The first time I ever walked into Karen’s office I was shattered. I had no idea what to do next or how to navigate out of the place that I was in. Another therapist that was in Karen’s building had put some bookmarks up at the front desk. I suppose it was to inspire all of us shattered people. Or maybe it was because The Sex and the City Movie was coming out, I don’t know. On the bookmark was a quote from Sex and the City. I believe it is actually the very last line from the very last episode of the series:
The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.
Shattered Natalie was indeed inspired. I have had that card framed and sitting on my desk for 3 1/2 years. It’s funny, when I talk to people that I haven’t seen in a while and they ask what I’ve been up to, it goes something like this:
“Well, after I got married I moved from Utah to the Bay Area for work and then to Dallas and then I got divorced after 12 years and so I moved back to Utah and then I got a fantastic job and bought a converted loft space downtown and that’s how I met someone awesome and blah blah blah I just got remarried and got another new fantastic job and I love being so close to my family and I did I mention I am SO SO HAPPY.”
It all sounds kind of quick and easy, but it wasn’t. It was a long long Road. My family knows about the Road. And my friends know about the Road. And Alek knows about the Road. And I often get asked for my thoughts or advice, because it turns out I’m not such a unique and special snowflake. Turns out a lot of people go down my Road. And they want to know how I got to this happy place.
So, this post is for my Beautiful friend who doesn’t know how beautiful she is. Hopefully this can help you on your Road.
Things I Know for Sure
– Do what Karen tells you to do, even if it’s hard. She’s right.
– When you get through all of this, you will know yourself and you will love yourself and that is the best thing that will ever happen to you.
– The day that it ends with your Sweetness, that absolute end that really is the end, when you know that it can’t be taken back, is the worst day. It is indescribably bad. I know that day. I can pinpoint that moment when I shattered. I can see myself on the dirty floor of my house curled up amidst all of the boxes containing my closets. I can hear Janaan on the other end of the line, telling me that I was going to be OK. Every day after that day is better. I PROMISE.
– It will be two steps forward and one step back. For a long time. But progress is progress.
– The love you had is real and it always will be. It never goes away. Protect it. Never forget it because that love, that all-consuming-hot-fiery-ball is just a taste of what is possible.
– Be grateful every day that you had that taste. Many people will never know what that is like. The gratitude will get you through a lot of darkness and help you remember the sweet instead of the bitter. While I was picking up my pieces, I wanted the transformation come from the sweet. I still strive for that every day. What you put your energy into gets bigger so I choose beauty and love and I put my Thank You into the universe and hope that it finds its destination.
– Run towards the pain. If you bury away what makes you feel bad right now you’ll never know the joy that it can bring to you someday. The song that will bring you to your knees, crying next to the bathroom cabinets at Lowe’s (yes, that happened) will eventually make you smile and make your heart soar at the memory.
– Don’t ever give all of yourself to another person again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Part of your heart and your soul should be for you and you alone. Cultivate that. Love yourself. Take care of yourself.
– You – yes YOU – are beautiful. Beyond beautiful. You are smart. You are insanely talented. You are fun and you are funny. I’ve never met anyone like you.
– Keep your heart open, even though your instinct right now is to shut it off. If you shut it off you won’t ever know the love that is out there for you. REAL LOVE. BIG.WILD.RIDICULOUS.LOVE.
– Someday there will be a moment where you will know for sure that even if you could, you wouldn’t change a single thing because you’re exactly where you want to be. I PROMISE.