What a week! I feel like I've had a holiday from a life that doesn't, at this time, need one. Such a compliment to the company I kept.
I spent the better part of the past two days with some fabulous friends. I'm exhausted today but still smiling. Have I learned from these 36 hours? Absolutely. Additionally, my gratitude towards life, the universe, and the people in my life, has again taken over – and that is my favourite feeling.
I'm not sure where to start when discussing the beauty of this week. Perhaps it would be simplest to begin with what happened last: saying goodbye. This had to have been the happiest goodbye I've ever had and of course, not because they were leaving and we were going our separate ways again. It was because I'm not certain we even said the words “good bye”. We said, “Til next time” a few times, we cheers-ed (ahem...in foreign tongue!) each other and our visit, and I drove away with and from big toothy grins. I felt confirmed in what I know: that good-bye is only ever “see you later”.
As I drove home, psychedelic music blasting and possibly interrupting the sleep of fishing village locals along the way, I asked myself how I could describe this experience. How could I explain how different this was? Why was I smiling after seeing my friends off when I have no firm idea of when I will see them next?
Simply, it is because I know I will see them again. I know that they understand that the world is small and that they value relationships/friendships/people as highly as I do and exhibit that in their words and actions. In that respect, I am quite excited about where the next meet-up will take place!
However, it's deeper than that. The above is a lovely knowledge to have but for me, the whole experience is another indicator of how far I have come and how solid my progress is.
I used to hate goodbyes when I was very sick for various reasons. The most glaring is that I felt interminably lonely and scared to be by myself. At other times, I felt like I was being “left behind” as people carried on with their lives and I held myself hostage and stagnant. Above those feelings, there was an underlying and rarely expressed dread ad grief that any goodbye to a friend could quite possibly be the last. Death – sadly, a largely acceptable outcome in my mind for many years - was a possible interruption of plans to meet again.
My last goodbye to these two was said from a hospital bed and to be quite honest, the memory is vague at best and was gently jogged over this week but remains very distant. I know it as fact, but not much more. What I had completely forgotten (and still do not remember) was that I had another opportunity to see one of these friends another time and declined because once again I was in hospital and “not up for it”. Knowing this now actually breaks my heart, again, for the little girl that was me and for others in similar states. I can imagine a few reasons I avoided this second reunion: embarrassment (hospitalizations are not the most glamourous or proud experiences), anxiety (what would I possibly talk about?), exhaustion, more self-denial (of the experience of a person who cared), doubt (that he cared at all), fear (that I would care and therefore put up resistance against my slow march towards a final end but not be supported to keep living)...
Sad, yes, but again, the opportunity for gratitude arises. I survived and had the experience of these past two days full of life like I haven't been in a very long time. Additionally, I was present complete with my real self.
I'd say I sure sassed the grim reaper this week! It thought I'd die full of miserable regrets (like not seeing my friend a second time)...not so! From different corners of the world, we found a midpoint, a time that worked for all of us only because of how things fell into place in our individual lives over the past three years.
We discussed this slightly during our visit, but I do not believe strongly (or at all) in coincidence.
If anything can be taken away from this by the most hopeless person I would suggest the following concept: if there is no other reason to be seen or created in any given moment, possibility is worth getting through one more day and one more day after that. What one chooses with this day might have immediate effect – be it reward or negative consequence – but it will also be part of even the faintest outline of the future as one cannot know or sometimes even imagine.
Oddly, I think I will keep this shorter than usual and stop on the note of possibility. There is always more to say and maybe “15 months”, due to being coupled with an amazing week, will be a post deserved of more than one entry.
With all kinds of gratitude,