Sleepy Sissy

Everything feels especially raw right now. For the world. For each of us individually. Collectively. For me.

I have to scroll past animal rescue sites these days because I cannot save all the dogs, and there are so many dogs who need saving. I cannot look into their sad eyes and their lowered heads knowing my rescue plate is full. I simply cannot.

I’m on and off social media because it feels like a minefield. Every like—or lack thereof—on my posts and on others’ begins a story in me that I can’t stop telling, true or not.

I cannot look at pictures of those who were once in my life and who have chosen to no longer make an appearance there. I know the old adage—reason, season, or lifetime—and I know not everyone is meant to be there forever. But a mass exodus takes some extra healing time.

There are still open wounds, electric nerve shocks that are exacerbated in this time of solitude and quiet.

So much is revealed to us in the empty spaces.

Sometimes in the darkest hours of night, the memory of holding my tiny children in aching arms and inhaling their milky breath makes my whole body tremble with the corporeal loss.

I turned 50 at the beginning of the quarantine. There was no fanfare, no party, no trip. Even the dinner with my best friends was cancelled. I received two cards in the mail. Two. One was from my former babysitter, our dear family friend. In the 50 years she’s known me, she’s never missed a birthday. If no one else remembers, there is a card from her. Always. Even in the cloud of grief that followed losing her beloved husband, she showed up for me. She reminded me that I was remembered, loved, held. I want to be that kind of good. That kind of generous.

It’s interesting being 50 and approaching the first anniversary of my divorce. I am refashioning a life that’s very different from the one I knew for so many decades.

I am still becoming.

I like to think of myself as a butterfly, beautiful and free, but I am not quite there yet. I am still wrapped in the sticky, messy goo of transformation. Who I once was is still too often mired in guilt and grief while who I am meant to be shines like a faraway, lustrous beam of possibility. Yet, when I reach for that beam, my wings are still too unsteady. They need more time. I need more time. More growth. More understanding. More hours, days, months to master the art of flight. More practice in leaving behind what does not belong to me, what never did. More time learning what is, what has always been, mine to have and hold.

Perhaps I will not fully reconcile it in this lifetime. Perhaps I will never fully understand. But I am awake and aware and cognizant now. I will no longer walk through life in blind acceptance, bound by who and what I thought I should have been.

I will keep learning.

There is always so much more to learn.

Stay safe, friends. Stay healthy and whole. Be kind to yourself.

We’re all still becoming.

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