there are spider webs of all the little and big monsters that threatened to inhale me during that time, but i'm going to go down only one path: since it seems to lead somewhere.
i see now that it was test. god loves the holiday test on me. i crack Him up and let's face it, who doesn't need a good laugh at the holidays. my richter-scale breaking stress level tested my resolve not to flee. run for fun country. drown myself with self-indulgence and neglectfulness. in some ways i did. but in the important ways: i didn't. i held my ground and tread water, with my head firmly out of the sand, and walked through it.
i see now that i'm on another side. not the other side, that i keep thinking i'm going to, but just a different area. an other side.
the wedding dress made me see that.
i had leaky pipes. it's a whole blog unto itself: "my house, my beloved nemesis." but that's pantry stock in the blog drafts. i had leaky pipes. this is not a revelation to me. recently, my leaky pipes leaked into my closet. it's a big story with a short ending: a $750 plumbing bill and a moldy, nasty closet from ceiling to floor.
today the insurance adjuster came out to assess the damage and go through the formality of telling me i'm screwed. to uncover the full impact of the mess, i cleared out my closet. of everything. now, you probably have your own show on bravo and keep your closet rotated out with seasons, your sweaters uniformly folded resting on clean wooden shelves; you have a special drawer for scraves: but let me tell you: you ain't me. i had maternity clothes in cleaning bags. sweaters so long on the hanger there was a layer of dust on the crease. dust people. i had dresses i would never wear, but were given to me and so i kept them there: hanging.
the wedding dress took up the far back corner. where the brunt of the mold took hold.
the insurance company said to keep all the personal property that was damaged for the adjuster to see and properly tally the perpitude of my screwed-ness. so today, my 8ft walk in closet was totally clean for the first time since i moved in: save my wedding dress hanging on the long wooden pole. matted with black mold and water spots along the hem and up the back.
i went on vacation after christmas. the guy promised to take me somewhere. and the guy is always good for keeping his word. we spent four days together. it was a great time, but the thing was that it was time for me to be me, which is what gave me the clarity to come back. the treadmill came off incline, and then eventually slowed to a manageable pace. by jan 2nd, i was clearheaded and breathing normally again. i started surveying the experience, and saw the test. began thinking on the significance.
then today i saw the wedding dress. in an empty, molding, stinky closet.
and i realized how far away i was from the person who wore that dress.
i had a great wedding. it was beautiful. i was happy. everybody got drunk at the reception. it was absolutely anything and everything i wanted in big bad ass party. but the marriage: not so much.
i had a group of friends in college that became family to me. all of them were in my wedding. it was a given. even though i still love them like family: i have to admit that i really don't know them. i don't know what they order at mcdonalds. i don't know that outfit that they wear all the time. their kids would treat me like a stranger. our intimate friendship is gone. now we are bound by the sheer power of our collective experience. they don't know me either. and i am different than i was then. i see that now.
the wedding dress made me see that. i'm on another side now. it seems like the right place to be. for now.