Before I bring you up to speed on the last few days in my world which, since that whole forgiveness thing, have jumped into mellow-warp speed, (hyper-speed’s more centered sibling), I have to tell you how much I adore you. All of you.
Reading and responding to the comments today (I’m almost up to date!) has really affected me deeply. In the most luscious, dark chocolate and peanut butter Ciao Bella gelato kind of way. The time you take to share your thoughts, feelings and wisdom is very much appreciated.
I wrote this in reply to a recent comment, but it bears repeating here:
I feel like a lush swamp and you are all the fireflies.
About an hour after I hung up the phone with The Genius I logged in to HGM and checked the comments. I caught my breath in my throat, leaving my lungs dry, when I saw one from Mr. Jackpot. (The comment is on this post if you have not seen it.) We had not spoken but for one text in about a week. I had let go of the need to know why he went M.I.A. on my hike the day before, mere moments prior to realizing that I was ready to forgive The Genius. And that I needed to forgive him. An hour before Mr. Jackpot’s comment came through I had done just that. That’s a pretty heady 24 hour period of time. I had to work to ground myself.
I didn’t reply to Mr. Jackpot’s comment for some time, but I did text him shortly after recovering from the rush of a feeling that things were about to get spicy.
Will you please come over tonight? The boys will be at a friend’s house. We would benefit from some face time. Please.
(I have this great deal with a friend. She takes the boys for a night and the next day and I return the favor. Awesome. Saves me $150.00 or more.)
That text was motivated by your comment on HGM. In case you are wondering.
I wanted to be with Mr. Jackpot in person so I could see and feel what was going on, which was still a mystery to me. His comment was his way of saying he was ready to reconnect. That I understood, but I didn’t know how to read his comment. How crushed? Was he being funny when referencing Super Secret Sacred Spots? Was he mad? How should I read the tone behind, We’ll talk soon… Was that like, We’ll talk soon and I’ll tell you how pissed I am at you? Or was it, We’ll talk soon and I’ll explain why I’ve pulled back, crazy work schedule aside?
Regardless, I decided soon was at 2:38 PM, Pacific. An hour later we made plans to meet that night.
I haven’t ever been a touchy-feely kind of girl, and I don’t plan on groping people any time soon. But, since writing HGM and being the honored recipient of your guidance and support, which now resonates out to tens of thousands of people around the blue marble, I’ve become a lover. I just freaking love people. So, if someone is barreling down a runway on a mission, and I feel safe, I’m going to ride that sucker out with them. I want to know what’s going to happen. I want to work through challenging situations with people – and thoroughly enjoy the light and easy ones, all in an effort to grow, to learn, to love.
So that’s what I did on Friday night.
When I approached Mr. Jackpot, on a street in Marin, he was on the phone. Calling me. I stood behind him and before long he turned around.
So that’s how to do it. Call you and you show up.
He gave me a long hug and then began the 30 minute scolding of how I had let him down. He was relentless. Calm and respectful, but relentless. At one point I stopped him and reminded him that I wasn’t the one who torpedoed the plans. Sure, I could have stomped my feet and demanded that The Genius make alternate arrangements but it didn’t feel right to go away unless the boys were with him. And stomping my feet was not the way to make something like a trip with Mr. Jackpot happen. This had to happen organically. With ease.
He acknowledged The Genius’ role in our current state of affairs, but then cycled right back to how he had worked so hard to plan a trip that would blow my mind and his feelings were hurt that I pulled out.
I looked beyond him to the people eating at an outdoor cafe, wondering if they were watching our encounter. I let my gaze drift out to the street, not missing a word of what was being said, but needing to focus my eyes elsewhere so I could ground myself, tap into my Observer Self, to Ease Me. I needed to let go of my surroundings and really center in on this experience to connect with what I needed from it.
Holy arachnid! I can stand here stunned by this tense exchange, or I can gently roll with it. Handle it with care, love it, be in it, and see where it ends. Why fight it? There’s no harm in letting any encounter play out as long as it’s a healthy encounter.
But when I redirected my full attention back to our encounter, I felt like I was in high school having an adult conversation without the tools the adults had at their disposal. The kind of quarrel that went round and round with both parties trying to protect and polish their image, never growing through to a resolution. The only things missing were a bad perm and a hefty dose of Jean Nate After-Bath Splash. I already had the Little Dipper of the Adult Acne World riveting audiences nationwide as it appeared on my left cheek, like a vision of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich. I could be on CNN – Coming up, Girl with Acne Constellation on Her Face. And now I was being dressed down on a sidewalk while I clutched my purse, eyes cast down, thinking, Is the bell going to ring sending me scurrying back to AP English where I’ll find Mr. Guthrie banging his cane on the desk to bring order to the disorderly in preparation for a little Shakespeare?
I felt like walking away. So I said,
Let’s go eat.
We walked to the cafe and sat indoors, in the corner, where he looked onto the street and I looked directly into a wall of mirrored glass. How freaking apropos.
And then Mr. Jackpot started in again.
I needed to put a stop to this.
I could feel that I was allowing myself to be tugged around by his words, drawn in to a cycle that had no trap door. At one point I told him he had to stop because I needed a moment to breath. So I slowed myself down, quieted my brain and then I started to see in my heart’s eye his backstory. I saw him as a man, a boy, a soul. A being that was entitled to have his feelings. A being that was bringing to the surface tiny fragments of emotions that had been buried or ignored, by himself and others. I told him that we weren’t being very mature in how we were conversing. That our conversation wasn’t being productive. And I felt that we both deserved better. And that I wanted to continue. Then I stopped trying to defend myself and just listened. I empathized. I heard him. I wanted him to share what he was feeling, experiencing. Sharing requires receiving. I focused on receiving.
I hung in there. And so did he, even after nearly rising to leave at one point. We came to a place where I felt we could move on as friends, even though his feelings were hurt and he was still mad. He admitted that he was mainly mad at himself for putting so much focus on this holiday. For counting on it. I expressed that I hoped he would go alone and not let this unfortunate set of circumstances negatively affect his trip. He was going, but his heart wasn’t in it. I truly believed that would change once he landed in Yachats. I’ve never been, but I understand the Oregon coast is a place where magic happens.
By the end of the evening we had come through a mini-battle with no wounds, but I really couldn’t predict what our friendship would look like in the short-term, although I felt it would survive long-term. We both grew up in those few hours last Friday night. Our Awkward Selves really wanted to come out and play, and they did a bit, but eventually maturity won out. Ease Me wrapped up another stellar session of This Is How It’s Done and leaned back on her white pillow, satisfied.
And then, 2 days later on Sunday morning, The Genius called and flipped everything on its head again.