Most of my friends are married, own homes, are parents of fabulous kids and are on a career path that’s going end with a well-earned pension. They all seem to have their shit sorted, are settled down and are adulting like normal people.
Then there’s me.
When I am out walking a dog and weaving my way through a new neighbourhood, I see not just homes, but lives. I see roots being planted. Stories being written. A place people call home. And I think, ‘How wonderful.’ But then. Then it happens. I hear the sound of a vacuum in a driveway and see someone cleaning out a minivan, see an open garage with boxes piled high – chaos stored within its walls, smell the scent of fresh laundry, notice unfinished renovations or see someone weeding their garden and instantly, I become anxious. What I see and smell reminds me that alongside all the ‘wonderful’ are things like chores, compromises, resentment, anger and unfulfilled dreams and I can’t help but wonder, ‘Are these people actually happy?‘ And as I continue on my way, I feel relieved, lucky in fact, that it’s not me. That nothing and nobody is waiting for me at home. I find domestication suffocating and thoroughly insufferable. The destiny that awaits me isn’t a white picket fence and routine. Oh no, out there waiting for me are lessons to learn, words to be written, Horizons to fly towards, and experiences that will lead me…to me, and my dreams. What has yet to make sense in my life, finally will, if I just stay on the path, I am on. Alone.
Don’t get the wrong impression, though. I love, and I love really goddamn hard. Like, there is a 99 percent chance at least one of my friends is getting an ‘I love you’ text from me tomorrow. That’s just how I roll. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and if I love you, you know it. Love is what makes the world go round, and without it, we would all just be a bunch of unfeeling assholes. I am totally not one of those. But…DOMESTICATION? *gag* THAT is like the plague to me. In fact, I have a much greater chance of surviving the plague than surviving settling down and being still. No matter how much I love, or how captivated my heart is, it will never be enough. I have a one-track mind, and it belongs to my dreams. So, fuck the matching track suits and the ‘her and her’ bath robes. I am on the move. And I need to keep moving.
This past week was one of the worst I have had in a very long time. The saying is, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ Well, that’s great and all, except when you have lemons flying at your face from every possible angle. How the hell are you supposed to get a grip on even one goddamn lemon to start squeezing when you’re getting knocked on your ass from constant flying fucking fruit? I certainly couldn’t squeeze anything. So, I fell into a deep depression accompanied by a hint of blind rage and sat suffering all alone. I didn’t write anything, and I completely lost myself.
Finally, last night, I decided that I needed to talk to someone. My face was beginning to hurt from my furrowed brow, and I was feeling like a useless pile of garbage. I drove to my friend’s house to talk to her, and her husband about my lemons. But dammit, I didn’t think they were home and left. I sent her a text to say I had stopped by and told her I just wanted to talk about my lemons. Disappointed, I drove back home. The song ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ came on the radio. The elation I normally feel upon hearing that song was instead met with a big, ‘FUCK YOURSELVES HARD, JOURNEY!’ I knew I had hit rock bottom.
Still fuelled by the desire to feel better, I texted my other friend. ‘I CAN’T HANDLE MY LEMONS!’ And, her response was just what I needed. ‘YOUR LEMONS ARE FUCKING STUPID!’ We went back and forth, and I complained about all my lemons and got them off my chest. I apologized for dumping all of them on her, but she said, ‘If it were me I would feel the same way!’ She talked me through it. And I realized at that moment, that together we were starting to make lemonade. She then said something that made me almost choke on a piece of broccoli because I laughed out loud. There I was, alone, and for the first time in days, I enjoyed a genuine laugh. For the first time in a week, I felt free of my lemons and once again I had hope. Then my other friend sent a text asking, ‘Do you still need talk about your lemons?’ She didn’t even question the fact I had referenced fruit in my text; she was just ready to talk. These are my friends. Ready to talk about my lemons and squeeze when I am in desperate need of some lemonade.
When I put my phone down, I felt relieved, clear-headed and back on track. I thought about the misery I had wallowed in all week, and how I tried to handle it all alone. I couldn’t. And I didn’t need to.
My life doesn’t consist of the same four walls and a family of my own. Mine is an adventure, and the walls that surround me are always different. But the one thing that is consistent in my life is love. The people who are willing to squeeze my lemons (Jesus Christ that sounds dirty) and bring me back from the darkness when it consumes me. They will always be there for me. And I will always be there for them.
I am not sure exactly what I am going to find within myself when I get to where I am going, but I do believe it will be bliss.
The next time I get whacked in the face by flying fruit and am lost in the darkness, far from bliss, I am going to reach out and ask for some help.
My friends know how to squeeze lemons and make really great fucking lemonade.