Have you ever had moments in life that stick with you. When you pull up the memory, you even have sensory recollection? The smell, the taste, the temperature, even, how warm you felt, flushed and blushing versus the sun pouring down on you, even the beats per minute that your heart hammers out. There are instances where you know something profound and life altering has happened, albeit small, but you aren’t sure how it will change you, why it is changing you, and when it will come to fruition, but you know, somewhere deep within, that moment was the moment, the tripwire, the beginning of an oftentimes difficult, but ultimately rewarding, journey.
The last couple months have left me contemplating such moments. Discussions, glances, smiles; a vast array of fleeting images that I know stacked up to become the burgeoning life changes assaulting me now. (Pardon my use of the term “assault,” as it implies some type of violent act, but it’s the best thing I can think of to say; life is bombarding me with choices and decisions and although they do not carry threat, the swiftness to which they come to my door is somewhat unnerving.) I have goals, ones that I feel confident in for the first time in years. They inspire me to keep going when the going gets tough (oh, sweet clichés). I can picture my desired future and know that one more whispered insult is something I can take, because those end goals are more important than words bullies use. And I feel, maybe for the first time since Jonathan and I broke up, the hope for a real future. It makes me nervous to think about, genuine fear blossoming, but it’s that good kind of fear, like that good kind of burn after a work out, the ache that goes deep but you know it’s worth it.
I truly believe there are small blessings in difficult situations. Recently my friend broke up from her fiancé, just as I had with Jonathan, but not for the same reasons. In an effort to move forward and not become ensnared in the what if’s, the could be’s, and what were’s, she has taken to seeing the silver lining in situations, great and small. Whenever her situation challenges her, she picks the things that will make her happy and tries to focus on those and not sink in the tide of depression that ultimately comes with these situations. I commend her for this, because I was definitely not as strong. I tried to take my pain and deal with it one day at a time, but in the end found myself staring into the neck of a beer bottle or looking at my reflection in the pool of Grey Goose in a martini glass. We all deal with defeat and hurt in different ways, but I can honestly say that had I not had these experiences, I wonder where, and who, I would be. Is this an overarching silver lining? Is this one of the plethora of lessons that come from these moments?
It hurts that we broke up, but at least we weren’t married yet, and there were no kids. He seems so much happier in California than he ever was in Iowa, and that’s a blessing. Just like I have opportunities in front of me that I would have otherwise lacked. I can see friends again, be with family, enjoy those small moments of walking in Chicago with K, getting coffee with Mom, eating with my twin, and seeing my sister and joking about the most random things. And then there are even more personal blessings. Ones that I want to keep to myself. That make me glow with happiness. And those are the moments I have contemplated. A small stone can create a large avalanche. An image typically about impending doom, something crushing and destructive. But I am spinning it positively. A small thing that can change the tide, a small moment that can alter a life, a small instant that create something new and powerful. And I can’t stop grinning thinking about it. I am settling into something new, a life that is mine, with my own choices, my own moments, and most importantly, my happiness.