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12.04.2012

THE BEST SORT OF QUESTION.



Sitting in Tom's office yesterday, I ran out of things to say. I had caught him up on the two weeks before. Had filled him in on this guy and that, this work debacle and that--all the many things I can't control, but worry about nonetheless. Small fries, all of it. Mostly small fries.

And so we sat for a moment. Both of us quiet. 

And then Tom took a breath and asked me what I was most proud of—in terms of the last few years, what was the best thing I’d done.

And I smiled. And he smiled. 

Because it was the best sort of a question. 

A question having to do with successes that only he and I really know about.
A question as an acknowledgment of what we'd accomplished. The crossing from one impossible shore to another. A nod to the end of the thing. Which has not yet ended, but which we both now know will. Which we always knew, but now know know in that way that makes it easier to talk about.

It's important to identify what it is you're proud of because it helps establish identity. And if the eating disorder steals identity, which it does, we must then fill it back in.

And so I shared what I thought. And Tom shared what he though. 

And we sat in silence a little while longer.

You know, I'm sad today, I said, my words carving a gentle river in the quiet. On my way here I was feeling angry and then I got on the subway and I took a big breath and I thought, oh, huh, sadness. It’s a sweet sort of sadness—one without a why--one that will pass. I’m proud of that--I’m proud that I know it’ll pass.

And I’m proud of the wreath on my apartment door. Because that wreath hanging there, says something. It speaks to who I am and what I value. It speaks to the very notion of home.

Identity.

I’m proud of this quiet little neighborhood. Proud that the corner nursery turns into a Christmas tree lot the day before Thanksgiving. I’m proud of these things that I have no control over, that have nothing to do with me, but have everything to do with what I want and what I value.

I’m pretty sure life has very much to do with things beyond our control. And very much to do with things not beyond our control. And it has everything to do with the balance we strike between the two. The constant leap after constant leap of faith that we must make. And the bridge we build in the wake of those small and consistent flights.

I’m proud of the things I’ve quietly let go of.  The loves and false notions and truths that became less true over time.

Identity.

I’m proud that who I am now is not who I was before. That I’m not really who anyone--myself least of all--thought I’d turn out to be.

I think pride has much to do with actions aligning with desire. Small actions and small gestures that plant flags in territories we wish to claim.

I’m proud that Tom asked the question. Proud that I had an answer.

Now on to make my morning coffee and begin the day...

20 comments:

Brei said...

Wow Meg! So amazing! "I'm proud of the things I've quietly let go of. the loves and false notions and truths that become less true over time." So powerful! Thank you.

Jennifer Bosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Bosse said...

I'm sure you never get tired of hearing it, but I am quite enamored with your writing. How it is so vague that it could apply to anyone or anything and yet so specific in that they are YOUR feelings and thoughts. It speaks volumes without creating such. :)

Lexie said...

Beautiful and thoughtful. You remind me that blogging CAN be a legitimate form of writing.

Shawnee said...

More beautiful words. Thank you for sharing. xo

Anonymous said...

These words are really beautiful, I am such an ass for not getting my own Tom that I just sunk kneedeep in boot right up my keister. My own "wreath" on my apartment door, will be to get my own "Tom".

hannah debbie said...

it's refreshing, isn't it? To think of yourself in terms of accomplishments, rather than failures.

myvanillawardrobe said...

I love this. You're brilliant.

Kate

Erin said...

Oh goodness I needed to read this this morning. I need to ask myself what I'm proud of more regularly and remember those things.

look a little closer said...

I absolutely love this, "I’m pretty sure life has very much to do with things beyond our control. And very much to do with things not beyond our control. And it has everything to do with the balance we strike between the two. The constant leap after constant leap of faith that we must make. And the bridge we build in the wake of those small and consistent flights." So, so true.

Here's to you, Meg! And you're amazing words of wisdom. Write a book! Your writing deserves to be put on actual paper and read on subways and the like.

Megan said...

Your posts are inspiring. You are so kind to share your thoughts and experiences. I want to say thanks for the many times your words have helped me in my own times and struggles :)

Diana said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Your words always come at the right time! You have such an ease and kindness with words. Write a book and never stop writing, please!

Anonymous said...

Your words always come at the right time! You have such an ease and kindness with words. Write a book and never stop writing, please!

Meghan said...

This is what i needed to read today. And I will continue to reread.

marychrisescobar.com said...

"I’m pretty sure life has very much to do with things beyond our control. And very much to do with things not beyond our control. And it has everything to do with the balance we strike between the two." I needed to hear this in a big way today. Thank you!

She Writes said...

This is beautiful and introspective writing.

Shanley said...

Sitting at my desk and I have tears. Thank you for this. Wine soon, please.

xo

Kathy said...

This was so inspirational and brilliantly written.

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

Emme said...

Very touching. Identity really is important. My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's 3 years ago and it has changed her. The hardest part for her is not the tremors, trouble with speach, etc., it's finding her identity within the disease. She's become a different person because of it. I guess we're always changing though and our identity along with it. Thanks for sharing.