An excerpt in progress:
Another fork in the road, but we keep on dreaming.* A lyric from a classic 90s duo (check out their frosted tips) known as Savage Garden. As I write this chapter, I am reflecting on today’s events which comprised mostly of heart-wrenching awfulness. When I feel, I feel intensely. And I felt. Not going to hide the fact that the idea for this book (I am writing a book) and acting on that idea didn’t spring forward from some kind of trauma. Because it did. I think most people can relate, going through something, even a break-up, or maybe especially a break-up; you need to do something, to change something. Over the years I think I have coloured my hair, or changed its style, bought new outfits. Small gestures to fill the void, to feel like that was me then, and now? Now I’m this better version of myself: look how hot I am with this new top, with this new hair – see how it shines?—with this new dog, new piercing, whatever your new is. This time around, it was a whole summer of rowing, learning Tarot(!), and getting some therapy—which all lead to writing, and then, ultimately, the idea of writing a book.
So I thank you to the man-who-shall-not-be-named, or if he must, shall go by Bob. His choice, chosen on a snowy November day in a coffee shop months after not seeing each other by choice. ‘Twas hard I admit. But that ‘hard’ness is necessary. And something that my good friend Jayne told me moments after the whole heartbreak, “JV, I am so proud of you.” Her intent? Breaking up is tough. But having made the choice because you realize the person isn’t right for you? Great for you? Yes. You could build a life together? Yes… But ultimately (a word I seem to be very fond of), not the right person for you. She is proud that we had the balls to end it. You get to an age, and yes I realize I am still young, but you get to an age where you can settle. It is easier. More comfortable, but you could be robbing yourself of some greatness, of that prospective person – in Phoebe Buffay’s words: “your lobster!” – of that better fit. We often settle, it’s in our DNA to do so, take the easier route, the safest path. I don’t want that. Nor does Bob. So good on us. Still gut-wrenching awful, intense pain in my heart muscles. But a little Savage Garden, and I feel like, you know, time will set me free (another SG lyric. Seriously, their 1999 album is good stuff!). So grab yourself a broom and sweep out those emotional cobwebs. Tomorrow is a brand new day. And if you can’t wait for tomorrow, the next minute is a brand new minute where you can make the choice to start dreaming a reality into existence that is so right for you.
Go now and prosper.
*I have since learned these are not the lyrics. Classic me makes lyrics up unknowingly. But I like mine better, so I kept them. The real lyrics are from Two Beds and a Coffee Machine and are, “Another ditch in the road, you keep moving, another stop sign, you keep moving on.” They may or may not be about leaving an abusive relationship, which does not relate to my experience. Just an FYI. But a beautiful song nonetheless.