There’s been moments during the day when I feel normal again. The darkness that swathes me lifts up, and I can feel the world at my finger tips. Yesterday, we still had my lacrosse team’s annual holiday party. It’s a tradition I put in place at my university last year, and despite how hard the days are for me, I remind myself there’s 20 other people I still need to consider. Seeing my team certainly warmed my heart for the time we were together, but I can see in their faces they know I’m not the same. They can see the cracks in my soul and how hard I’m trying to piece myself together when all I want to do is fall apart. Their creativity and humor tends to bring the best out of me, and I think they know it too. Our party broke up around 4:30, but some of them just stuck around the office. I tend to joke around that I don’t want to have kids because I have 20, 18-22 year olds, but it’s true. I care about them, and I know they care about me too. And that’s why going to work often times feels like I’m home with family.
Going from one family to another, I drove back to my parents house last night. In my car, it’s the only time I’m truly by myself with little distractions like tv or my iPad, and when my mind starts churning my emotions pour out. For some reason when I hit the Waterbury skyline, which I should mention at night looks like yellow christmas lights on short skyscrapers, I felt a shimmer of hope and my blinders were up. Hope that there’s an end to all this sadness, and that maybe with George passing away, he’s holding the door open for me to experience life to the fullest. But when I started thinking about that, I immediately retracted into the canopy of misery and felt guilty. But at the same time, he would be so angry at me for not going out on my own. He always encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone to experience new adventures and explore the unknown. He gave me a map of the NYC subways and would call me to meet up, so I would have to find a way to get to him on my own. He taught me how to love and maneuver through the biggest cluster in the world, which I now call home.
Side thought on this: One of our first fights (we rarely fought) was because I was supposed to meet George underneath the Brooklyn Bridge to watch a movie. About month into our relationship. I was in Fort Greene at one of my friend’s apartments and I called George to tell him I’ll meet him in 20 minutes and I was getting onto the subway. Well over an hour and a half later I finally got to the stop he was at. I ended up going toward East New York rather than toward Manhattan where the Brooklyn Bridge stop was. He was so angry at me when I got above ground to meet him. I always brought that story up to him when someone asks if we ever fought. I thought it was so funny because he just cared so much. He held my hand so tight on the subway back to his apartment afterwards.
Anyway, we traveled to Bermuda, when I never really wanted to go, and I loved it. He took me to New Mexico, when that wasn’t even a blip on my radar as a destination point. And it’s still one of my favorite vacations we went on. But when I think about venturing out, it feels different this time. I don’t have his hand to hold or his voice to calm me down when I get flustered or lost. But maybe that’s part of it all. It’s time to relearn how to be me.