Friday, June 8, 2012

That Letter Packs a Punch

Today, I received my acceptance letter for the Masters of Acupuncture program at Tai Sophia Institute.  About a year ago, I began to recognize that I would need to create something new for myself.  To finally take care of myself and “enrich my life” as a woman.  The fact that my dreams came true today is remarkable.  What I have accomplished in these 15 months is so much more than I could have ever expected.  I have mourned, and continue to mourn.  I have traveled and have new destinations in mind.  I have listened to my heart and created goals to make my future one I want to run towards.  And today, all of my perseverance has led me to my new reality.

When I saw that envelope in the pile of junk mail I held my breath.  I picked up the letter delicately and walked slowly through the kitchen to sit on the couch in the living room.  As I sat, I took a deep breath and stared for a while at my name.  Slowly, I pulled open the flap to reveal the packet inside.  The letter wasn’t right on top, so I had to dig a little to get there.  As soon as I saw the bold “congratulations!” I sunk back in my seat.  I read the letter slowly to absorb the contents and then I waited for the joy to overwhelm me.  Instead, the pain assailed my consciousness.  I cried and shook.  I thought about how, if TJ were here, he would take me out to celebrate.  I thought about how this acceptance letter was another stark reminder of TJ’s absence.  A reminder that this is all just a way to make do with the life that I have now.  Yes, school is what I want and welcome into my life.  This future I have chosen for myself is one I am so proud of, and have taken great pains to discover and make a reality.  But I can’t help that I am constantly reminded of the loss I must endure.  No matter my accomplishments and progress, will I always feel this way?  That nothing will ever be as good as what TJ and I could have had together?  I feel so sad that thoughts like this could taint my otherwise pure satisfaction.  I work too hard to let my past life projections overshadow my happiness.

Today I made a choice.  I realized that this is not the first milestone that has left me in tears or without breath in my lungs.  And it will not be the last.  I look ahead to my first day of class, to my graduation, to the grand opening of my practice.  Those will be days of immense pride and joy.  But I’d be a fool to think that they wouldn’t be bittersweet.  But bittersweet is all that I will allow.  I refuse to let my grief suck out the pleasure in these moments.  The pleasure and the pain will have to learn to live together somehow.  Over time, I hope to figure out a way to balance them more evenly.  I know that I will forever experience these strong reactions.  TJ is too much a part of who I am to not feel the void his death leaves inside me.  However, I hope to use all that I have learned from him to make my life, my future, one we can both deem gratifying.  He would want me to be both contented and peacefully satisfied; I aim for those qualities and more.

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