Eating the Carnival
On Monday morning I drove to a subdivision deep within the continent of Chesterfield to share a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself with another human being. The secrets and admissions and truths I spread across her coffee table looked not unlike a creative telling of the 7 sins. Or cat vomit. But each textbook case and character defect with its twists and turns could be traced back to their source. The survival mechanisms that became weapons of war. Giving too much, always wanting more, no matter how high, how precious the cost. No matter what it took from me.
I cried. I prayed. I asked to let it all go. I felt like I was wearing a mumu and singing Kumbaya. I might as well have been.
I hoovered out my heart, stuck the snake deep down into the clogged recesses, dragged up the muck, and left clean passage. In the last week I haven't accidentally left the sate, gotten drunk or married the wrong man. Something is working. Though I can't say I know how it works I know it does, as surely as broom to dust.
And this fullness bursting out of me is not from a man or a drug or a donut ore even a BFF though I have loved all of those with the passion of a thousand romance novel covers and Lifetime Movies. Something altogether different is happening. And I think this is what it is: I have myself. And I want to protect the self I have like my hands around a flame.
A wise woman once told me to bloom where I was planted. Gardens don't grow by uprooting themselves. Why blame the trees, curse the squirrels or the bunnies, rage at the sky? If I keep my eyes open and my heart clean, I have all, more than I need.
And so this week I have been filling up on the things I have instead of starving for the things I don't. Once I thought never moving out of Virginia would be boring. Staying married to the same man, impossible. Living in the house I grew up in, a prison sentence. But now I am so full of possibility it's like I just ate a carnival. One that's swimming and flying and punching around inside me. Dormant potential stepping out in 3D. I don't want to say it's like being high or the opening scene of a Disney movie but that may be the language I resort to until I meet each of these carnies, take every ride, sample the insane and beautiful delicacies waiting just for me.