(Please read this while listening to the soundtrack of some cheesey love song -- it's way funnier.)
I guess it's that time of month. Where I finally write something down. Writing is a funny exercise cause it forces one to reckon life. I've been spending a lot of time numb from it. It's like a vortex I enter every now and then. Some would call it denial. Others would call it "not paying attention" or "ignoring"; I like to call it eating ice cream with the freezer opened while I check my phone as the TV blares. It's like a hypnotic state most writers must enter so the light of aha allows itself to come racing back into the brain. There is a commercial, so the haha just crept in. (That's right I said haha, hopefully this essay will reveal the Aha... bear with me.)
This is typically a really bad week/month for me. Every year around this time, I find myself waiting as that impending moment when my life changed forever creeps back in to my reality. This is the third year I get to experience the impending doom. It is weird, because I am actually not so bad this time around. The last few times I found myself sitting in a car on a beach till 4:00 a.m. -- okay till 5:00 a.m. -- staring ahead trying to see past the orbit of tears hazing up my vision as hobos circled my car. Bla Bla Effing BLA. Yes I said it -- EFFING. I won't curse on this blog, but this year, I will say the first letter with an I.N.G. at the end, just to get the point across, that it's time to let it GO. Let go of that nagging "Poor me, my dad's dead" routine. (If you want to hear me say the real F word, you'll have to come over for dinner, I try to keep my cursing relegated to the kitchen after my meat burns. And the car during traffic. And maybe sometimes dressing rooms. Okay, always dressing rooms.)
Maybe I am feeling more enlightened because I just finished reading Proof of Heaven by Eban Alexander. Or maybe I'm just realizing that happy endings are for screenwriters like me who write them, instead of wait for them. Maybe I am planning a wedding for my sister, so the excitement has me realizing that life is a mumbo jumbo of love, fights, celebration and mourning. Maybe I just spent the last few days getting cray cray out of my system by screaming expletives at people I love so I could look sane on this blog. Or maybe I am finally growing up. "Happily ever after" -- love that saying, but really it is so cliche, and mostly for people dressed in ball gowns as little birds encircle their wake while they sing some horrible Disney song. But for the rest of us normal folks it doesn't work out quite that perfect, as "The Anchorman" says: "Sixty percent of the time, it works every time."
The truth is Saturday morning is going to come whether I like it or not. Friday night is going to creep up on me even if I scream, shout, and flip out all week until that horrible night where I watched my dad slip away unexpectedly in an ICU room arrives. Either way, it's coming. I am different. Sure I still like ice cream, saying the F word and walking into the vortex of not paying attention now and then, when things just get a bit too big for me to stand. I still try working on staying positive, looking at life with big bright eyes, and staring at the romantic mystery of it all. But I am a little harder. I am a little more knowing of the pain life brings. I am tougher, more realistic and I don't care that much about what people really think of me anymore. I don't judge people harshly, I don't wait for great to happen, I make it happen. I still have temper tantrums. Maybe I have them more then I used to. But in the end, I also know that time is short, so the tantrums don't last as long, so there's some improvement there. I am riskier with life, and more inclined to jump into things I would have never thought I could accomplish. Suddenly I am beginning to appreciate that night that changed my life forever. I am beginning to appreciate the lessons learned over the last three years and I am beginning to realize the shortness, thumbnail of a deficient short-lived impermanent brief life of it all.
The key to surviving loss is to just keep on moving. Whether its loss from death, divorce, a move, or collagen, life changes. Either way life's gonna kick us in the pants, we might as well put one foot in front of the other and keep on moving forward. 'Cause you know what happens when you move forward?
Backwards can't catch up. It just can't catch up.
So ya, it is that time of month. That time of year. And you know what, I haven't cracked. I'm still alive breathing, fighting, complaining reliving and you know what? I haven't ended up in a looney bin.