As I shared with the group, the past two weeks I’ve been swept up in the whirlwind of Jimmy’s unexpected proposal. There was a lot for me to process, but the hardest thing was how great it was. I had finally allowed myself to fall in love with someone — and, even harder, I had allowed myself to receive his love in return. In the happy glow after his proposal — when we wandered down to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, floating among the throngs of tourists, and then later attended midnight Christmas Eve mass, sitting in the balcony seats at St. Thomas — I realized that, for once, I believed that I deserved all of it. I believed that I deserved to be this happy, to have a man declare his love for me, offer himself as my partner for life in the most vulnerable and beautiful way — and not just any man, but a remarkable, incredible man that I loved so deeply and completely. So, really, two very new and very tough things for me to process — that something wonderful was happening to me, and that I fully believed I deserved that wonderful thing. To (roughly) quote Brene Brown (for those of you who have seen her talks or read her books), the vulnerability required to embrace that kind of joy is, in a way, excruciating.
Then we announced our engagement to family and friends. I was a bit afraid to announce it, as if we’d lose part of it by doing so. There was something so special about it when it was just between us two, private and intimate. But as it turned out, having others share in our joy didn’t diminish it, but rather expanded it and made it more real.
After Christmas we almost immediately took off to northern California to celebrate New Years’ Eve — and now the big news — with my mom. In retrospect, the California trip whizzed by, but the day-to-day of it actually felt a bit slow. Chill but sunny weather with a restless wind. The postcard-like scenery of the wine country as a constant in the background. The familiarity of my mother’s house, her trinkets and framed photos, mixed with the newness of Jimmy being there with me. He hated me for saying it, but I was having trouble processing the juxtaposition of him as one of the coaches in Advanced, striding boldly around the training room, a stranger to me then — with him being with me there in my mom’s kitchen, laughing together while he was teaching me Texas Hold ‘em in the wee hours of the night, using toothpicks as poker chips.
Overall, I could feel things shifting for us, in a natural but important way. The shift occurred in the small moments, like when we were together on the plane sharing snacks, or sitting at the counter in the kitchen at my mom’s house eating one of her big Mexican breakfasts, or getting ready together upstairs for New Years’ Eve. This was it — we were it for each other. There was just no question, and the whole trip it felt like that. I almost felt silly for how I was in the beginning with him–doubting, resistant, insecure. My mom seemed to feel it, too. If she had any doubts about him, I couldn’t tell. She seemed to naturally make space for him, and he fell right in it, as if he’d been there all along.
But, to bring it back to this group, and what I’ve declared here, I definitely got caught up in it all and stopped caring about what was being neglected (my goals, this group, which are of course one and the same).
So, this week is about getting rebalanced and re-focused on my goals. That said, I don’t want to make our indulgence wrong. We both may have needed some time to embrace it, to live it, to soak it up, to let it envelop us a little. We have different reasons for it, but, we both were coming from painful pasts of prolonged loneliness and heartbreak and hopelessness.
With regard to music, I’ve done a lot of nothing, and that has to change. I’ve practiced here and there, but I’ve performed nothing. The biggest conversation holding me back is (of course) “I’m not good enough.” I’m an amateur, this is a hobby (and in my world, the second you label anything a “hobby,” it’s worth about none of your time), and I should stick to playing stuff in private rather than making a ridiculous spectacle of myself by posting things online or performing publicly.
So, having gotten that out of my system, here’s a link to the song I declared I was covering, ‘Two Sparrows in a Hurricane’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NILWPFtbIWc
While I’m working on popular music too, when it comes down to it, my heart always drifts back to the country music I grew up on. Over-indulgent nostalgia, attachment to my comfort zone & an unwillingness to be open, or just a longing of my authentic self? Not clear (did I mention I tend to overthink literally everything?). To be fair, thus far I’ve covered a rather wide mix of music, and the country songs are few and far between — but in private I play them all the time.
As a final note, this week has felt rushed, and like there are too many moving pieces. I haven’t paid my rent yet. I haven’t deposited my paycheck (over a week old) yet. I haven’t cleaned my apartment, I haven’t unpacked my suitcase, I haven’t done laundry, and there’s probably an outstanding bill or three that I haven’t paid.
I have a court date tomorrow and a trial coming up — I’d like to blame that, but, I’m a champion at managing my work schedule these days. I really think it’s just fear about what’s possible if I were to truly shift into a responsible place. I’ve always been a lot more uneasy about success than failure (and don’t get me wrong, I definitely fear failure, but it’s far more comfortable than success).