I make resolutions for my birthday. I know New Year’s is the traditional time, but I make mine for my birthday. Two years ago my resolution was to do more things that made me happy and to do them for no other reason than the fact they made me happy.
On Saturday I was at a music festival, to see 2 of my favourite bands, and as I was waiting in line for the bathroom, this young woman stood ahead of me. Something about her made me think of me. She was 19, maybe 20. She didn’t look much like I did back then – other than the same short hair and functional clothes, but something in the way she stood, something in the way she was holding bags for a friend, something about the ways she was and the way I was
And I was struck about the head by this. By how much I have not smiled since the start of March, and by how much I do not let myself have fun. Something about how I feel like I must apologize for the things that make me grin – their nerdliness and their expense and time. How I feel as if I must justify the time away from work, away from my family, away from Mr. Spit.
It isn’t that I don’t do these things, but rather I do them expecting someone, somewhere to storm up to me and demand to know why I think I get to have fun.
You would think – in the middle of the lessons I learned from Gabe that one of those lessons might be how terribly short life can be. I learned this – how frail and easily broken we all are. All of us. Every single one. How little it takes to knock us down, how simple it is to crush and maim. I learned that lesson deep in my bones – it forms part of my bedrock, part of my ethos, to hold people up, to care and save.
And I didn’t learn anything for myself.
Reaching for the sleeping pills felt like a bit of a failure. However much I knew that I needed them. However much I knew that they were a temporary stop gap, a way of buying myself a bit of space and altitude while I figured everything else out, it felt like I was falling apart.
I’ve been thinking about this – about memory and how close I came to losing it and how close I could come again. I’ve been thinking, when I think about metallic tastes, about how some of that taste simply reminds me of how very far I still have to go and how unsure of where I am going.