Monthly Archives: April 2015

Epiphany

forgiveness

The thing about being caught in a midst of an emotional disaster is that we’re so caught up with our own mess of thoughts and feelings that we forget to take a moment to breathe and try to see things from a different perspective. We forget that there are other people around us — people who may be directly or indirectly affected by said disaster — we ignore the promises we have made, we refuse to accept that failure to take responsibility for our actions will only result in the disaster snowballing to irreparable proportions.

But when we take that step back and look at the bigger picture, if not a different one, then some form of solution comes almost too easily to us. And that is proof that we knew all along what we had to do in order to make things right, but we just never had to courage or the strength to face up to it.

I love that moment, that single illuminating moment, when an epiphany strikes and that abrupt, violent rush of dawning realization sweeps over you until it almost leaves you breathless, and leaves you feeling lighter than you have felt in a long time.

The last 12 days have been a merciless series of bombshells, and every time it seemed as though the flames had died, another fire would start somewhere else. The last weekend was especially devastating, made worse by the feeling that I was being forced to run blind, only to see my worst fears come to life when the blindfold was pulled off.

But as is the case with any inferno, when the smoke clears, along comes a sudden flash of insight, of revelation, and with it the liberating clarity of what must happen next. Like that OMG moment that you get when you realize you’ve fallen in love, this is that OMG moment that comes with knowing how you can try to be OK again.

The seven-year burn

image

Two weeks ago, I attended the H&M Conscious Exclusive launch in Lot 10, where I ran into a friend who was handling the public relations for it. She is one of those friends whom I rarely get to see, mainly because of conflicting schedules and my increasingly scarce public appearances, but when we do see each other, we seem to be able to pick up right where we left off.

During our brief chat at H&M, she asked how I was and if I were still working for Ceres, my ex-boyfriend’s jewelry brand, to which I told her I left the company almost 11 months ago. Then she asked if I was still even with said ex-boyfriend, and I told her I wasn’t, which was why I left the company in the first place.

It was only after I left H&M that it really hit me: I had been working on my own for nearly 11 months, and I have been back here for seven years.

Every year, I would write a post on the anniversary of the day I moved back to this country. I’m not very sure why. Maybe it was to remind myself that I was not where I had intended to be, and not doing what I had intended to do. Maybe it was a way of remembering the life I had left behind, as a way of motivating myself to find a way back to that life. Four months ago, I went back to Buffalo for the first time since I had left it, and the two weeks I spent there reminded me of why I had moved back here in the first place, and why I absolutely have to find a way back out.

Last year, I renewed my vow to change the circumstances of my life. I made what seemed to me were perfectly feasible plans with someone whom I had thought shared the same desire. And now, even though those plans have failed spectacularly, my resolve remains the same, with or without this person. And given everything that has transpired in the last 10 days, it is perhaps because of this person that I am more determined than ever to see this through, to carve out a new life for myself free from the destruction left by the mistakes I’ve made.

And so begins Year 8. We’ve definitely overstayed our welcome.

Survival mode

“Jake isn’t Jake anymore, Quinn… We were trained the same way. We pushed him too far. He’s in survival mode. He’s got to that place where you don’t think. Where it’s just your five senses. Where all you do is react. Where killing is as easy as buttoning your shirt.” – Huck Finn, Scandal

alcohol

I found this on Pinterest yesterday, and it struck me as a little bit funny because mine did, in fact, begin with a salad. It was only two and a half months later that the alcohol did a much, much better job of kicking off this story. And now, one year and four months later, that story has come to a dead stop.

For the past 72 hours, I’ve been trapped in a case of the proverbial writer’s block, not knowing how to continue writing, yet not able to erase any of it or pretend I never wrote it. I wake up terrified that I’ll spend day after day wondering if my story has to end up in the trash, or if I will finally be allowed to tell it my way.

I suppose it comes with the stress of a catastrophe that kicks the brain into survival mode. According to Medical Xpress, “almost instantly after encountering something terrifying, the brain gears up for an adequate response. This can happen within seconds. The resulting integrated state of body and mind is optimized to survive threatening situations.”

And that, I realize, is exactly what I’m in now: survival mode. Fresh off the horror of everything that happened last Saturday, capped by everything that I was forced to do in order to maintain an illusion of normalcy, my entire being feels as though it’s been shoved into an alternate universe. And even though this is not the first time I’ve lived through a situation like this, the only way I know how to deal with being thrown into an emotional landmine is to fight. To fight for my place, for my dignity, and for my self-worth, whatever the cost.

But now the pause in the battle has come, and I’ve been forced to stand down, no matter how terrified I am of losing, no matter how thoroughly I have to prepare for the worst. And that silence — that deafening silence that comes immediately after the roar of cannons — is the most difficult to fight. And yet I have to sit through the silence, and the only thing more terrifying than not knowing who wins the battle is not knowing how long the battle has to be fought.