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Posted: September 15, 2019 by Rachel

I sat staring at the blank screen for more than a few minutes this morning. Clicked over to a couple blogs I enjoy. Took another sip of my near-cold coffee. Stared down at my slightly chipped manicure. Writing—the act of it, the thought of it—feels so different this year. I hadn’t realized until she was gone that so much of what I wrote was done in the hopes of pleasing my mother. I wanted to write something she would be proud of. Now, I write almost nothing at all.

What I do is read. Even more than I did before. When I open a book I’m transported elsewhere. For a time, I can be someone else, focus on something else. For a time, I can forget reality.

**

I’ve been having these vivid dreams. The latest, in which, Dom left me for cheating on him. Later, he said, “you turn everything that is good, bad.” I opened my eyes, tried to shake the dream. The clock read 5:37. I got up and made coffee which I drank in bed.

**

I’m still that woman who never wants to let the fruit bowl go empty.

**

I’m learning to say yes again. Especially when my initial reaction is to say no immediately. Especially when it involves something out of my comfort zone, which these days is a lot. It’s been easy to say no this year, but I’m finally accepting that it’s just not healthy to keep going down that road. Segregating myself from people isn’t going to make my mom’s passing any easier. So: Yes to coffee with new friends, yes to the athletic wear pop-up shop and writing sessions that likely won’t yield any writing on my part. Yes to trying not to say no, but also knowing when saying no is the best possible thing.

**

Thirty-five-years-old and and I keep thinking: Did she go home to her husband as excited as I was to have made a new friend?

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