I see her the second the doors to the elevator open. For a split second I try to sink into the corner of the elevator and be invisible, pray to God she does not see me. Too late. Her eyes catch mine and I know I am in for it. The inevitable. Here and Now. She sits cross-legged on a table of the lounge, looking all too put together for a rainy Monday whose middle named is “gloomy.” She pats the seat next to her as if to motion me to sit down and talk to her. I grumble as I swing the door open to join her. Not what I want to be doing, actually, the last encounter I want to be having today.
We sit in an awkward silence that seems to bridge a gap between the two of us. She speaks first.
“I know you don’t want to see me right now, but that is why I am here. Hannah. You need to see me more than ever right now,” she begins. I trace her effortless smile, envious of her glowing cheeks. She has every right to be mad at me, and yet she seems genuinely overjoyed to merely be conversing with me. “You cannot see it, and you wont admit it, but you are happy to see me right now.”
Happy to see her? I laugh in my head, perplexed by her words as I shake my head. She is right. I am happy to see her. I have missed her more than anything.
“I don’t want to ask why. I don’t need to know how. I just want to ask you if you are happy like this?” Her question barrels me over; neither accusatory nor negative, I realize she is concerned.
“No,” I say, half whispering. “I don’t know who this person is but I miss you and I wish I could be you again. But I don’t know how. ”
She is me. I am her. The one sitting next to me, with the crossed legs, she and I share the same name. But lately I push her out. Lately I don’t let her come around. Lately I cannot understand why I am like this, how I got to be like this, but I miss my true self. The One Sitting On The Table Next To Me.
“Hannah, you don’t have to let me go. If anything I would hope you would hang onto me more tightly at this time. That’s o.k.”
Tears are welling in the corners of my eyes as she tells me this. I want to push out this impostor in my body and be whole again. Too Hard. Too Much Work. I am comfortable coasting through just as I am.
Of all the directions, forward is always the hardest to move in.
“No you are not.” Of course she reads my thoughts, I mean, she is me. “You have invested your heart and your soul into this place. And wherever you are going next, you will do the same. But only, and yes only, if you don’t forget to right now Hannah. You are clipping your own wings right now, Hannah. And if you let them stay clipped for too long, well then, soon you are going to forget that you were ever meant to fly.”
And she’s right. So right. Too right. Right.
“Hannah, I know you like I know a thousand other people, but you in particular. The easy way is to wallow, to cry every five minutes, expect the world to be sorry for you and to be miserable. That would be easy. And have you ever taken the easy way out? Have I ever let you? No.”
I hate to listen. I want to wallow. I want to say “woe is me!” But where will that get me? Certainly not any closer to where I need to be.
“You need to suck it up. Fight through the pain of this moment. Let. Go. Will it be easy to let me back into your life? Not at first, but you will be thankful that you let me in. At first I will be hard on you, make you go to lunch dates and finish your papers, make you finish as gracefully as when you started. But you will thank me. And let me stick around, heck, let me be here permanently and you won’t want to wonder anymore how to be happy from day to day. You just will be.”
She is the part of me who I love. She is me when I am at my best. When I am thankful and beautiful, whole and full. She is the version of myself that makes others want to be around me, that captivates strangers with a secret that I desperately want to share.
She is me. I am her.
I miss her. So much that I am saying it right now. Enough is enough. I don’t care what has happened in the past few weeks, the uncertainties of tomorrow, I am alive and I am blessed. I am at a crossroads where potential and possibility are knocking at my door like barbaric house guests. And I need to let them in.
So we make a pact, sitting upon the table. I cross my legs to mimic hers. She will help me, little by little, until I don’t need her anymore. Until I become her again. We will wake up, learn to smile again and reclaim all that makes me a girl who deserves the world's love.
I smile and mean it for the first time in a long while. “Welcome back,” I say to her. She grins at me, and I feel the glow returning back to my own cheeks in this instance. “Welcome back old self, it has been too long and I have missed you so.”
And a special thank you to Brittney at Pavement Chaser for giving me a "Master of Words Award." It is an honor and a pleasure to receive it! Head on over and check out her blog!