‘Hello soul. I am learning what you love. I will get more of this for us. I promise.’
– Glennon Doyle Melton, love warrior.
In 2-days I’ll leave on a 10-day trip, in a car, with 2-women, 2-sweet friends.
We have a final destination, and more than that, we have each other.
We know we’ll go north, and we know certain truths, but not one single truth on where, or how, or for how long.
Meaning, we don’t know what we’re driving, where we’re staying, or for how long.
We know that traveling along the coast, and the curves there, and the silence there to say things like wow, and god, are already in our bodies. And to know that is how we came to agree a few months ago, that we would travel up those curves together.
I have one million and one times been able to do that alone, because alone is an answer I’m comfortable with. Alone in a bed. Alone in a car. Alone in the spaces, all spaces.
It terrifies many people to be alone, but I am terrified of the opposite.
I am confused by the opposite, as though staring at a math puzzle, about showing my work in the margins, about handing in a paper that has zero words on it, other than you name at the top. How do people share one bed, how do people sit side by side in cars, how do people fall in love on a Tuesday in October, and decide that same week that in 3-months they will go on a caribbean cruise in December. How do people decide this closet space is where you can put your shoes, and who takes the dog out in the morning, both of us?
It’s a confusion I have yet to successfully out-run, and I am relieved every single time I get to go home alone. I am never wishing I was still there, I am never wishing your arms were still wrapped across my belly and we were still dancing in the kitchen, I am never wishing I ordered dessert and stayed for one more glass of wine.
I am never wishing for these things, but I am often aching to understand why I never do.
I am always relieved to be home, and glad that I am not drunk. For the times I am drunk with you, in celebration, I do wish for your arms, and yes I will have the chocolate cake, and of course I could stay for one more glass…
For the times I do get drunk, I am most often ashamed, because I cannot untie years of how you all knew me, or rather what I remember most that you know, and all the years of how I knew him, and my fingers cannot undo the knot were it all intersects no matter how gently I work them across the knot.
Because I know anyway, I’ll go home alone.
And I will be so relieved about it.
Loneliness has it’s very own ache reserved for this type of isolation. And it comes when I realize that I do not have you to whisper to at-night, to pull your hair back behind your ear in the morning, to kiss you on the softest part of your temple and your bottom lip, to make eggs and coffee.
What’s scary about lately is I have been letting myself do the things I vow confuse and elude me. I am writing in the margins, and on the backs of pages. I am drifting off in conversations thinking about the thing that you said that made me laugh out loud, and my whole body knew in that moment that I am unlearning what it is to be alone.
I am letting myself go in a situation that is safe enough, to be there long enough to where you and I are in the car together. And so I am unlearning a language where I will ultimately stumble soon anyway, as it is with any language and any new words that you do not have to practice everyday. I will stumble soon enough, and I will go to say the words, and they will not be in my body enough to remember.
So you see, safe enough.
All of us, and our languages, and the way you teach them to me. And I teach you about me.
When I love the way a word sounds, I say that word out-loud no matter where I am.
I am always always practicing.
As I get older, I want more answers, and I want more proof.
I want to know that if I’m to kiss your bottom lip in the morning that you’re going to keep your hands across my belly when we’re dancing in the kitchen. Even when I say, you/I/we, but not together, should go home now.
If I’m to do all this work in the margins, I need to know that you’ll be there for me to hand this dog-eared page to.
I need proof in what’s practical too.
A 401K with robust returns.
A monthly reimbursement for my efforts.
Top dollar, because well hell, I am established and I am top dollar.
And no matter where I am, I cannot be louder than that hollow hollow chorus that repeats itself like a stadium chant.
Alone. Alone. Alone.
In 2-days I leave on a 10-day trip with 2-sweet friends, we have nothing planned except for, we’re going to get there together. In the weather of my life currently, it is all very very grey.
The weatherman would have looked at my forecast lately and said,
with a chance of grey,
and a likelihood of grey.
And though I love this color. I do not want to live in this color for much longer. Even more than blue, it is the color of lonely. It is the color of not knowing, and the hoping that in one more year, those hues will lift out, and reveal something…anything…
More than a wish, more than that.
Saying yes to being in a car, and sleeping next to, and having not one tether to something known is exactly the kind of thing I need to say yes to right now.
Just 12-hours ago I was plotting how to get out of it, and what I would do instead.
It is exactly how I will un-learn what is comfortable and learn the new language that I ache for. How I could say the same words, but say them in a way more people can understand what I am trying to say.
Saying this new language in the morning when I learn about how you take your coffee.
Saying this new language where I wake up to meaningful work, purpose driven.
What I’ve been saying, and how I say it, have gotten me this far.
Much further than I was ever supposed to go I think.
If I look at where I came from, to get where I am now, was a matter of god, and wow, and trying this way, and falling, and moving, and staying, and fighting, and fists, and fury, and love, and love.
We’ll travel up a coast that makes sense to me, in how much changes in 60-miles or one hour.
An ocean that soothes me in how big, unforgiving and healing it is.
Into weather that is mostly grey as we head up North. Which is exactly what I must stand among, as it is exactly where I am. I was not meant to do this one alone, I was meant to do this one with 2-women who are asking the same beautiful questions, and we just so happen to be brave enough, and wild enough, to ask them together.
And the color is no excuse to not ask the big questions out-loud.
You could end up excusing your whole life away.
ps. I am reading Glennon Doyle Meltons magnificent book right now, love warrior….of the sea, she says. ‘Hello soul. I am learning what you love. I will get more of this for us. I promise.’
Straight into the grey.
See you soon.