Some days I wander around the place a little aimlessly, crying off and on in an almost distracted way. Going from calm, humming, puttering mode to ugly crying, hands-over-face-snotty-mess and back again, easily. Today I was in this phase of back and forth, talking to Dave, working on a poster for a friend, and doing laundry when it occurred to me that I will have to protect my delicate urge to do something new with my life. I will have to think of that tiny flame as a precious, precious thing and guard it, fight for it, claw and gnaw my way to it, until it is a roaring bonfire. I will have to be like my own little superhero, inside myself, beating back thoughts of doubt and fear. I have to bludgeon the hell out of them or they’ll extinguish the little flame. I have to build a little shelter around it and tend it.
I sat at the desk in front of the window, taking a little break from drawing and talking out loud to Dave. It’s one of those days here when the sun keeps playing peekaboo with the clouds and it suddenly broke through a thick clot of steel gray and shone down directly on me. I thought of Dave sending me that sunbeam and realized how much his death has made me the kind of person who entertains thoughts like “my dead husband sent me a sunbeam”, instead of explaining it away with science and coincidence. Now, it’s simple. Nothing is explainable anymore. Nothing is impossible. If Dave could be taken from this life like he was, than anything is possible. And I honestly don’t care if the sunbeams come from Dave or not. I don’t care what might be true. Only what could be.
That sunbeam was like a blessing. Encouragement from the Universe (which to me, IS Dave. They are indistinguishable to me).
You can do it. You can do what most people try without success to do. You can fiercely protect the urge to find happiness. You can beat back the fear of taking the leap and let the flame grow. You can do what you thought you couldn’t. And, in fact, that is exactly why you should do it. Because you thought you couldn’t.
I want to write and make art and see how those things make others happy. Or changed. Or different in some way. I want to do those things because I want to, not because they will make me a living. What I want has to come first and the rest will come along for the ride. This is the hardest thing for me to tell myself. I’m the daughter of a man who had a depression mentality. He worked his ass off because that’s what you did. You didn’t take time for “yourself” because that was ludicrous and self-serving. You did what would bring in the money whether you liked it or not. You go to school to get a good job and make money. Period. And I was with someone with similar values for 15 years. The voice of logic is very loud and convincing.
Hey, the economy sucks and you are giving up a job that pays well and has great benefits AND gives you tons of time off. ARE YOU NUTS?!
Well yes, I am, but that’s beside the point. Maybe I might have to work at a job I don’t love so I can do what I love. But maybe it’s possible to make a living doing what I love, too. It could happen. It might take sacrifice. It might take hard work. It might be scary, scary stuff, but it could happen.
So I’ll keep tending that flame and protecting it like a mama bear protects her vulnerable little cub. Keep it close and warm and treat it like the miracle it is. And I'll keep letting the sunbeams remind me that I'm on the right track.