I thought my ex had moved to Indiana a few years ago, and that relieved me. I would never have the chance to run into her again. But just now, driving home on a constant cut-through street, I recognized her tippy toe walk. I always recognize her walk. She was making her way around the block with a tiny toy dog and her wife, who gathered up a big hocker, and spit while they were walking. Turns out, she’s lived 4 minutes away the whole time.
When I have seen her in the past (which was rare), I was filled with emotions. Shame, anger, massive distrust were at the head of a many dog pack. This time, I said out loud, “Thank you, God.”
Thank you for everything that has come after. The coming out. The sermons at church. Dating Tia, who taught me more about trust than anyone I know. Dating Kim, who made me feel something akin to a very familiar home. Adventures alone. Telling the truth. Getting layers and layers of counseling. Writing. Photography. Artwork. Adopted families. Riding my bike. Going to the pool. Being an IB Coordinator. Going to Ghost Ranch. And Austin. And Houston. And every inch of Amish Country
When we were at Supper Club last Sunday, we talked about the questions: what was the happiest time in your life and why? I won’t tell you what others said, though the conversation was rich, but I said, there was a time before happiness was possible and time after which happiness was guaranteed. The pivot date was February 16th, 2008.
That’s the day I walked around Fernway School telling people who I was and who I loved and that I was sad she was leaving me. Desperately sad. Before then, I was filled with hatred and embarrassment. But that day, I finally became human and I have never turned back.
When we met months after she left me, she tried to take credit for my foray into cranial sacral therapy and my honesty at work. That’s how much she needed to believe she had done the right thing.
I knew that was bullshit then, and I know it is bullshit today.
In crisis, I took charge. I owned up. I stepped forward. I risked it all to find and feed a new iteration of myself. That was not not her, that was all me.
I am more beautiful than I was then – not actually physically, but my smile tells the truth. I am smarter. I am more confident. I am more loving (though not loving enough). I am more giving. I listen with both ears. I am unrelentingly committed to the truth.
I don’t lie. I don’t spit. I would never own a teeny weeny dog.
She ended up with the right woman and so did I. I ended up with me.
Thank you, God.