I once heard said that every exposure to a new person must be treated as a brand new meeting. As if this is a person you have never met before, someone who has lived a new lifetime of experiences... as I say this I imagine a lifetime as meaning literally any amount of time (since some lifetimes are only breaths long). I wish it were that easy to be kind to one another and allow people to grown and transform without apologies...
Sinking into a bottle of Rosso di Montalcino I realize a couple of things: red wine makes me weepy (and we both know I didn't need any extra reasons to cry easily) and I have a lot of mourning over the loss of my relationship with my family because they took someone else's (someone who needed their support more than I) side during a family conflict. This loss seems permanent to me, incredibly lonely because I have no other family in this city, and very much the direct result of the actions of a previous friend of mine. I wish it was in my heart to be kind and forgiving and to allow that resentment to drift out of me and lighten my heavy. But there are two many loose ends to tie up for me to do that. I have to also acknowledge that those loose ends only exist in my reality, they do not exist for her, and it is not my role to cement her into some mold that she can never grow from. The loose ends in our friendship and the destruction she left behind- shadows were burned into the few buildings left standing- is not her's to carry. She gets to walk away, and I get to also walk away. Even if every part of me wants to pick up a broom and carry out major rescue efforts. Maybe the kindest thing to do is to leave dead bodies to decompose as they fall, because god knows we don't need cemeteries to hold on to something. "Cemeteries are just the Earth's way of not letting go"(Buddy Wakefield)... I'm tired of just holding on to the little pieces that seem to fit a life that I had dreamed of. A life that I was never entitled to and that I don't get to just Frankenstein together for my girls.
Isn't that what we do, though? We dream up all of the ways that we were cut by shattered dreams and gift our children everything we ever wanted. The house with a yard, the mom and dad married (at any cost), the baseball bat with the carbon fiber coating, the Jordans, the vacations at Disney World, the snow cones (allllll of the snow cones). We work so hard at giving them everything we never had, and sometimes (if we are super aware and intelligent parents) teaching them everything we wish we knew... we forget about all the lessons we did know and why we knew them. Maybe all of these broken parts are what actually made us real.
I have a friend who is struggling with her teen daughter. I hear you. I had a teen, once, who I tried to shape. I think I know what you mean. But I really don't. I need to step back and honor her experience, and stop offering advice that I have planned out before words have even left her mouth. Maybe the trick is to allow our children to be new people every conversation we have... acknowledge that they are just transforming and maybe the time they snuck out of the house is no longer who they are in essence. Perhaps even recognize that the loose ends they left for us to tie up are not strings to the helium balloon that floats up but just the shedding of a chrysalis- even if what comes out is the most hideous moth you have ever seen. My point is- maybe you don't have to clean up after them. Maybe you can give them the kindness to accept them as evolving and hope that one day they will recognize you in your experiences, too. Like I never cleaned up the pieces from violent fits and words burned in my mind to allow my mom to become one of my very best friends. Because she is not today who she was then, and neither am I.
Can people change? Hahaha. I can't believe this post got to this... sort of a stream of consciousness that led me much further into philosophy than expected. Well, given my history, how could I ever say that people don't change? One of my favorite people recently said to me: no one goes back to AA just to say "Hey, everyone, I've started drinking wine again and I'm fine". We do, in fact, learn tools to cope and manage that are more effective (though not always better) than those we had before. We do find epiphanies in bottles of wine only opened to the memory of extraordinarily wasteful people who, clearly, were onto something. And sometimes those epiphanies can change you forever. My hope is just that in writing these words I can internalize these lessons of kindness and life with more connection within myself... and that any spectator finds some sort of inspiration to explore these subjects similarly.
Have anything to say? Your words often inspire me more than I (or wine) do... so share away!