Today is the anniversary of a lesson (and it has nothing to do with a man named Christopher).
I think most people would say it's the anniversary of a very bad day, and they wouldn't be entirely wrong about that, but I haven't thought about it as a bad day for the last ten years or so. For certain a date when I allowed myself to be pulled down the road less traveled when standing my ground and taking the brightly-lit path might have been a significantly better choice.
Regardless, one more set of footprints on that dark road.
I know other people who have been there and haven't been able to escape the shadows of that more densely-forested lane, but I feel like I did. And I grew from it, and helped lots of people who needed that help, particularly from someone who had the same dust on her shoes.
I've been reading a bit about the pesky, thorny people that come into your life and stick on like brambles and exceptionally tired chewing gum. For me, it used to be the glue-eater in elementary school, and then it was the overzealous coworker who always had her nose and toes and ears in my office asking me where I got my shoes. These people had things to teach me, whether or not I learned them the first time or after declining the seventh invitation to the pyramid scheme kitchen gadget party. I'm reading a Big Girl Book right now, and I feel I must share with you that this idea is not my own. These people are lovingly referred to as Petty Tyrants, and they A) only come to us if we're really, really lucky and B) are here to teach us important lessons about ourselves. If we're incredibly fortunate, we get an egotistical d-bag named Christopher who begets the pillaging of an entire continent (or two) and the countless peoples within.
Now, I'm not America (obviously). Nor am I so "fortunate" as to be pillaged by the Sons of the Spanish Armada. But I am more than navel deep in my own epic narrative down another road less traveled, and I'm starting to wonder if my tyrant is more of an experience than an embodied person. A situation I've gotten myself into.
Sometimes I imagine that God is laughing - hysterically - about my situation. It's actually pretty funny to think about. I know a lot about preparing women for birth, so a lot of them come to my yoga classes or want to hire me as a doula, or just want to message/text/call me with questions. And it is SUCH an honor to be a part of their experiences! (You want to talk about an experience as f-ed over as pre-Colonial America? try birth). I am absolutely thrilled beyond my wildest dreams that people value my opinion, want my support, or hear my voice in their heads repeating something that made sense when they're in the midst of the cyclone of birth or motherhood.
And yet, the bitter sadness that despite doing everything "right," and learning that nothing is "wrong" that I'm still on the wrong side of that zoo glass. The side that sees motherhood as a spectator. A super fan with no way in.
So here I am, on this dark path, again confronting an experience. Eager (desperate?) to learn the lesson. Trying to find grace and gratitude for the opportunity.
The beauty in the ashes.
I don't like Mondays too much.