"It's quite hard to write songs when you're happy. It's much easier to be miserable and write music." -Minnie Driver
So, yeah....leave it to Minnie Driver, I guess, to put into words why I haven't been able to write a single thing lately. First of all, I know...Minnie Driver...? Random, right? Well, yeah I thought so, too! But there I was just minding my own business, going about my morning routine with the t.v. on in the background, and in waltzed Minnie to the Live With Kelly show who, within about twenty seconds of airtime and two sentences, managed to sum up exactly why I've been at a loss for words lately.
Oh and, full disclosure, Live With Kelly is one of my guilty pleasures. Actually, who am I kidding? Morning television in general! GMA, the Today Show, Live With Kelly, The View! That Whoopi Goldberg though, seriously! She's not afraid to say anything and I find it both refreshing and wildly entertaining. She's fiercely opinionated and not at all afraid to be. If only I had half that lady's spunk.
...How did we get here? Oh, that's right! Morning television, Minnie Driver, feeling so overwhelmed by happiness that you're rendered speechless. Got it! So...why? I've been sitting on this for a while now, trying to put all my thoughts into words and then string those words together into perfectly well thought out sentences. Well, to hell with it! Here's my semi-articulate take on what's been circulating my brain as of late.
I’ve placed expectations on myself about how I’m “supposed” to be moving through this healing process. Like, don’t rush yourself! But also, don’t get stuck for too long. Oh and also, don’t go adjusting so well, like you always do, and, certainly, don’t go being too happy too quickly!! Should I be writing about how broken and empty I feel? Because I don’t! I know I’ve just experienced huge loss, but to be completely honest, I lost it all a long time ago. I’d been fighting a losing battle for a very long time and I was doing so alone. I suppose I’d done most of my grieving and processing before actually losing the physical pieces of my life that I identified with and made me “me,” for a while. A fiancé. A dog. A home. A job. Friends. Really great friends. Best friends, actually. A community. I’d spent the last year cautiously building a home-away-from-home somehow knowing I’d have to walk away from it.
Don't get me wrong--I still have a hard day here and there when the pain of loss hits me like a brick. Every now and then something triggers a memory and I'm caught off guard. It’s in the moments that I’m not expecting it that it hits hardest. It’s in these moments that I feel the wind knocked out of me. I find myself clasping my chest, gasping for breath, bracing myself for the inevitable unraveling of my seemingly stable mental and emotional state. Just as soon as I can recognize what’s happening, it’s already too late. All the unpleasant, sad, agonizing heartbreak I work so hard to stuff down comes bubbling right to the surface, sits for a second as a big, fat, painful lump of emotion in my throat while I try to choke it back a little longer, and then, when it’s too much to bear, comes pouring out of my face. It actually physically hurts. And yes, it’s as ugly as it sounds.
My usual, rather even-keel, disposition was interrupted by this a few times recently. Once, at work, again, at the gym in the middle of a workout, and a third time, a few weeks ago on an otherwise regular day. This third time, however, instead of fight it I decided to sit with it for a bit. I let the discomfort follow me around and kick me in the chest every now and then. I actually thought I could outsmart it and tried feeding it a cookie and a latté in hopes it might fuck off or, at the very least, be a little gentler with me, but alas, my attempts failed. So, fine! Ugh!! Have it your way, you stupid, annoying, painfully irritating process!
Fast forward to earlier this morning. I revisited one of my favorite yoga studios that I haven’t been to in way too long. Within the first few minutes of class and about one posture in, I was already swallowing back tears. Not because I was sad, but because I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I was home. I am home. And that feeling that knocks me a bit unsteady, lately more often than not, is happiness. Every day I’m home I find more of my pieces and feel more like myself again. It’s almost as if every time I crumble under the weight of grief, my heart unloads the heaviness it can no longer carry around, and makes space. Space for me to collect pieces of myself I once lost. Space for new ones. Space to rebuild.
Though sometimes this process may stop me dead in my tracks, stare me in the face, and wait for me to break apart--and at times I do--I am actually, oftentimes overwhelmingly, happy.