Today's guest post is by Calvin Rey, of 17aDay fame.
A little less than a year ago, I was staying at the Heartbreak Hotel, aka bzzzzgrrrl’s guest bedroom. It was looking like my relationship of 10 years was ending kind of suddenly. And also not suddenly, because later, when I thought about it (when I could think), neither of us had been happy for a while. Whether we were the cause of one another’s unhappiness or not, something needed to give. You know?
And it gave. I spent some time in a friend’s attic space before I found a more permanent home, which turned out to be more of a temporary home, and now I am very satisfied with my beautiful apartment and with the two hilarious, genuine, kind people with whom I share it.
Getting dumped couldn’t have happened at a better time, either. I was working with a talented and huge-hearted group on a community theater project around gender and mental health, so built-in support system. I had just bought a car very cheaply from one of the cast members, so independent transportation. I had (and still have) a job that demands I be present with members of my community who have immediate needs, so daily distraction. Aforementioned friend’s attic space had just opened up, so private space to reflect and grieve. The friend’s house is downtown and within blocks of other friends, so excessive drinking followed by a safe walk home.
Of course, it hurt like hell. Still hurts a lot some days, and I struggle with all these new-again problems like dating and sex and roommates and sleeping alone and holidays and sharing friends and negotiating shared space in a small town. But mostly, my self-awareness and community connections and capacity for emotion and appreciation of life and its beauty have expanded like the shockwave of a supernova. Often I’m a mess and there are particles everywhere, and my friends love me anyway. And so do I.
So I’m grateful to my friends both local and far away who offered me shelter, food, hugs, an ear, a shoulder, or a drink. And I’m grateful to the person who spent 10 formative, turbulent, adventurous years with me and then had the wisdom to call it quits. And I’m really grateful to my resilient, messy, boundless, still-beating heart that now splits open every time I see the moon or fall in love or feel sunlight on my face (i.e., almost daily).
Over at my blog, 17aDay, I end my posts with a three-line poem of 17 syllables. (I call them haiku for short, but it’s complicated.)
Haiku for a Month of Gratitude
Letter to my heart:
Remember, the more you break
The more room you make