Day 1171

Packing is exhausting. It just is. I pack up my life several times a year to travel to new places. New contracts. New characters. Theatres. Possibilities. And as exhausting as that packing may be, it’s the exciting kind of packing. The “adventure awaits” kind of packing. My boyfriend will tell you that I am an over packer. This trait of mine affects him because he often finds himself carrying the heaviest of suitcases that I have over packed. I like to be prepared for any occasion. I like options. I like shoes.

I wonder how many times I’ve had to pack for an extended time awa? How many times have I packed to move to a new location? College. New York Apartment #1. New York Apartment #2. New York Apartment #3. Etc. All of those times bringing the exhilaration of the mystery of the future. A slight “high” of elation. Packing to leave your husband does NOT bring that feeling. 

It’s funny, because looking back…4 years ago, I was worried about all the wrong things. I didn’t want to be tacky. TACKY! I didn’t want to take a DVD that might have meant something to him. I stressed over whether or not it was appropriate to take the kitchen table. Which wedding gifts were mine and which where his? *Spoiler alert: I finally grew some balls and took all the wedding gifts. I spent an agonizing amount of time deciding what to take and what to leave. Even though in my heart I believed we could still find our way back to each other, in my head I knew I had to be practical. How could I ever restart my life without him? I had to arm myself with blenders and toasters and crock pots in case I was alone forever (Also, I do not cook. Why I was concerned about a crock pot is beyond me). In my head, I had to be the perfect packer because this would directly affect how the rest of my life would pan out. 

My sweet boss helped me save boxes from the restaurant I worked for and even took the company van and drove the boxes to my apartment to help me out. Isn’t that the nicest thing? He hand delivered dozens of boxes to my home. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you live in New York City, you can imagine how helpful this selfless act of kindness was to me. Every day I would slowly pack up pieces of my life. I had a system. I worked my way around our tiny Upper West Side apartment. I went through drawers and cabinets and memories and years of our relationship. I boxed it all away. I overpacked.  

Mostly, during these times I remember the aloneness. No one can really help you pack. You have to do it yourself. You make the choices about what stays and what goes. What’s important. What is valuable. What you can and can’t live without. What is necessary. You hope you haven’t forgotten anything essential. You focus on the significance of things because you can’t bear to fully acknowledge what you can’t take with you. What you must leave behind. A person. A marriage. A relationship. Pieces of your soul. The person you used to be.  

People leave people every day. I wonder how difficult it is for them. In my business the only true constant is the constant coming and going. The packing. The unpacking. The hellos and goodbyes. What is worth packing. Who is worth traveling with. The big question is always, “When will you unpack for good?”And my response is still the same one I had four years ago. God has a plan. The one who has never forsaken me, the one who leads me, the one who traveled with me then and travels with me now..he has a plan. He knows the desires of my heart and I will always try my hardest to answer his call, pack up, and follow. 

Hebrews 10:36 “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” 

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My Third Divorceiversary

Time is an interesting way of measuring emotions. Maybe that’s one reason why I love dates so much. I like being able to say “Oh, on February 3, 2015 I crawled inside a dressing room at my mother’s dance studio and cried on the phone to Cheyenne…but on February 3, 2018 I am closing a show that has brought me great joy and then I get to journey into the sunset with my boyfriend.” Sounds nice, huh? I sound “healed.” Reformed. Cured. Don’t you wish it were that easy? That someone could give you a specific date that grief would end. A precise moment in time when the hurt would ebb and the pain would disappear. I remember thinking, those many years ago, “If someone could tell me when this agony would stop I could make it. I can hang on if I just know how long it’s gonna take.”

The downside to giving yourself a time limit for suffering is that different parts of you will heal on different schedules. This is not something I fully understood for a very long time. First off, there is the practical side of healing. The part of you that must get out of bed in the morning because the world doesn’t stop turning just because you are dying on the inside. You must feed yourself. You must shower. You must go to work. This will take more energy than you ever imagined, but you will complete these mundane tasks because you must and before you know it, they won’t seem so difficult and voila!…a small part of you has mended.

Then there is the “learning curve” part of healing. You must learn to complete tasks you haven’t had to do before. Filling up air in your tires, getting the cell phone bill put in your name, even learning to make choices on your own instead of letting another human make them for you. This healing is especially lovely because you feel accomplished at the end of each new mission you undertake. I, personally, wanted some kind of medal saying to the world “I’m doing it! I got this!” It should also be noted that during this period of your life the most wonderful souls will appear to help with your new “education.” Special shout outs to Duane Snyder for filling my car tires with air, Craig Smith for writing me a small novel about where to go with car questions, Jake Delaney for providing me with a way to make my own coffee, and Giovanni who got stuck helping me at the Verizon store. I am a better and smarter woman because of the “good men” who have helped along the way.

Obviously, the hardest and most time consuming healing exercise is healing your heart. Unfortunately there isn’t a marker to tell you when this undertaking will be complete. I think it’s an ongoing process. Most worthwhile accomplishments are. Which means, no end date. Ever changing. Always evolving. In many ways I am super proud of my progress, but in many ways I thought I would be further along than I am. I think the key is to continue to grow in love. Self love. Learning to love the “new you.” Worldly love. Learning to allow yourself to love others. And, most importantly, learning to continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, the author of love.

I suppose this post is as good a marker as any to assess how healed my heart may or may not be. And hopefully will serve as my own reminder to constantly increase in love.

1 Thessalonians 3:12 – “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”