I am recovering from being sick. This is just not ordinary sickness, but a chronic illness that left me mostly bedridden and resulted, finally, in surgery. I was out of my social circle and my business for almost 10 weeks. That’s a lot of time to think, and with nothing else to do, it was something I did a lot of.
I realized most of my friends I didn’t want to even know about the surgery. I didn’t want their false condolences, or words of sympathy. Needless to say, my group of friends struck me as stunningly superficial.
Now that I am better, I find myself dressing better, wearing make-up again. I hear myself laughing and flirting, and finally, finally, I have enough beauty again to make a room go silent. I love that! I am slowly gaing back my confidence.
In all of the seclusion, I had no one to detract from me, to say anything negative. Whenever something bad did happen, I wasn’t aware of it. Therefore, I had not heard the latest gossip or rumors, nor did I care. I found that I didn’t miss any of it. Slowly, my strength came back, easy laughter filled the air and I began to feel whole again.
Also, without you, my ex, I finally began to heal. I sent you all the words I had been meaning to say before they put me out, knowing that there was a chance something could go wrong. I didn’t want to leave anything unsaid. Before my sickness, bitterness filled me, the love I had for you turning twisted, something slithering and cold. Then, I had no time for thoughts of you. At all. My entire life was doing whatever work I could followed by the sweet seduction of sleep and more sleep. Whatever energy I had went in to simply surviving. After, I sent the letter, you called me, told me you thought I was being a bit over-dramatic, but that you wanted to see me again, that nothing had changed for you, but by then something had changed for me. Everything I said in that letter was true, pure, unconditional love, the beauty of simply caring for someone no returns expected. The one thing I didn’t count on, was the effect all the distance had on me. I began to change, really change into someone else, and I liked her. Her self-effacing attitude, her cool regard in a strangers room, her conspiratoral whispers that made everyone feel as if they were in on some kind of delicious secret, her laugh. I began to come alive again. I began somewhere along the line to imagine sex with other men, what it would be like, and what a kind, loving relationship would feel like. For the first time since I met you, I found myself looking, really looking at other men, in my drug-induced state, it seemed like the common sense thing to do you. I am young and pretty, I want someone to care for me, to start a family with, someone who puts me first. I began to realize it could happen, the only thing stopping me was me. You have made yourself clear, you love me more than anybody, but you are not ready for commitment with a capitol C. You are a 46 year old man who still acts like a teenager. You will most likely die alone. It is sad, but I refuse to be dragged down along with you.
Today, I caught a look of myself in a mirror, I almost didn’t recognize the increasingly slender woman staring back at me, her sharp cheekbones, tall heels and olive skin, the rick honey colored color and dark brown eyes. The easy laughter lying behind them. Nothing held me back, no false friends, nor you. I had forgotten your accusations and everything bad that had happened between us, I simply didn’t have room for those thoughts anymore. No more could you drag down my consciousness, destroying my confidence. I was back to the girl I was before you met, a new improved version.
I drove for the first time in almost 3 weeks the other day. I slid into my luxury car, the one I was always so embarrassed about having and turned the stereo on blast, letting the sweet sound of music swell around me, feeling it deep in my soul ,ad I laughed feeling so good, realizing this is why I work so hard, to be able to sink into butter-soft leather and fly over hills, to return home to my puppy and a house filled with love, to cultivate the kind of relationships with clients that is much deeper than the surface, so that I can take pride in my work. I have a good life.
For a moment, I was lost, wondering why I hadn’t felt like this before I had gotten so sick. Why everything seemed so difficult, why a black cloud of self-doubt, even hate, hung over me. I am beginning to realize that the problem was never really me, but the company I kept. Guess what? I don’t you or any of your super-ficial bullshit, I don’t care that I have known most of my friends for over ten years, it doesn’t mean they were good for me, or I for them. It doesn’t matter what my ex and I shared in the past, the good memories make me a richer person and the bad memories are meant to be discarded.
I want beauty, a life filled with love, laughter, the sweetness of success and family. I want what is real, and no more will I dim my inner light for anyone else.
I am still tired and groggy most days, but nothing, nothing gets to me. I want to keep it that way.
I have found myself.