It is definitely a September morning, little clouds of fog hang from the sides of the mountains, and there is a new hint of chill in the air, but the sun is still warm enough to cycle to work in a tank top and pedal pushers. The Summer lavishes gorgeous days, pretending this isn’t its last stretch.
Time is a funny thing. It just keeps ticking with glorious indifference, calling out the seasons, sprinkling the first strands of white through my hair, turning my previous life into something that no longer exists, neatly packing it into boxes of The Past.
Some days, my mind wanders into a parallel dimension, where another me is still leading my old life. She doesn’t know the eerie feeling of Before and After, she goes about her days with more certainty, gets aggravated by insignificant things and shops for four. The lucky cow! I want to tell her to get over whatever petty frustrations are making her cross with T and unhappy with her life, and to enjoy what she has more, because you just don’t know… But how would she know?…
Time also helped me realise how profoundly I have been changed by this year. And out of nowhere a thought slaps me around the face: Perhaps, I like the new, battered me better (even though it definitely needs a bit of paint-work). There, it’s out. It does not mean I suggest you drive your spouse away, just to see if it makes you better.
But maybe the excruciating pain which marked my heart and my body, also made me more able to understand other people’s pain. Maybe my temporary inability to function, the paralysing downwards spiral of the early days also made me more perceptive and tolerant towards grieving and depressed people. Maybe failure made me more humble.
My own brush with a mild form of infidelity also served to set the record straight. I guess part of me used to romanticise the idea that sometimes people were in the “wrong relationship”, and that it may be fair enough to seize the opportunity to be happy with someone else. Now I know… I know that this is only true in Hollywood films, where people are either good or bad, and get over heart break in two scenes and fourty seven seconds. In real life, people are both good and bad, and need to work hard on themselves to make relationships work. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, hopping into the next pair of open arms is never a good idea.
Finally, I may be a complete scaredy cat in real life (reading Harry Potter gave me nightmares, for crying out loud!), but when the going got tough, my willingness to dig into the uncomfortable notion that I have some responsibility in the collapse of my relationship, to face my fear, and do whatever it takes to get happy again, all speak of bravery and honesty. Crikey, I’m in the wrong job, perhaps I should really become a knight or something?!
Ok, that’s it, don’t get over excited, I haven’t seen the light, and become a barefoot saint, and I do reserve the right to be thoroughly bad, wrong, insensitive, and boastful at times.
In the meantime perhaps I will enjoy the present more. All this time just ticking away…
To Emma who inspired me today
A beautiful song I’ve remembered from long ago
Mark Curry – It’s only time