a call to joy
I’ve debated about whether I wanted to write about this or not. I sat down and tried yesterday–and got stuck. But I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s how I interpret my world. It’s how I heal. Sometimes, I wonder if that’s good. As a writer–I try to say what I mean. I try to lay it all out there, and if I get it wrong–I scrap everything and try again. And again. If I need to.
I want to get it right. I want to say things–not for you…for me. Just for me.
So, here goes.
Yesterday was probably one of the top five worst days of my entire life.
My beautiful, amazing cat–Cleo–had a series of seizures at around 7 am. We rushed her to the animal hospital. By 9:30 am, she was gone. We made the choice to euthanize her. She was on her way to death. We just wanted her suffering to end.
I had Cleo for 1/3 of my life. I had Cleo for 100% of my motherless life…for 100% of this orphan life. She was known and loved by every boyfriend I’ve ever had. Without her, I would have surely lost my mind a hundred times over. She was my heart. I could never pretend with her. I could only love her, and I fell in love with her every day I knew her. My feisty, independent, cute, incredibly compassionate, loving girl. I would have sold all of my possessions to save her. I would do anything. Anything except allow her to suffer. And she was suffering Friday morning.
Seeing her suffer was probably the hardest part. Ending the suffering was the second hardest. Living without her–unimaginable grief.
My love for her was completely unconditional, and I am completely devastated. I am also completely overwhelmed by the love people have shown me. I don’t know how to absorb it all, but I need it and I am eternally grateful for it. I feel supported in ways I have never felt. It’s insane.
Last night, I laid down and tried to sleep–after a great, lengthy conversation with my most recent ex. He is one of the people who I’ve had my differences with–and yet–I never regret the chances I give him. It was nice to talk to him. For a while, I forgot how sad I was. I didn’t bawl like I had been all day. I smiled and laughed. And talked too long. It felt normal and good. He did exactly what I needed him to do–which surprised me. I went to bed, thinking I was okay–thinking I’d finally stop crying…thinking I would stop dreaming about her. I really thought I’d be alright.
Only I couldn’t sleep. My eyes burned. My head ached. And I found myself reaching for her little belly–in the place on my pillow above my head, where she was most nights.
When she wasn’t there, I lost it. Like hardcore lost it. I ran into the bathroom, thinking I’d be quieter there, and wailed. It went on for at least 20 minutes. It scared our kitten so much that he woke up my roommate, and my roommate came to check on me. And I cried more.
I needed that. I needed to cry until I couldn’t breathe.
This was 3 am. I calmed myself down and watched my videos for the class I’m taking with Brene Brown. This week was all about creativity. And it comforted me. It came at the perfect time. It inspired me and reminded me to keep my heart open–to embrace joy.
Today, we went up to Boulder. We ordered a special cake. One that celebrates the anniversary of me not dying; the life of my incredible, precious Cleo; and my roommate’s birthday. It’s gonna be amazing. We went up to Pearl and had a great brunch at a beautiful restaurant on the West End. After, we drove around randomly and discussed the possibilities of living there. And then we talked the whole way home about our individual evolution as people and what we hope for now. It was just what I needed. Calm and natural and connected.
For weeks now, I’ve been feeling a push. I guess it came when I thought I could be seriously ill. It led me to consider leaving the job I didn’t really like, that paid me less than I’m worth, to considering a job an old boss thought I’d be perfect for. The process of getting it was effortless. Now, I can’t believe people pay me to do this–and well. It’s something that allows me to take care of myself and the things that matter–to actually achieve balance–and do things that require skill and talent. My boss is amazing and really allows me to be myself. It’s the first time I’ve felt like who I am is valued in a work situation.
That change gave me some confidence. That maybe I know what I’m doing. Maybe the Universe is cooperating. Maybe I can do all the things I want to do.
And then Cleo got sick. Seeing it happen–watching her slowly die–well, it’s a kick in the ass.
Cleo taught me to be wholehearted. She was love. She cared about me and supported me to her dying breath. That cat was the epitome of the love I want to share with others. She taught me to be in the moment and to me unabashedly myself. To be known. There wasn’t a phony bone in her body.
I am taking that to heart. I am done being angry and sad and stuck. I am done accepting crap from people. I am done accepting crap from, and for, myself. I am embracing the love she shared with me and the love I got from my Mama. I’m embracing my joy and my needs.
I am climbing the damn mountain. I am dealing with my crap, once and for all, and choosing better. I am giving up the bullshit and the crazy. I’m burying the hatchets–even if they’re legitimate–and I’m cutting cords. I am going for it.
My next adventure: all of it. Every last thing. Ready or not. Imperfect. Critics be damned.
I am giving back the crap. Even if the person it belongs to isn’t here. It isn’t mine, and I’m not fucking holding it anymore.
What is mine will persist. I get to choose.
So many changes are coming. And I’m afraid. But excited. There are amazing things just needing some legs to stand on. I’m strong enough to carry them. And I’m brave enough to keep going. For me. Finally. I know I’m worth it.