Last Saturday was my first attempt at #16 on my list.
It kind of just happened. I had been feeling lazy that night but I decided to give it a round. I don’t remember what plan fell through that made me realize that the universe preferred that I enjoy a night in. So naturally, I went to Duane Reade for some cheap thrills and then headed home. I’m never in the living room so I thought I would start making myself uncomfortable by doing that. I don’t know what the big deal was– I guess there has always been something about being alone in the living room that annoys me. Anyway, as I did my nails I watched a movie in the living room, alone. I only considered movies that I didn’t want to see. That night was all about the “unsafe” zone.
A few films later, I found myself in bed with the laptop heating my belly. I had moved on to British films when I noticed the break of dawn through the window shade. Should I go upstairs to the rooftop? I thought. It was on my list but I was alone, I hadn’t prepared. Ugh. I kept thinking about it. Do I go upstairs? I had imagined the whole scenario a little more special than this. Should I go alone? It would have been cool to do this with people though.
All these thoughts were running through my head when I asked myself the most important question… What matters to me more? Do I want to stay in bed and miss it or do I want to go alone? I felt a push at my chest. I want to go alone!
I jumped out of bed, put something decent over my pajamas, grabbed my iPod, and ran to the corner store. I bought myself a coffee, a snack and ran back to my building. I ran up the stairs so fast that I almost tripped. Finally, I pushed the door open and ——there it was, the quiet morning.
So I walked up to the ledge, popped open my coffee, and pressed play on my iPod.
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes bolder, children get older
I’m getting older too, well
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
I sat there while the lyrics ran over me. I began to feel so aware of my stillness. “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing,” she sang. I just felt my heart nod in agreement. Man, that was perfect. This is perfect, I thought. There was something so sober about being up there. It’s as if life’s cocktails couldn’t buzz up the moment. Everything seemed so clear, so calm. What a mistake it would have been to have missed this.
I’ve been afraid of changes because the things I had built my life around were gone. I’ve been scared to find out where that puts me. I see now that I had been scared to go up there. I was scared to feel that I was missing someone or something in my life but felt the exact opposite- I felt complete. Life and its changes are a lot like that sunrise. They occur whether you get out of bed or not. It carries in the truth of the day without your permission.
I had to watch that sunrise alone. I was meant to. It was the reason that I hadn’t gone out. I would have slept through it. The universe had conspired to keep me home and I had learned to listen. The color and silence that I experienced that morning added to me. It made me more confident. It made me realize that I was learning to take care of myself. It was all the more proof that I was getting to know myself better- that the discomfort of something wasn’t paralyzing me as easily anymore. I wrote a quick little note in my journal to remind myself of that before leaving. I have included it below:
Remember to love yourself the way that you loved yourself today.
You see that you knew you needed to stay in?
You see that you knew what you wanted to experience?
You see the way you knew that you couldn’t miss this?
Trust yourself. You will know.
Mira como sabias lo que tenias que vivir. Mira pues.
It must be said that none of my worries vanished. I certainly didn’t mend a wound just by being up there but instead something else happened, something a little more important.
I understood that I needed to do this alone first. When the thought skated past me I heard a little magical shimmer in my ear. Love needs to be experienced alone first. It is only then that we begin to understand the use of a companion or friends. The next time I experience this I will note two thing: I’ll remember that the peace I found up there was always my own. I will note the added value that anyone who I share this will bring. But most importantly, I won’t attribute my part in it all to them. Isn’t that brilliant?
I thought so too. So though it was only a first attempt because I didn’t watch it the whole way through, it was the one that counted. I’ll follow up on next time.
Sunrises to you,