a woman in process...
i am a woman in process. i am in process, mid process, early process, late process. all of these things apply. this may be short because isn’t it just too late at night or, nope look at that it’s morning. isn’t it just too early in the am to be starting to write about this? about this thing called life that is just so….brilliant...
i saw a palm tree today. well i saw many, but at sunset, by the ocean, driving back to work to pick up one of my best friends, my brain filled with thoughts rushing faster than lava falls in the grand canyon, i saw this one palm tree. standing tall, standing sturdy, blowing in the santa ana winds. if that’s what these winds even are. we all seem to call ‘santa ana’ any time the wind blows here in my home of angels, myself included.
but this tree. this giant sturdy bowing tree. i was jealous of it. i was jealous of the tree.
i got an email from someone i have not heard from in two years. someone i was planning on spending the rest of my life with for all the wrong, and i mean all the wrong reasons, save one, and even though it was the most important one, it was not enough to stay. i wasn’t going to tell anyone and now i am telling the world. i don’t know what i am going to do with it.
but that tree. that tree just stood and let the wind blow hard right through it. never letting it actually shake it from where it was rooted, from who it was. that tree wasn’t changing or going anywhere it didn’t want to go. maybe, if a piece of it was dead and ready, it would fly away and travel to the sidewalk or the sea to become the perfect corset for a land girl or a mermaid. and if there were new things ready to blossom the tree would nurture and allow and keep standing in its tree-ness as the new green sprouted through a place where there was once nothing at all.
i loved him once. and it took two to tango. he provided me with an enormous amount of healing, an enormous amount of growth. me, chasing after love from a heritage of alcoholics who were never shown how to love themselves. he chasing after the next high that could distract him from his self-loathing. me, chasing after him to heal him, to heal me, to heal my family, to heal us all.
and there was love too, untouched, pure, soul to soul love. but guess what? it didn’t work. i can’t save him. i never could. and he can’t save me. and my family are the only ones who can heal themselves. and they are, in their way. and i have, in my way. we are still, healing in our way. and him? well i have no idea about him. and i have no idea if i want to. which i know scares a lot of people, myself included.
and that tree. it was as if it was speaking to me: see me, watch me, learn from me. it doesn’t actually matter what blows through me. i am here rooted in myself, rooted in my magnificence and nothing is going to change that. i can’t control when these dead branches fall away. they drop when they are ready to drop. when they have gotten too heavy to carry. when they get in the way of me being able to stand in my glory. when they get in the way of how i have always been meant to stand. the way i was raised to stand. there are days when the wind blows gently and there are days when the wind blows so hard i wonder if i will end up bare but i never do. i stand and i allow and i bend and i feel the air on my tree skin and i know. i know i will always be here and i will always be me. i will be this tree.
there was magic between us regardless of the dovetailing issues. of course there was, there were dovetailing issues, so there was magic. and it hasn’t been matched, not yet. well in one way it has and i suppose this is the most important thing for me to remember no matter what i do.
i have matched it. i have surpassed it. i have seen the way i want to be treated, the way i couldn’t be treated with him. to no real fault of anyone, all of us doing the best we could at all times. truly, as hard as that may be sometimes to believe, it’s true. i have been working on treating myself the way i want to be treated. i have been working on listening to myself and accepting myself and being affectionate with myself. i have learned to be kinder to myself, to be gentler, to be more observant and complimentary. i am learning to ask myself for what i want and not outsource my happiness to other people. i am learning to appreciate the beauty of who i am inside and out independent of him. and by him i mean all hims not specifically him. and by him i mean anyone.
i don’t know what i am going to do with him, if i do anything at all. i am a woman in process.
still that tree, as i watched it sway, it seemed to enjoy it. it seemed to enjoy every gust of wind, every motion and i noticed while my eyes began to dampen, it was not standing alone. it was standing tall and by itself but it was not standing alone. there were many, many trees blowing next to it. all living their magnificent tree lives and knowing who they were and what they were there to do, with each other, but not for each other, not for anyone. just for them. just because it is what they were there to do. without question. and i had to ask, what am i here to do without question?
and the only answer to that is love. i am here to love. and what i am learning, what i seem to always be in the process of learning, is that there is no wrong way to do that. i suppose i could place judgement on there being healthier ways or more/less conscious ways, but i am pretty sure this isn’t even true. it's still just a judgement i am making.
and i have loved many men and tonight as i type and think about that tree i am aware they are all part of me and will forever be. they are my ghost branches that have floated away with each seasons santa ana’s. and not a lot comes from questioning when it is their time to go or if they will ever come back. not a lot comes from questioning at all.
and what is left of me is the part i care about. what is left of me in every moment. will i be like that tree? can i be like that tree? and trust that no matter what happens in any and every choice i make i will stand in myself, rooted, committed to the highest most loved-filled action whatever i feel that is at the time? and let’s be clear i get to make that decision, in me, for me, by me. and god knows i am clear about wanting, about deserving more than i got, more than i was searching for from the paths of the past as much as they taught me then. i am ready to welcome in the new experience and no longer want to track backwards. this i know.
and i know i am here to love. so love i will. in the only way i know how. like that tree. openly. proudly. rooted in the deepest part of my heart. like the tree in it's tree-ness i will root in the deepest part of my me-ness. and i will know that even in process and no matter what i choose, i am magnificent and i will not be blown over by the wind, i will let it caress me and grow me and prune me. i will let it guide me to live as boldly and beautifully as i know i am here to live.
and i will thank every little breeze or giant gust of wind that comes my way and i will know and accept and love in a very real way i will always be a women in process….