I’m sitting on a red couch right now next to its shorter, less accommodating and uncomfortable twin. It’s not the one I once bought for an apartment that I rented for nearly a year back when I was buckling down to pursue my career online. It feels similar, but it’s not something I can call mine…and I can’t really call anything mine, not after what I have endured and learned from a rather drawn out experience of loss.
I’m finding this really hard to write. There are so many reasons why I feel this way, but despite all the other baggage (that I’m just not inclined to lay on the table right now, or perhaps all at once) I’m doing everything I can to lighten my load one word at a time.
That was all I could do, especially as I felt the urge to rework for the seemingly millionth time my entire writing agenda, my entire strategy about how I do business online, my everything. My work is so close to my heart, but something has since moved into the foreground before all those other wonderful things; and it’s presently, as I write this, a three month fetus churning inside my womb.
I’m a mother and not a figurative one this time. I knew this was bound to happen. Not now or as soon as it did, but eventually, yes. I’m happy and I’m clumsy as ever readjusting to my new life and my slightly altered destiny. It’s a detour, not a breakdown and that’s how I’m viewing it.
So now, in keeping with the new theme I have established for this blossoming blog series, Along the Way, I want to delve into this breakdown of what I have learned as a result of becoming a newborn mother and as a result of leaving bags on the side of the road that I’m now finally returning to.
Let’s get down to it, then.
Who Are These People?
A Lady Named “E”
That’s what I’ll call her. If she ever reads this then she knows exactly who she is and she serendipitously found me this time one year ago probing a potential ride for a hitchhike and, case and point, saved me.
Such as these are the ones who may not have much to give, but when the moment arises they respond and they respond quickly because they know their help is urgently needed. When you meet them, you will distinctly and irrevocably know them from the rest. Build a loving, true relationship with them.
–But I will refer to a collective “they” when I say that they were the ones who showed me that hospitality to some people doesn’t mean being helpful, accommodating, or open.
They are the ones who may smile at first, they may even make promises regardless of their intentions to keep them, but they often speak too soon. They are seductive with hope. They care less about you and more about serving a narcissistic need despite the way they may package themselves.
Other Supposed Mothers
Babies don’t just come out of women and they aren’t always ten-fingered and ten-toed little human beings that emerge from the able bodies of women — they are figurative little things that pop out of the fragile, the impotent, the masculine, the child-fearing, the scarred, the widowed, the single, the fearful, the neurotic, the ones who miscarried, the ones who lost and I could really go on. They are words of wisdom and at other less fortunate times they are words of destruction, even well-meaning unintended destruction.
The ones who come bearing these at times unsolicited baby shower gifts will be totally at your mercy as to whether or not they are worthy of your grace. As for me, I had and still strive to exercise a zero tolerance policy for negativity. If it’s not building me up, especially at the times when I need it the most, I shut it down.
I always had this weird thing about crying in public, but sometimes it just struck me. Sometimes I could get away with it without being detected, and it was better that way. Other times, I could see through the waterfall pairs of eyes connecting with me and darting away awkwardly without an inkling about what to do. I found myself the poster child situation of vulnerability and I couldn’t really ask much of them. I eventually calmed down and usually worked through the situation with someone trustworthy.
The passing bodies will drive by in the rain when you are stranded or when your bags are ripped and contents are scattered all over the streets. Their bodies will whiz by in blurry colors of nothingness, as if no soul exists or even wants to exist there. I have found them to be quite empty and I expect nothing of them or anyone with the potential to surprise me who happens to blend in with them. I consider it really detrimental to focus on those bodies in a helpless situation where outside help could really be useful. Doing so would take away from the focus on the inner body, our bodies, your own self. Sometimes, you may be all you have, but sometimes that may be enough.
Forgotten Faces and Names
It’s not that I mean to say that someone you haven’t maintained a consistent relationship with will be your next alibi or just a plain source of camaraderie. I have, however, been occasionally and pleasantly surprised by a renewed connection with someone even if, just for a moment, we could cherish that fleeting spark.
These are the acquaintances, the distant relatives, the anybody-Joe Somebody who appears on your doorstep or in your inbox or in a unforeseen letter with a check or with a thoughtful card on your desk. They are passing good samaritans and if you find that you have forgotten them in the past, download a quick little upgrade into your brain and integrate them for the future. Return the love when the whim comes to you at an arbitrary moment.