“Driving home, the sky accelerates
And the clouds all form a geometric shape
And it goes fast
You think of the past
Suddenly everything has changed” ~The Flaming Lips
Since I hadn’t been on Facebook in a few weeks, I missed random things that were happening. As I perused a little this morning, I saw my brother had posted that last Thursday marked 6 months since my father passed away. I couldn’t believe it. Had it really been six months already? Had close to 180 days truly passed? Have I simply been asleep or in a coma to suddenly wake up and find out this information? How can something feel like yesterday and years ago all at once?
I can honestly say that I have been through more in this 6 months than probably the rest of my life put together. The dizzying highs and lows, the turmoil that was self-created throughout the summer, it caused a sort of retreat into myself that I have not quite been able to come out of yet. True, I am not the person I was in August, not quite knowing which way was up and which way was down, confused about the sheer aspect of living life on a daily basis at time. I am far from that, but I still sometimes feel the need to protect myself from people, and even from feelings, making sure I don’t become that summertime person I was.
While I have let go of the summer; of my dad, of memories, unsure decisions, and enlightening life changes, I haven’t truly let go. Everything about these few months still hang around me like a dark cloud that could either blow on by or begin pouring down on me at any minute. Every time I think my stride has become right again and my path is straight and narrow a turn, or a rock, or even a small pebble comes out of nowhere to cause me to stumble and fall. It causes me to relive and remember things that I don’t necessarily want to.
While I may have used the excuse of my dad dying before as the reason I was so off kilter this summer, I need to stop. First and foremost, it’s not fair to him. He wasn’t a great man, frankly, he wasn’t a good man either, at least not to me, but when someone leaves us we can choose how we see things, and I choose to remember the early years over the later ones. It’s not fair to continue to blame him for my short comings. True, his death contributed, but only in the way that it caused initial strife and turmoil within myself. I had the choice at that moment to begin getting better or continue down a path of self-destruction and we know which one I chose. I had no way to handle my feelings, or really simply to understand them, so I created myself anew, became someone that I wasn’t, simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with the effects of the pain; simply so I wouldn’t have to deal with feeling anything at all.
So many things died this summer, most notably, important parts of myself marred by uneasy choices and decisions along the way. I have used the fall to rebuild what was lost and broken, and find the parts that were stolen and forgotten about. Some times I feel like I am back together better than ever and at others I feel like I am still a giant pile of rubble ready to be swept into the trash, missing pieces that are so integral to my survival
I’d like to be all zen and believe that all the decisions, even the bad ones, contribute to who you are. I’d like to think that even the bad decisions have gotten me to the place I am today and I should be grateful. But I’m not all zen. I’m not even a little zen. I’m not an optimist, I’m a realist. In the words of Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Life could be a little sweet, But life could be a little shitty.” And really, in a nutshell, that’s how I feel.
But if we’re still breathing, if we’re still upright, if we can still find something to smile about, then we haven’t lost our hope.
What I know now more than ever is that sometimes life sucks. But then again, sometimes it doesn’t.