February 26, 2007–Thursday (non-italic text within parentheses are current notations)
Today’s Truth: EXTERNAL CHANGES HAPPEN FOR A REASON AND I AM WRONG TO FIGHT THEM. THEY ARE HERE FOR A REASON & I NEED TO BENEFIT FROM THAT REASON & ACCEPT & EMBRACE THE CHANGE.
A long truth! But the change has been long & steady. Changes beyond my control such as my hot water heater going and my car being hit are strange enough. All the changes at work: HOB being purchased by Live Nation and converting to Micros. All the servers that have left, Steven being the latest. Victor leaving town. The fact that I am no longer friends with Sam (not his name), just a writing collaborator. And yet today another: Callie (not her name)–who has been with the company for 6 years–quit to move to Arizona. I was supposed to train someone this week to take her place. This morning the woman called and said she got another job so indeed I embraced the change: I told Jeff to schedule me Tuesday and Wednesday nights until we find someone. I’ll get time to write. I’ll have one day off to myself, to go to the book store and write. I’ll be able to go to the gym during the day, four days a week. I’ll make tips at night. This change at work comes the day after Lisa and I decided to be more independent of each other. We’re not going to eat together at night and conform our schedules. It’s good to make your own changes. But when life throws a change at you, you have no choice but to go with the flow. So not only am I going with the flow, I’m flowing with the go. I’m being forced to change, so I will change with the change. Changes aren’t here to hurt me; they’re here to lead me, carry me to the next phase of my life. I will benefit from all these changes if I don’t fight them. They are here for a reason and I will embrace & benefit from them.
Talk about trying to convince myself that shit wasn’t shit. The changes would keep coming, believe me: five months later I’d be in a new house. What screams out at me most about the woman writing this is how so completely lost she was. Looking to explain away the things in her life she couldn’t understand and was powerless to take charge of. It hurts a little to read it some nine years later, because I can still feel the pain and desperation of who I was and the situation I was in. When you’re a firm believer in everything happening for a reason and the Universe having a Master Plan, you search for those reasons. You comfort yourself with the faith that all the crap you’re suffering through is for some future revelation of a higher good. If God opens a window when he slams a door, you start peeling back some drapes whether you feel a draft or not. Doesn’t seem to be any open windows here; perhaps one has a hairline crack? My solution to handling all the crap? Distancing myself from the one person who God sent to help me through it, my best friend Lisa.
There was a reason, one that made perfect sense to me at the time. Without going into my early psychological development, let’s just say I have abandonment issues. Emotional and physical. I have a near-crippling fear of being alone. Physically alone. I say near-crippling, because I’ve learned to manage it. Not master, but manage. I can be alone if I have to, but I hate it. Short periods of time are fine: I can be alone for a few hours, even all day, but to go to sleep and spend the night in an empty house? Maddening. I have a hard time going to sleep alone even if I know someone will be coming home late and will be there when I wake up. And emotionally, I have to have what Grey’s Anatomy calls a “person.” It can be man or woman, family or friend, but I need someone who is there for me twenty-four-seven, who is all about me. I think we all need this, but some can go without for an extended period of time. I never have. I’ve always had a person. Lisa has been my person for a very long time. Surprisingly, I’ve never dated a man who had a hard time accepting that. Just like Christina was Meredith’s person (back to Grey’s), there is no one like Lisa to laugh with, share with, dream with, get Philly with. We get each other. So it saddens me that I actually thought my friendship with her was something I needed to curb. I understand now what I thought I understood then; too bad I can’t go back in time and explain it to myself. But I will lay it out for you, beautiful babies:
Because of this alone-phobia, I thought distancing myself from Lisa would make me more independent, i.e., stronger. Lisa and I always talk of this Anthony-Hillel dynamic. Anthony Kiedis and Hillel Slovak were best friends and in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At times of discussion, we ruminate on the possibility that Hillel had to be sacrificed to catapult Anthony to where he is now. To leave room for John Frusciante. There’s a shared belief that if someone in your life is keeping you from your destiny, God will force a separation. Is Lisa keeping me from a husband and children? From being a best-selling author? She has the same questions about me. Because neither one of us wants the other to die, we go through periods of madness where we think we shouldn’t spend so much time together. This time in Vegas was one such of those times. Certain people I knew had a problem with our closeness, perhaps because they had no one fighting for them the way I did. They had no one at home happy to see them walk through the door the way that I did. Someone whose back I had just as much, someone who I was just as happy to see when I walked through the door. I’m tired of that thinking that dictates your friends have to fly out the door when a boyfriend or potential husband comes along. Why do I have to have one or the other? Why can’t I broaden my community of love? I’ve come to a point now where I realize and have accepted that no one is keeping me from anything but me. If I don’t have a husband or children, it’s because that’s the way I want it. I know and accept that about myself now. Will it always be that way? I don’t know. But it will be my choice. And my husband and I will build a little cottage in the backyard for Lisa. No problem.
As for making time for the gym, to write, my job, or anything else that required my attention: we make time for that which is important to us. Stephen King had a full-time job and would still come home and write late at night, or get up at five in the morning to write before his job. It’s no one’s fault but my own if there’s no gym time or writing time. But somehow in my mind by writing down the truth and acknowledging some things needed more focus was just as good as physically refocusing. Perhaps I was meaning it as more of a prayer for God’s help on direction than it was a declaration of where I was headed. I thought if I named it, God would help me claim it. And I guess He did. Ultimately the house I moved to was ten times better than the one I left. I got a promotion and a raise at work. I’d like to say I accepted the changes, but I didn’t. I kicked and screamed the whole way. But for this day in February 2007, I believed that my embracing the concept of change was the truth.
I still do believe this truth. I think if things that are out of your control are changing, you need to go with them. That doesn’t mean you have to be a victim to the change, or land on the choice you think is being selected for you. If your position is being altered at work, yes, your job is changing. But is it changing within the company, or are you going to leave that job and find another? Change is fluid. You can pick where you end up. Even if the choice of where you end up is strictly within yourself. You can let the change weigh you down, or you can ride it to a level of understanding you wouldn’t have reached without it.