Of Stoppers and Finding “Yet”

It’s nearly the one-year anniversary of The Fire, when our lives got upended.  We’ve moved into a new apartment (never again will I live above the 2nd floor), gotten furniture and cars.  No art though. It’s too painful to consider. We work and workout, the kids are launched on their individual paths. Our wonderful rescue dog who rescued us is stiff in the joints, but still game for a walk.  On the outside, we look pretty good, pulled together you might say, except if a fire alarm goes off.

The inside job is taking longer. First it was dealing with the suddenness and shock, then it was anger and resentment, and in the last few months a bleak existing with occasional fun moments. It’s been friends and family or nature that have provided the healing touches. It hasn’t helped that the world is increasingly incomprehensible to me. Just not the way I thought things should go.  Living bereft of trust is a bitch.

I realized a big picture goal might pull me out of The Pit of Despair* which (this surprised me also) was getting deeper.  If anything, I’m a fighter.  If I’m going to go down, it will happen swinging at those inner demons.  I let Christmas pass and tried setting a new goal or two in January as usual. Didn’t happen.  I haven’t been inspired, I’ve been comparing my insides to other’s glorious and happy outsides and it’s been hellish.  It’s always the worst when you know what SHOULD happen, and it isn’t coming to you. Something always stopped me from formulating a good goal, let alone a great one.

This week that effing stopper revealed itself.  It wasn’t graceful, this revelation. I was yelling at myself in the car as I drove to go take Mom to church. At the top of my lungs, furious that yet another week had passed, and I was still stuck in mendacity.  Being a Sunday, I refrained from beating my head and hands on the dashboard, but if you were in the next car over, you heard me.  Berating myself for not being able to apply brainpower and willpower and find a way out, damn it!  Sometimes being overly dramatic works. My AHA moment appeared with bell-like clarity between one curse and the next, the core principle that had replaced hope and the ability to dream:  I now expect everything will be taken away from me in a conflagration of loss, so why try?

That’s been the stopper. The Fire’s legacy.  The thing shaping my inaction. Everything will be taken away anyway, so why try. Wow. I pulled over and cried and was late to get Mom.

I can’t tell you what the sermon was this week, nor what Mom and I chatted about on our drive to church and back.  I was in the process of “Uncover, Discover, and Discard”.  Now that I have discovered the crux of the issue, there is confidence to add a ‘yet’ to the sentence, “I don’t know what I really want”.  It’s now changed to “I don’t YET know what I really want”.  And that one word makes all the difference. Within the YET are hopes, and a sense of purpose. “Yet” means I believe that its going to get better.  It’s taken me longer than I thought it would to turn this corner, a year seems an awfully long time to get a revelation.  But maybe that too has purpose, allowing me in the future to truly hear other folks who are having a rough go, who haven’t quite gotten to their “yet” yet. I hope so. I hope

*you know, from “Princess Bride”.  What a great movie.

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