What was delivered to me drop by painful drop in that time, was the notion of staying. Of not hoping for a different moment than the one I was in—not because I found the moment acceptable, but because fighting it became futile. Fighting it made me suffer. Immensely.
I have been wondering if I have a problem. Drinking for me took the form of 1-2 glasses of wine every day with dinner. I recently, without much thought, decided to give up drinking for Lent. The first week was somewhat difficult. I was a bit anxious and had cravings for my dinner time glasses of wine but as the second week began, I started feeling a surge of positivity and felt more open to everything, also more motivated to do things. I am now a month into it and wondered if I could be an alcoholic if I could quit so easily.
I’ve been writing about the day in the spring of 2012 when my husband and I had the conversation to separate, the day I took the same run for the first time, when the sensation of running both towards and away from something was so urgent I felt I might spin right off the land into the deep, endless waters.
The answers to the big questions are always both complicated and simple. There was a tipping point and there were countless things that nudged me toward it. I needed every person, every conversation, every book, poem, and word, every mistake. I needed the hands of thousands of others who'd gone before me, pressing gently on my back, lifting my feet, catching my falls.
Eventually, my perspective totally changed. I didn't see the Mad Men like environment of advertising the way I used to: wild, rich , and exciting. I instead saw it as flat, shallow, and a hustle I didn't want to do anymore.
Hope is at first, I think, childish. In the best way, of course. We have faith and hope because life is still so new. Our brains haven't been written over with ink so many times they are unclear. Every moment is fresh; there is still magic in the smallest things: a cookie, swimming, flowers, Christmas Eve.
I shook, but I was steady. I knew how to do this. My body knew from the moment I got on the plane in Boston—it knew how to be with my grandma who was dying and how to hold her lineage and her spirit and her life as it was transitioning.