“Well, old buddy,” I’ve been saying, Han-to-Chewie-style, to my stuffed penguin Waddles all month. “We’ve been in worse scrapes than this.”
And, you know what, we really, really have.
(Everything about 2012 was worse. I slept on a loveseat, I didn’t really have a job, I GOT DUMPED BY THAT LITERAL PUPPET.)
I am already looking forward to being able to look back upon this strange chunk of my life. Not with fondness, at least not overwhelmingly. Because, man, fuck this last month! Fuck living out of a suitcase, and not really having a bed, and not having any money, and being sad and confused, and feeling unwanted and, maybe worse, not NEEDED. Fuck clinging so hard to my phone for any contact, any morsel from possible jobs, possible homes, EVERYTHING. Fuck not being able to let my shoulders down all month. Fuck being in a constant state of Fight or Flight.
But I have hope today. (I think) I can start to see what else was here this past month. What I will remember when the dust settles. I will remember the people who caught me and kept me on my feet while I didn’t have my shit together. I will remember the warm couches and beds loaned to me by friends and family. I will remember the meals quietly purchased, because you know that I still don’t have a job. I will remember the hands held, because, in the midst of my hope and my determination, I am still so so sad. I will remember the space granted to fall apart and cry and be held. I will remember the kind texts and messages and words.
I will remembered how much I was loved, even when I felt so very messy and unlovable.
And, today when I have hope, I dream of the day that I do have my shit together, when I will call you (oh, so many of you!) up and repay the favor as hard as I possibly can. I will take you out to brunch, and buy you whatever you want. (Breakfast food is my love language, you know.) One day this year, I dream of finally having a car, and you can call me at 2 am, and tell me, “Dani, I need to be in Oregon TOMORROW,” and I’m just going to say, “Great. What snacks do you want?”
I look forward to taking care of you back. I look forward to having the capacity and strength to do that. I think I can do it. I am ready.
(You are never a burden.)
Things are happening, at last, I think. Callbacks, job interviews, rental applications… So soon, I hope to be standing on my own again. I look forward to packing up my BB-8 suitcase one more time, and hugging Waddles against my chest, and stepping out into the sunshine and into my future, brave and bright and glorious.
As my perfect friend Julie reminded me recently:
“We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
We will walk them, together and apart, my friends. And, for when we are apart, I will be waiting afterwards with your favorite hot drink, eager to hear all about it.