I was texting a friend the other day. Reflecting on the difference between now and a year ago. Last year I was running on adrenaline and anger and hurt and coping through snark and sarcasm. I mean, I don't regret the "I Don't" balloons for the Stella & Dot show on what would have been our eleventh anniversary. It still makes me smile (and smirk). But that was last year. I wouldn't, and didn't, mark the passing with the same acerbic emotions of last year. A year has softened the sharp edges and lessened the breathtaking pain. Instead of trying to stay afloat and being hit with endless unseen waves of pain, it's more like standing at the shore and having the pain lap at your feet intermittently. And you can see it coming. And you can back away if you need to do so. It's nice to know you can survive it. I am proud with how I have. With how the yellow house has fared. It has been hard but worth it.
They say you gain a family when you marry, so it figures that you would lose them when you divorce. I knew this. I had lived this myself with my parents. And this reality was actually one of my biggest fears and most hurtful realizations. It is the way of things. Taking sides. It is human and reasonable and understandable. That is not to say it isn't hurtful and I know I only know it from my side. Maybe all families feel hurt and loss to a degree. In some ways I feel like I have had to step away from the sun. To learn how to grow in a new environment that wasn't as fertile as the last one. One where I didn't know how to thrive as readily and easily.
BUT, it is not a total loss. I had many years in the sun. I learned a tremendous amount about love and acceptance and warmth and family. These lessons and years have changed me as a person. Or, maybe, not so much changed me but allowed me the space and permission and examples to grow into the person I was meant to become. Some people never leave you. Isn't that an extraordinary thing to think? Even though relationships change some impact always remains. Good and bad. And, maybe, there can even be the rocky parts and fear and uncertainty of new paths being forged. Maybe.
So on the eve of the holidaze, I give thanks. I am thankful this year. For the time I have had to grow and process and grieve and heal. The time has allowed me to be thankful for all of it. The good, the bad and the really, really shitty. For the friends, family and framily who have checked in and loved us up. For the gifts they have given. For the words of encouragement and awe. For being present so I could be scattered for a moment. I have so very much to be thankful for - past, present and future. And as Rumi reminds me - the wound is the place where the light enters you.
There is always something to be thankful for. Even if it is only that you managed to take that very next breath. Thanks given.