I met up with my mother on Saturday morning. We connected at my aunt’s apartment, and from there drove separately to a breakfast joint up the road. Neither of us had eaten at this restaurant before, the food ended up being awful. This didn’t bother either of us, it was only a side-note. We were deep in conversation. The kind of conversation that had the waitress fidgeting nervously as she approached the table. I imagine she could see it a mile away – those customers. The one’s that ask for water, instead of a real beverage, and order small meal items, like a side salad, which means only a small tip, and engage quietly in extremely personal matters, while those around them try not to eavesdrop. I have to admit that we probably should have had this conversation in more private location.
My mother knew exactly what was happening in my soul. Let me be clear: she cannot read my mind and she does not know many of the things I’ve done in this life. Yet she can sense the currents, both the deep and the shallows, navigating with a care and precision found only between the bond of mother and son. According to her, she had simply noticed a willingness in me to let someone else in, and she bravely took the opportunity. I applaud her for this. Not many people have tread in these waters, and those that did walked in circles and on eggshells.She was entirely correct; I was ready to talk about it; I opened up to her immediately. It has been many years since I’ve cried in front of my mother. I used to vent to her as a child, and she saw me cry a lot during that time. I remember being wounded by the workings of the world, her listening, my refuge. It took a number of years and experiences for that habit to develop into a process of quiet internalization. On this particular day, all defenses were down. I don’t know exactly what caused that, but I suspect that I was just tired enough for it all to come out.
I don’t want to go into specifics. Let me simply state that about a year ago, I took a journey down the wrong path. I used to believe that there is no such thing as a wrong path, that all decisions are based entirely on what we need in that specific moment the decision was made, and we would not be capable of making any other choice were we given the chance to do it all over. I used to believe that. It’s not even that I made a bad choice, per se – but I stepped into the lives of people that I did not really belong in. I got caught up in the glimpse of a world that I desperately wanted. The timing was premature. I was too impatient. It felt good to skip ahead a couple steps, to become involved in something truly grand. I could have stayed there. I could have settled for areas of mediocrity, and gained other areas of grandiose. But it would have only led to regret and pain, and years of a hidden, smoldering anguish.
And during the course of our conversation, my mother never once told me what I should do, only asked me how I felt about each individual aspect. I revealed it all to myself. To give credit where credit is due, these were all things I’d been dwelling on for months and months. But when faced with the choice of calling it all off or continuing, I’d not been strong enough to make the hard decision. But this time was different. It was no longer private. I was being held accountable. It took every ounce of me to tell her. I almost couldn’t do it, even after just previously admitting that my life needed to change, for me, because that was my right move, the move I should had made long before.
It’s not something you can explain to another person who isn’t right there with you on a connected, personal level. It’s deeper than a matter of likes and dislikes, frustrations and observations, it’s at the very core of my being, on the most spiritual level I possess, that I know beyond any shadow of doubt, that I was going to have to break this girl’s heart in half in order to live my life to it’s fullest capability. I am capable of much more, and I will never be held back again.