NOTE:…I wrote this last week (Thursday, June 25) at the beginning of my trip. So much has happened and I am trying to write about it all. So this is out-dated, but exactly what I felt as I embarked on this “farewell tour”. Consider this the start of a small series of posts, and I will try to get you all caught up on the things I had planned and many that I didn’t. (And don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
I’m sitting in the Denver Airport as I type this.
I like airports. When my nose is not buried in my computer I love to watch the people, hurrying from gate to gate. Some happily on vacation, others obviously moving around in a soul sucking job. Excited children watching the planes take off and land. I used to really love it before 9-11, when you could watch people arriving and meeting…happiness, tears, human emotion.
I also used to love it before March 2011….my usual pre-flight martini (s) in hand, my xanax about to be delivered. The first leg of this flight, from LA to Denver, was my first sober flight. EVER. Kind of a milestone, actually, and hopefully there will be many more.
So, after yoga last week I was talking to a friend and she used the term “aggressively ambivalent” to describe herself. It was as if the heavens opened up and god (him, her, it?-self) planted that term forever in my brain.
Isn’t that AWESOME?
It so perfectly captures my life in so many circumstances, but in regards to this trip I consider it perfect. You see, after my next flight I will be in Minneapolis, home to the in-laws (cue scary music).
The in-laws and I have not even seen each other in 7 years, since the last big wedding (another wedding is the impetus of this trip also). I had not planned on it being 7 years since we saw each other, but…well, my sponsor knows all my resentments!
I actually started to write this last week and it was very different. It was mostly about how much I had to do and how I wasn’t doing anything, how that ambivalence was feuling my attitude.
It’s a little late for all of that here, but I wanted to write some things I have been thinking about, because in the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot, and until just the other night it didn’t all come together for me in any cogent way. Look, it takes what it takes, right?
First of all, the fact is that I am a completely different person than I was 7 years ago. Besides the biological fact that our cells completely change out about every 7 years, my transformation has been due to grief, dealing with my son over the years, sobriety and now yoga and meditation. I’ve moved from my house, I’ve changed the way I eat, I have tattoos…..seriously, a sea change from last time I was there.
And them too, I expect . There have been 7 new babies that I haven’t met; one nephew came out as gay to his uber-Catholic parents, some have graduated college, Mikey is getting married! One of my brother-in-laws is 5 years sober himself and I’m hoping he’ll point me towards a good meeting when I’m at his lake home for the last part of the trip.
We all change. I have been so focused on my changes and not thinking about theirs. I have been so focused on my resentments about how I feel they “deserted” my son and I, but have not thought about how hard it must be for them to see us too.
I’ve been stressed about what to bring and wear and what they’ll think of me, all things that are none of my business, right? But I hadn’t looked at how hard this will be for them
And for me. Triggering. I think it has kind of suited us all to not see each other….and now here we are.
I am aggressively ambivalent about this whole process, but it definitely needs to be done. It may be my farewell tour…I don’t know.
What I do know is that in figuring out where the fear is in all of this, I can soften my gaze. I can look kindly on myself and therefore on them.
I have a hotel room and a car and I have not been ambivalent about planning little side treks during the week between the wedding and the lake house weekends with the family. I know where yoga and AA meetings are in the city. I’m meeting an old friend for dinner. I’m driving to Iowa for a day trip and stopping in St. Cloud on the way to the lake so I can meet two online friends, and I cannot wait. (I’ll write about it for sure)
So, here I go! My lay-over in Denver is about to end and I am walking into a (what I think I know) unknown. Because I don’t know anything about what is going to happen, how people will be…anything. “One day at a time”, “Be here now”, my yoga and AA slogans are what I need to hold on to. And I have to do that thing, you know, the one where I decide the Universe is looking out for my best interest and allow things to fall perfectly into place?
I have to soften my gaze and allow everyone, including myself, the space to be who we are today.
You know, suddenly I’m feeling a little less aggressive about my ambivalence ! See how that works?