(Title from David Gray’s song ‘This Year’s Love’)
1 28 2017
Healing is like an onion.
In the April of my senior year of high school, at the tender, recently heartbroken age of seventeen, I wrote this:
“I saw Sam Wallace on Sunday at Fatty’s Pizza in town, which is where he works and is an awesome place. It was sort of intrinsic to the whole Hannah-Tanner-Matt-Me gig we had going on – it’s the guys’ favorite pizza place, and I am somewhat of the opinion that there’s a special piece of the universe hiding out in there. It was the first time I’d been back to Fatty’s since Matt and I broke up, but Hannah and Tanner and Tanner’s little brother and I all went to get lunch in the middle of moving things and it was like – not quite like coming home, but like coming back, like realizing that it’s not the end of the world or of the universe or of anything except an odd mishappenstance (my new word) of a relationship. And I saw ‘the guy with the Starry Night tattoo’ that Hannah and Tanner are always talking about the incredible coolness of. And it’s just not the end of the world, and that’s beautiful. My corner of the universe can include anything I want to, and I’m excited for that.”
I remember this day, and I remember that feeling, and there’s something about it.
I used to talk about healing as though it were a puzzle. As though you had to cry (or otherwise process), periodically, for a long time, to find the other pieces and slowly fit them all back in. Maybe it is like that. Maybe it’s like a lot of things.
But this time, it seems to be like an onion. Or a Russian nesting doll. As though my layers got stripped back, and I have to build them back up, slowly. Even if I manage to pull the outermost shell over the wound, sometimes a memory will knock it back off again, and then my productivity is shot for the day because I’m stuck in my own head, trying to pull the pieces back together again.
There are days like yesterday, where good things manage to happen, but some of them keep reminding you about things you want to forget and can’t. And then you get into your own head as you walk to a social event where you’re supposed to be outgoing and make people want what you have, and your best attempt at that isn’t great because you destroyed your own composure, and you beat yourself up afterwards.
And then there are days like today. Where you go to a new coffee shop for the first time and the staff don’t mind that you’re awkward and are in fact super lovely. Where you finish the homework you meant to finish. Where you had a pretty smooth workout this morning and managed to work around the women’s basketball team needing the locker room to be undisturbed by civilians. Where you have a date at six and it bubbles pleasantly on the back burner of your consciousness all day.
The icicles are weeping in the sun. Winter is passing, I wonder what’s to come, said a song I liked recently. My friends, near and far, are good people, funny, wonderful people. Moby Dick might be conquerable after all. I’ve got a pretty sweater to wear tonight.
I remember the feeling of that April weekend. As though the window were open to new spring for the first time. It’s January now, it won’t stop being this (damn) cold for a while. But today is a good enough day. A day to be happy in.