Sunday, May 8, 2011
Finding Forty, Day 339; May Issue
The road winds as the miles tick by. In places, the trees shroud the path, beams of sunlight shining through. Inside me stirs a nostalgic feeling of wistful hurt and longing. Everything around me is so beautiful, the meadows of yellow wildflowers, the puffy white clouds against the blue of the sky, I feel this wave gathering momentum within me and I am helpless to its power.
I've always been able to view a moment in time as a snapshot of my life. Quite possibly it's a curse. Wanting my life to feel like the glossy pages from a Martha Stewart Living magazine or a scene from a movie has been the downfall of me.
As I make my way through the Texas countryside towards my sister's house, I am painfully aware of how much I long for happiness, fulfillment, all those moments that could be plucked from my existence and inserted into a classic, chick flick.
Four hours of nothingness can't be helping either. The further east I drive, the more static I find on the radio. To ease the boredom, I put my earbuds in and fire up the iPod.
The shuffle on my iPod seems a mischievous partner in crime to the scenery and my wandering mind. It's as if every part of my surroundings are messing with my psyche.
For the first time in months, my mind slips and I think of S. This is the time of year our affair blossomed. My birthday is looming and I wonder if he will think of me and remember that day we spent together two years ago, still, sadly, one of the best of my life. That familiar feeling of having my heart ripped out resurfaces and I am at once sobbing into the nothingness of the empty car. Anger replaces the sadness and I breathe deeply to regain my composure. He isn't worth this energy and this amount of emotion.
I can't think of him long though without thinking of A and how wonderful he is. In every way that S let me down, A has been there for me. We have been emailing and texting while I've been away, which is a really big deal for us. A isn't one for texting and I like that he woke me up at midnight with that ever inane question, "What are you doing?" Yesterday, he even asked me to send him a picture of my cleavage and curves and I did. Nice. There is a flicker, maybe more, of a chance with us and I love this feeling of newness we are sparking. I can't wait to see him again.
How is it that I can be so drawn to two totally different men? And why is it that songs have such an overwhelming effect on me?
I've cried a lot while out here at my sister's house. She had surgery on Friday and I am staying to take care of my nephews. My mom's house is less than a mile away, but we won't go. She's not there, not here, nowhere I can grasp.
I think that has much to do with my melancholy. It's more than just S and A, or my sister's surgery. It's that it is Mother's Day and mine is gone. I'm homesick for her, homesick for A, missing my kids, etc.
I know that life isn't a still shot from a magazine. I know that movie scenes are carefully scripted, directed and highly edited. Real life isn't always pretty, nor perfect. But wanting moments that I can hold on to as special and beautiful, that will always be me. Even the ones that can never be duplicated.
Moving forward has been hard for me after my mom's death, after the end of my affair, even now as I move forward with rebuilding my marriage and finding a new career. But if I don't move forward, I stagnate, falter, fail. For most of this past year, I have been miserable because I was fighting myself, fighting reality, resisting change and growth.
I do see the changes I have made. I'm not going to beat myself up about letting thoughts of S creep in. They did and probably will again. It's what I do with them that matters and for now my plan is to acknowledge them, maybe have a silent cry, wipe the tears, breathe and move forward.
I'm not going to obsess about things with A. We will text and flirt, deal with the realities of parenting together, work towards understanding one another better, even after 23 years, and continue to move forward. What will be, will be.
I still have my drive home tomorrow. The roads will again wind, the trees will loom, the sun will shine as the clouds dance across the sky. My romantic mind will wander to and fro and I'll spend the hours daydreaming. I will probably cry a time or two as well. That is just who and how I am.
But when tomorrow's journey ends, I will pull into A's driveway and walk into the house to receive hugs from the boys and A himself. In my mind, I'll take a picture and freeze this frame. This issue of my magazine life will be as close to perfect as we can pull off. At least it will be for me.