It’s a quiet Saturday, now afternoon. It rained last night and it really feels like the beginning of Autumn, at least for as much Autumn as San Diego will feel anyway. The smell of petrichor and earth mixing with our own… pipe tobacco candle, bacon, coffee, browned butter. My girl, peacefully sleeping on the couch wrapped in my blanket. Hammock and the planes roaring in their rise and fall at the airport nearby.
It’s been five months. Some of the longest days in what feels like the longest of my lifetime. And for someone who spent months bedridden, in a full body cast recovering from a severe compound fracture, I can say it’s about the same if not worse. Laying there, with constricted lungs, with the hopes that maybe tomorrow you will wake up and feel a bit more recovered. You see, you have to go through the pain of it all and in this case, I am learning to walk on my own all over…. for the third time in my life.
I took a massive step the other day. One of the hardest leaps… when you know you just have to press forward. A symbol of digital ink cementing your choice to build something better. Can’t say it didn’t kill me on the inside but sometimes we have to do things that don’t feel the best in order to grow. Change and radical self acceptance come at the expense of very valuable lessons, and unfortunately the best lessons come from painful experiences. The journey to reclamation.
There comes a time where we have to look at ourselves and our inventory. And I have. Brutally. Honestly. Truthfully. It’s not easy to do, especially when you’ve been conditioned to think in so many ways that went against your nature and intuition. Your gut feeling that tells you more than your mind and heart want you to listen to. Until one day you did. You pull the fingers out of your ears, the hands lift themselves from your eyes and you just jump off that cliff in hopes that maybe you’ll finally see the wings you knew were there the entire time. There is nothing more powerful when you realize what you’re worth. I didn’t see it for the longest of times and I searched for worth in external sources. I found my “happiness” in material bullshit, men, people who never deserved to breathe the same air as me, things that mean nothing in the end. When you find your voice, your bravery, your courage and you do it without fear? Watch how the scared and insecure scramble when you finally do. I am perfectly imperfect. Complicated. Integral. A package of complexities made of sal, agua y azucar. I look forward to the day my heart heals and I am ready to delve it out because whoever gets to have even a shard of it will be very fortunate.
All things considering, I am doing ok. There are days where I wake up with peace, some not so much. The anvil on my ribcage is still there dealing with the weight of it all: my play in my choices and also the ones I had no control over but wounded me immeasurably despite my best efforts to not let them. It’s a risk one takes when you trust your heart to others. Either it’s cherished or shattered. And the amount of shattering I have endured from so many angles, you got to wonder how I do it all. Still. I mean, I could tell you why… and it’s sleeping on the couch right now.
So I plug forward and all things considering I think I am doing pretty good for myself in such a short amount of time. I found a home to rebuild in that makes me so happy to walk into. I look at my treasures and art, things that make me happy and have been markers to so many stages of my life. Every day I am greeted with breathtaking palettes of sunsets flanked with cackling of wild parrots flying by. Every day the signs reveal themselves and I am reminded that even though I chose the hardest and most difficult of paths, the one I am on is right, even if at times I have to feel insurmountable loneliness, suffocation and disappointment. But then I look at her and it’s like aloe on a burn.
My girl and I are cultivating a wonderful life. Day by day. Creating new rituals, laughing together, bonding over our current guilty pleasures in the car, hair braiding, stepping outside to revel in nature’s majesty when the sun dips over the horizon, holding hands while watching trash tv, piled in my bed watching funny animal videos to tears, trying new things, seeing new places and all with a radical honesty and candor that’s a testament to all the love and effort I have put into us. She is without a doubt the best thing I have ever done and I would go through another 18 year heartbreak if it meant having her in my life. I will continue to live, speak and act in a manner that makes her feel safe and beam with pride. I will do it gracefully, with force, intention, authenticity and colorful profanity. She deserves the world. And so do I.
As Autumn rolls in, the symbolism isn’t lost on me. The world begins to decay around us only to resurface as something new and hopefully wonderful. Our birthdays are around the corner. 13/45 and we’re looking forward to our Halloween decorating, pumpkin carving and celebrating her crossing into the teens. And with us wrapping up another trip around the sun, I look forward to doing it together, working with what we got and hopefully transforming it into something beautiful.
It’s a journey, not a destination.