Be mindful and present.
It’s important to stay in the moment.
This is advice given for positive mental health from well-meaning therapists, doctors, friends, and yoga teachers, but I don’t want to be present. The present is far too painful to be mindful of and to experience this is to pour not salt, but nail polish remover, into the open wounds which cover all of me.
I want to be far in the future when I can look back and know I survived, that I tolerated too much apathy for too long, waiting waiting waiting for someone to love me, not just someone, but my someone.
Once sitting in my driveway barefoot and dirty, I was repotting houseplants rootbound for decades and somehow growing nevertheless. I banged them out off their Home Depot pots, then literally took a hatchet to the roots, chopping off the bottoms, then splitting them right down the middle, the leaves bludgeoned and sacrificed for the greater good. I was able to turn one 20-year-old Peace Lily into four, five, maybe six for me and mine, and still enough to leave by the driveway as freebies to neighbors and newlyweds starting out and wanting to clean the air in their homes.
I was crying, not a little, but a lot, sitting on the cracked blacktop, hacking away at these plants that survived years of sunshine through dirty windows and glasses of bedside water dumped on them, if and when they wilted enough to be recognized as thirsty.
He came outside then, saw me crying in the driveway, and said nothing. Now I was overcome with anger, not sad, just angry, bitter, and lonely for living with someone who treated me like a houseplant, a little sunshine, some water if and when he remembered; the obligatory birthday gift or Christmas gift so the kids could see he cared.
I told him then, through tears in the driveway, long before our kids were of the marrying age, someday we will be at our kid’s wedding, and he will be with someone else and I will always – always wonder – why I wasn’t enough.
What is wrong with me that I am not enough or, as therapists have said, perhaps too much. How is it I became rootbound and hacked into pieces, hatchet not necessary.
I’m not sure I will ever regrow, despite the fresh soil and sunshine, and water, however infrequent.
I don’t want to be present. I want to be years away from now, and from the ominous then, from the future predicted that sad day in the driveway. I did not know then, that there would be much sadder days ahead, and i guss for that I am grateful.
I don’t want to be present. Not this present. And I don’t look back from the future, and remember those driveway days happened and likely accurately predicted the future. I don’t want to laugh with frivolity and disgust, at the heartache and cliché of that of my life.
Those plants thrived despite lack of love and attention. I hope for the same.
So here I am in the moment, no matter the pain, mindful of the ever-present hurt, living-living-living, or trying to, in the present. But make no mistake about it: I don’t want to be here, not now and not ever again.
I want to be years and years and years away from this moment, and so many more, until I can barely remember the stories in the making of my future.
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prompt: NYWC Sept 2020: postcard letter from where you want to be: relationship to person or place
Thanks for this Saturday morning story, I’m glad you’re back at it. Also 😢 but I wonder if things didn’t change and grow and break apart how it would be? Some people are mediocre and go along and some people are exceptional and grow and find the sunny spot!! Sometimes I think I’m just waiting to die…and sometimes I think this is bullshit I deserve better… miserable and happy for glimpses.
Thank you for this. Thank you for you. And thank you for continuing to continue on. You’ve inspired me to crawl out of my own sludge and put pen to paper this morning. Xo
Love your writing. Thank you.
Honest is hard, and you can do hard things. Well done. 👏🏻💕