Someplace between the din of chaos and the silence of loneliness, I stand in a bubble of stark self-awareness.
It’s delicate and freshly blown — a little something I put together to shield myself from the waves that crest slowly in the distance, dark undulating walls that barrel toward me like a locomotive. They’re studded with the flotsam of my old life: the broken shell of guilt I called home for so long, the sharp judgments I cowered from … glistening blades of regret … jagged points of shame. And now the questions also bubble to the surface … because who doesn’t want to know more about the woman who left a seemingly good man to live alone in her own gay ass truth?
The upsurge rushes forward, looms over me like a monster and breaks hard. A crash fills the air, peppered with the awful tinkle of a million shards of broken glass. My little bubble quakes under the impact, but holds firm.
I’m still here.
Becoming surer every day.
I’ve fortified these transparent walls with things that cushion the onslaught. Soft, velvety things that catch me when the waves try to knock me off my feet — the love of my children, the support of beloved friends, my mother’s lasting example of strength and resilience, the power of true love, and even my own muscles, still sore from the stress of this journey … but sore in a good way.
There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not learning something new. Discovering who I am and introducing a bit more of that woman to the world. Finding out what it means to love myself and also what it means to give authentic love to others. And realizing, after 46 years, that being in love is more than fullness and joy. It’s work, nurturing and co-operation. It’s also understanding that the dysfunction I claimed as love in the past was just that. Now I can have more. I want more. I deserve more.
The waves will calm after a while. And for now they’ll slam into my bubble and simply bounce away.