“ My week has included a moment of innocence, one of sadness, one of strength, one of surprise, one of gratitude, and this one of self-awareness. "
There was an inflatable toy space shuttle on top of a trash can on 16th street as I walked home from the gym in the deserted early morning of Saturday. I picked it up and played with it until the block ended, flying it high in the sky at the far reach of my arm. That night, I went to sleep early, and woke up at 3 am in tears because Om was in my dream and I had to realize again after all this time that he was gone. A few days before, I discovered the guy with whom I had just spent two romantic weekends back online trying to meet other guys so I let him go for making me feel so ordinary. Days before that, my cardiologist told me with a rare smile and a shake of his head that I had made “an extraordinary recovery,” so I went to The Melt Shop and ordered a grilled cheese and tater tots to celebrate. Yesterday at the beach, I saw Luke jumping into the waves of the water. He stopped and looked at me with such genuine happiness that I sat down on the sand, stared up at the blue sky, and chanted Hare Krishna over and over with the joy of surprise gratitude. I remembered that a few months ago he had a leg injury that could have been cancer or a permanent limp, and that soon after I was hooked to machines and was told I may be living on disability, yet here we both were on this beautiful day at the beach running together and that none of those bad things would come true. My week has included a moment of innocence, one of sadness, one of strength, one of surprise, one of gratitude, and this one of self-awareness. It has been my secret wish for myself as I have fought my entire life to come out from under the cover of shame and self-judgment. This is the person I now see in the mirror as my own partner, the miracle I have prayed for. To be present in my brightness. To be content in my darkness. To be worthy of my own affection. To stop trying so hard to be something, and to just be.