Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Be Here Now

I had a dream last night that after some whirlwind travel, I arrived home to find home was not my love-filled house with J~, but a 3rd-floor walk-up apartment with A~, my first husband. He was washing dishes when I arrived, and didn't look at me, as distant and unhappy as ever. I tried to pry under his shell, to reason with him, to convince him that it was better to move on than to remain in limbo, afraid of change, investing in a relationship he felt more as a trap than a treasure. For the first time I saw how useless this was, trying to convince him to leave me. If I wanted out, it was up to me to get out.

So ladies and gentlemen, I broke up with him. I didn't sweat over his every trivial complaint (the wrinkle in the bath mat, the smell of my lunch). I didn't put his few loving gestures on a pedestal and blame myself for their scarcity. I didn't worry that I had done something to upset him then struggle to make it up to him. And most of all, I didn't wait until he fell for someone else, cheated and lied. I just said, "Listen, it's been clear to me for a long time that you aren't really sure you want to be with me. I want to be with someone who is sure. And if I can't find that, I'd rather be alone. We need to go our separate ways."

And then I woke up to incessant beeping: my stepson's hyper-loud alarm clock. He couldn't hear it, he was already in the shower. And J~was already downstairs doing his morning yoga. I tried throwing a pillow over my head but then my puppy sat up from her little bed beside mine, soon to start jumping up, biting my hair, whining for me to take her outside. I was still very tired, with the same headache and sore throat that had been plaguing me for days, and a daunting "To Do" list crowding out all other thoughts.

Save this one: Maybe I didn't have the foresight to make such a bold move at the time when it would have spared me pain. Maybe I didn't have the courage then, or the self-esteem. But I have it now. And now is all that counts.