there's nothing quite like it. walking down the sidewalk in a new town, where no one knows your name, no one knows your story, your history, your faults or weaknesses or mistakes. you are a clean slate, a stranger and newcomer. it's an opportunity for new beginnings and new relationships, a chance to explain yourself using different words. who are you? where are you from? what do you do? you can answer these questions in myriad ways, and now is your chance to reshape your self.
oh, but it's exhausting, isn't it? the repetitiveness. the expectations and explanations and assumptions made by first impressions that can't be taken back. the excitement of something new is always tainted by time; what was once a mystery becomes old hat and you're left with yet another ending, another experience you are supposed to be grateful for, one you're supposed to learn from and grow from, right? that's what they say, isn't it? they ask you to be patient and understanding and thankful for everything. but at what point are you so sick and tired of going through the motions that you're not grateful any more? at what point are you so defeated that you don't see the beauty in every damn thing but only the truth that it will all come to a close and you'll be left with nothing but the thoughts floating around in your head and the love in your heart that has nowhere to go. how do you manage that existential, entirely depressing realization that maybe, this time, it was all for nothing?
i recently spoke with a good friend about this disheartening topic. they let me word vomit all over the place, dumping every thing every thought every emotion out until i could say no more. and then, like we usually do, we tried to figure out what the point of all this nonsense was. the heavy hearts, the fleeting moments of absolute beauty, the headaches and lies and infidelities and pure joy of it all. a person i never knew personally but who was close with many of my friends passed away recently. he had been battling cancer for as long as i knew him and he ended up leaving his friends and family a few days ago. on or right around that very same day, two of my friends got engaged and a dear friend gave birth to her first child, a heathy baby boy. how the hell are we supposed to reconcile all of these things? how do we mourn for the loss of a soul that shouldn't have been taken so soon, a dear friend to so many dear friends, and rejoice in the birth of a new little man and the union of two fabulous people in love? i felt as though my head and heart were going to explode with the range of emotions capable in all of these events. but this is what we are, this is the purpose. i said to my friend that i didn't think we (meaning me) were capable of dealing with all of this, all at one time. without skipping a beat they rejected my statement, arguing that we are capable, we have to be, for that is part of what it means to be human. we are resilient beyond measure and are tested every goddamn day to prove that point. it can be miserable and draining and utterly consuming, but there is a beauty in the way we can carry all of this and still wake up every day and do it all over again. it isn't always easy, but nothing worth a damn ever is.
so that's what i'll hold on to. i don't feel like being grateful today, but i can sit with the knowledge that we are all suited for this life, every single one of us. with a toolbox of sentiments and hearts like sponges, we'll all wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.