I wake up every day where I always said I wanted to be and still I wonder if he’ll ever love me like I think I need him to or if I’ll ever again feel as proud as I did telling people I was moving to New York.
He cooks and cleans and walks our dogs in the morning so that I can get that extra 15 minutes of sleep I swear I need to be happy and I spend my time talking myself out of doing what I love most for the fear of finding out that I could get everything I’ve ever wanted out of life and still not be happy; terrified to find out with certainty what I’ve always known to be true: I don’t know how to be happy.
So I am starting my 28th year of life trying to be positive, reminding myself daily how lucky I am just to be breathing, no matter how shallow the breath. I am starting my 28th year by climbing out of a big, dark, freezing, pool of depression and I’m sitting here, clothes still drenched in sadness, and I am trying. I’m walking on sunny sides of streets, I’m drinking more water, I’m brushing my hair at least half of the week and I’m crying during the second to last song at Soulcycle because it’s the only healthy release I know.
I am trying – to kick, push, or even doggy-paddle my way to the other side of this.
I really thought it would break my heart every time I heard it. I truly believed that every time the beat dropped and Sam Smith sang, “Now I’ve got you in my space, I won’t let go of you” I’d see his face looking over at me from the other side of the couch while he wrapped his arms around my calves and danced with his shoulders the way he always did. It was one of the many times in my life I wanted to jump outside of myself because I felt too good, as if my body was conditioned to contain only so much joy. The Chicago winter kept it cold outside, but there was warmth in that song, in the hope that he’d latch on to me. It started to play at SoulCycle so I closed my eyes as I expected my heart to pull me from the bike. But it’s not cold here in New York, not right now. And it surely wasn’t cold in that room, and Halle told the class it was okay, that it would be okay, and that sometimes that’s all we needed to hear to push through. My head started swaying, my heart started pounding, my lips turned up – finally, I lost myself in the beat rather than in him. I opened my eyes to see Halle whipping her head back and forth, hair flailing in every direction, hands pounding the handlebars. The sweat on her body glistened in the low-light and her energy filled the entire room; it filled all of the empty spots inside of me. Her movement said she loved the song, herself, that moment, this life and that whatever it may bring she was ready for it. And I figured if she could be brave enough to let life happen to her, I could be bold enough to forget you happened to me.