some of us are currently still working our way back and others have been on this side for much longer. I think back to a day, walking into a gathering at Heather’s house, and I can still remember what she was wearing and how welcoming she was. I remember our children–some of who are taller than me now–were just babies, literal babies. I remember being thankful to have met some new friends and had no idea of the times to come. They didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, but I liked them. Never would I have imagined these women being cornerstones at the worst times of my life.
And there we stood. Older, wiser, some of us more cynical, some of us lighter. The people who said goodbye to Heather last night: we are not the same people who stood in a kitchen ten years ago making small talk and shuffling babies and warming up bottles. We are not the same people, and the spark of connection is not the same. Its no longer a spark, but something old and refined. Something precious.
That brings me to the original point: the magic of new beginnings. Its something you forget about. Starting something new. Being at the beginning. As emotional as I feel right now, I know that will fade. The memory of Heather driving off last night will invoke nostalgia, but life moves on. We all move on.
Even me. Here is the twist: everything is still the same. PC is still the same motherfucker he always was. Trollup is still a huge pain in the ass. PC’s mother has resurfaced again, as sort of a nasty reminder that I not forget that she is just as evil as PC, in a cunningly different way. I am still not divorced and many of the details hang in limbo. But just like that, in one fell swoop, it became clear to me that this is not stagnant. My whole life is not stuck in this putrid hell of divorce. The universe is not standing still and truly: the tide will always change. PC is the one who is fighting it, the one who is holding back the simple movement of going forth.
PC. Not me. I’m only stuck if I allow myself to be.
So, trust in the magic of the new beginnings. Believe in the universe. Recognize that the path you are on isn’t always straight, and doesn’t always follow the way things “should” be. Know that even in the midst of turmoil, the universe is at work and when it finally brings you to the place you didn’t even know existed, you will understand.
Once in awhile, that path pulls you right into a big, bright, shining light that completely knocks you off your feet. As if the world is saying, enough. You’ve had enough, you’ve learned enough. You’re ready for this and such is the extreme nature of your troubles, so will be the extreme nature of your rewards. And this thing, the big thing that everyone talks about and movies are created about and writes weave intoxicating tales about? Love? Its out there, and its even better than I could have hoped for.