Holding the pages of my book flat on the table with my right hand, I use my ambidextrous abilities, and with my left, encourage the little spoon from my acai bowl to my face. It’s a big deal – not the fact that I’m eating, that’s far too easy. I’m out and about. Adulting. Doing big girl things. Gazing up from my book, I look around. The breeze is warm and slightly less humid today. It definitely doesn’t feel like December.
I am ok here. I will be ok here.
All my life, I have vowed that I would never live in Florida. I’m not exactly sure why. We always vacationed here. I never imagined living where I vacationed. Then again, Charleston has been my home. Numba one city in the world, bitchessss. And you know what they say: never say never. Here I am, somewhat against my will, about to call myself a Florida resident. Le sigh.
At first it was easy to simply resist everything. The hard things. If I didn’t give in, maybe they would evaporate into thin air. Isn’t that how our minds are programmed? Avoidance. Saying no. Disbelief. Placing the blame on whoever, whatever you can.
Hard things have been a consistent hurdle over the past year or so; surgery, pain, financial instability, being stripped of my independence, loneliness, more surgery, not having a place to call home… I could go on. For your sake, I’m going to stop myself. You get the picture.
We all have hard things that come up. Resistance only worsens the sting.
Acceptance. Gradual acceptance. That is the answer. So, I have accepted life’s invitation to feel and experience. Everything. The happy, angry, sad, and scary.
I can call Florida hOMe. At least, for a little while.
These hard things have made me brave enough to begin again. This is my chance to make something beautiful out of the unbelievable mess I have found myself in. Life is brutiful; brutal and beautiful. It’s also short. One chance is all we have.
As the already familiar waitress comes out with my check, I close my book. Before thanking her, I ask her name. If I am going to spread my wings, I’ll need a new flock to fly with. Handing me her business card, she insists on me reaching out. I fully intend to.
I’ve got this.
We can do hard things. One step at a time. And it all begins with acceptance. The sunshine and warm weather are the ever so obvious ‘pluses’ to being here. The daunting task of recreating community… not so much.
With baby steps, here we go.