The day I finished my 20 part love story saga last week, it was a beautiful and warm 70 degrees. People smiled on the streets, holding doors open for one another, telling strangers “Hi.” I am visibly pregnant by this point so my whole “What A Wonderful World” version of events may be because I’m quite adorable lately. And spring weather never hurts…
I went into Stop & Shop to hear Petty’s “Learning To Fly” begin the second I got my cart. I would have been just as happy with the Pink Floyd song of the same name. Every time I post a particularly hard or poignant-to-me blog I go into hiding right after. I won’t see your comments or texts or emails until later. I get scared and vulnerable. I get the need to go stretch my arms and legs into the world and to stretch my brain away from dependency on the iPhone. So after about two hours away from the internet, which is all I could handle after finishing a month long writing project and needing to see how it was received, well I was overwhelmed by the love. It’s what keeps me going. It also makes me a little crazy as most of you know that when someone compliments my writing, I go temporarily insane and think I’ll never produce anything ever again. This time around, I was calmer about it. That story had to end. And it had to end when it did. So after working tirelessly on it, I felt like it was ok to bask in completion satisfaction and let Cassidy cook me a celebratory dinner/dessert that night.
One of the best comments I read was a dear friend who is also a blogger friend saying that the ending was also a beginning. And that’s my favorite way to look at the story ever since. It hurt me more than I imagined to get to the endpoint. I felt like for years I had held my story so sacred and close to my heart and that no one could touch it. And if I let it go, what if it lost its magic and durability in the face of the public? What if I had nothing left to hug except memories?
And then I realized. That story was the beginning. It started when I was 24 and I ended it at 31. Do you know how many stories I will live to tell after that one? Hopefully lots! Especially if I have the longevity gene my mom’s side of the family seems to have. The story of how we met will spin off many stories that would never have been made possible if it hadn’t happened. We may get even better stories, or at least comparable ones. We can take what we learned from that story and pass it on through our lives and our struggles with money, career, travel, marriage, whatever. And of course, our kids will read it and probably want to leave us for California one day and then we’ll have no choice but to subtly follow them.
After hearing my friend’s awesome “the ending is the beginning” comment, I also learned from a very wise source who has been teaching me anxiety control over the last couple of months that every loss is an opening. Sometimes the trauma of the loss can make that opening murky and nearly impossible to see. Sometimes you can’t see it for years. Sometimes never. I have to know to look for it. It is still a theme that has followed me for years. My father died when I was barely out of my toddler stage, if at all, and that sucks and was horrific but it made the way to meet my new family and live the life I lived. It made me become the person that I am. I hope I would have turned out into an ok person either way. I do think we keep our essential beings and hearts and minds, no matter where our lives take us.
Would I have been just fine and dandy without Cassidy and with different or no children? Probably, but I’m sure glad I’ll never find out. This life that I’m living does seem like it was written in the stars when I was born.
For years, even decades, I thought that romantic love was the pinnacle of human experience. I thought that once you had it, you’d think, “Well, now what?” Would life get boring and mundane now? What would you search for when you already found your soulmate? And now I’m so glad I wrote this story when I wrote it. It would be different at every point in life, sure, but it takes on a new meaning when written so close to having two children, one girl and one boy. That love story used to be the most powerful weight in my life, and maybe it still is, now that I found out the new power and magic it led to – motherhood.
So I find myself, a week later, being ok with completing the story. I’m inspired to start new ones. The letdown passed after several days and now I’m looking forward to new beginnings – both the ones that grow out of loss, and the ones that grow out of pure love, plain and simply. Whatever the origin, our world is filled with new beginnings.