Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#322: Meanwhile, 5 years later...

I spent most of my time at the gym tonight zoning out to Rihanna Radio on Pandora, feeling quite lethargic and wondering how much longer it would take me to finish this workout. Every now and then I would notice a person around me: that super sweaty guy who didn't wipe off the machine he just left; that woman with legs I wish I had; that guy that always looks at me funny that I try to avoid.

Suddenly this blonde woman is walking towards me and I try to step out of the way because I think she's walking to a piece of equipment behind me.  Nope. She stops right in front of me, takes off her headphones and smiles.  Oh my gosh!!!

It's a woman I met about 10 years here in Boise. She wasn't doing well. There was kid drama. Her brother died suddenly. There was more drama. I'd run into her a few times a year, catch up on how she was doing [usually not so great] and we'd go another year or so. Then she went away for about 4 years and I haven't seen her in at least 5 years...Until tonight!

And she's doing wonderfully! I asked her what she was up to, and she gave the best answer ever: work, gym, home. No kid drama. No ex-husband or work drama.

There came a point in my life (rather recently, actually) where going out, being cool, having a million places to be and dozens of people to be around [very busy and important, I call it (see this scene from Love Actually)], seeking attention from men, seeking attention from women, trying to make my life look like the unrealistic picture in my head that I have cobbled together from movies, TV shows, People magazines read on flights to and from Texas, my interpretation of conversations with my parents in Texas, and random, taken-out-of-context tidbits people have said to me over the years, all fail to satisfy me in the way I hoped.

I was looking outside of myself for something or someone to make me feel complete and fulfilled but discovered, finally, that none of that stuff did it. It's like this: in the film Amelia with Hilary Swank, a man tells Amelia something [I Googled, I couldn't find the clip] like "I think I can make you happy," to which she replies, "But that's my job!"

Thus there were many great things about seeing my friend: she is happy, and I am happy for her (a post in its own right); she was brave enough to come up to me and risk having the wrong person; I got remembered by someone, which I always find miraculous [I'm like a dog: when I get out of your sight, I'm pretty sure you forget about me].

But best of all is that right there in the middle of the gym in Boise, ID, I realized that both of us, who used to be so traumatized by life and it's problems, have discovered what Amelia already knew: that each of us is in charge of making ourselves happy.

And we are both doing it.

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