As a thirty-something woman, I’ve come to appreciate several things I either took for granted or simply hated in my younger years. I don’t dislike my crooked nose nearly as much as I used to, for instance. I know my vices and can sometimes even avoid them. I know what I’m good at professionally, I have wonderful friends, my house and my wardrobe increasingly reflect who I am, and I’m not scared to try something new, even if it ends in certain defeat.
Through good times and bad in the last few years, I’ve always felt like at the very least I know who I am. Things may not go my way … but I’ll come out on the other end eventually. Forever Jax. Forever Zesty.
Some days, though, waiting for a new door to open can be tiresome. I’ve been tired for a little while now, in fact. Tired of waiting for the next topographic feature on the road of life to appear, be it a bump, a detour, or — dare I dream — an off-ramp to something good.
There have been some false starts that make the wait worse. Mistakes have been made. Hopes have been raised then lowered. Friends have been lost. New friends have arrived. Even as I type, I know I’m not just describing now, but also life in general, and knowing we’re all in this place at one time or another is comforting to an extent.
But as I tried to explain during my most recent false start, logic and emotion are two different things. Logos and pathos. Head and heart. Does one who knows herself understand, for instance, that a snub has more to do with the other person that it does with her? Sure, I get that. It doesn’t make it hurt any less.
The trait of sensitivity isn’t one I’m looking to squash, either, despite suggestions to the contrary. If I turn into a hard-hearted, cynical, pessimistic shrew who assigns all blame to anyone who ever ripped my heart out and threw it on an open flame, I’m no longer thinking separately with my brain and my soul. Not to mention my tears are still my own to cry.
So in the interest of living and learning, I’m embracing a little bit of sadness today. It’s never a joy to watch something die on the vine, but I’ll keep believing that the death is making room for future growth, and try to stay focused on what I already know to be true: writer, thinker, foodie, musician, laugher, joker, imbiber, friend, kayaker, traveler, dreamer, and for the time-being, loner.
But not alone.