Sunday, March 13, 2011
This is another in my inspirational life-coaching posts. Here's a little story.
I had just left my ex's home that we had bought when I was pregnant and had lived in for 23 years. I moved into an apartment. I took no furniture with me. I let him have the house and the furniture. I wanted a fresh start, no wandering around the house I raised my son in or looking at things we bought together. But, I also did not have any experience at being on my own, paying bills, adult responsibilities, all the technicalities of life. I was two weeks into it and exhausted. I barely slept. Things weren't working well between the court paperwork for the divorce and making deals without lawyers and then trying to get things done with my hookups for banking and cable and all the other "stuff."
One day, I plopped down on the living room floor, sun shining through hotly from the huge picture windows. I had no furniture and so I laid back on the carpet and had a good cry. I cried for a while, staring out the window at a tree and a thought poked at my mind faintly, "how long are you going to do this? You have a shit load of stuff to get done, you know?" The sad part of me wanting a pity party said back, "leave me alone, I've earned this." The logical side said, "Well, I'm just saying, I don't see anyone else around here to get this done." I had to smile at that thought. No one was coming to rescue me. My life was not a romantic comedy.
Or was it?
I thought about the heroines in romantic comedies. The director and writer throw all kinds of obstacles in the character's path. She looks like an idiot. Does everything wrong and awkward. Says the wrong thing. Makes the wrong decisions. She bumbles through the whole movie until at the end if all turns out okay. My every day so far was like a stumbling heroine trying to make a new life and find happiness.
I was a character in a romantic comedy.
I didn't have to look great at what I do, but I was at least doing it. I might be a mess on my living room floor with no furniture, but I got to choose what would fill the room. I got to clear up the ongoing issues and master new skills. And, somewhere in all of that, a loving man would show up and add to the rewards of the romantic comedy of my life and love me in spite of my blundering and my goofiness and my lack of home decor.
I thought of Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle" when she fumbled with her awkward boyfriend turned fiance and daydreamed about Tom Hanks. She made bad decisions. She had very awkward moments. She blundered and nearly missed him at a critical moment.
Our lives are not flawless and smooth. They have drama. They have self doubt. They have moments of total collapse. Somehow, in the story of our lives, those are some of the most endearing moments.
That shift in perspective on that living room floor turned my life from some kind of pathetic tragic "Steel Magnolias" mood to a "Under the Tuscan Sun" moment. I was a woman bumbling in her first place, like Mary Tyler Moore or Rhoda or Laverne and Shirley. I was in good company and I was leading my own life.
Roadblocks now are just the director in the romantic comedy of my life throwing plot devices at me to make my life story more interesting and challenging. To make me more deserving of the rewards when they come.
"Let's throw it at her and see how she comes out of this one."