If the me of 3 years ago was here to read this I guarantee girlfriend would snark, possible make gagging sounds, and then go sit in the bathroom with an Exact-o knife and debate how warm the water in the tub should be for maximum effectiveness, my guess would be the temperature of tears. That was one sad chick. She gets a little blurry in my memory sometimes and I wonder if I'll ever fully forget her. But I kinda hope I never do. It's because I was so far gone, so hopeless and cynical, isolated and gaslighted that I am here now, in this place I could never have imagined. This place where there aren't people in my life who hurt me - who I allowed to hurt me - and where so many wonderful things happen on pretty much a daily basis. There is SO MUCH out there that it's overwhelming - in a good way. This is not to say that everything in my path is perfect and sunny and sugary enough to kill a diabetic, but every day there seems to be something that makes me smile or laugh or feel amazed or just plain GOOD.
And that my dears is a long way from the woman I was.
How do you say thank you? How do you express enduring, eternal gratitude for being given a chance to be so happy - finally? There is no way. No way that is adequate. Oddly enough, just feeling grateful makes me happy. Isn't that strange? I guess I used to associate feelings of gratitude with charity, helplessness - owing a bad, embarrassing debt. I suppose this comes from deeply rooted feelings of worthlessness, having my confidence and self-esteem undermined on a very regular basis by people who 'loved' me. But as I said, those people are gone, either dead or dismissed, because although I may not be the queen of confidence I do know that I am not worthless. And I am (pardon me) FUCKING BLESSED with the absolute best people in my life.
One example is my very good friend Phil.
On my first trip to Mexico (in March 2006!) I wrote up a "To-Do" list in my journal for my return to New York. Guess what's right up there at the top of the list? Yes. You get a gold star!
The other day I spent a good 6 hours taking photos of myself because an opportunity to audition for a new play came up and to do that I would need a new headshot (since my old one is truly old... like from 1992 old...). No time to pick a photographer and make an appointment etc. So I took a shitload of pictures and hoped one would come out reasonably good enough to use. Want to see some?
Oh twist my arm!
These were the top choices (in my opinion any way).
So I sent them to Phil and asked his opinion. He sees a lot of these and I trust his choice. I also badgered him with my resume which he was kind enough to go over not once but 3 times finding errors every time. I'm not a good proofreader when I'm ascairt.
He chose this one. And while it was not my favorite. because I like the ones that are blurry and make me look prettier, I know that his was the best choice for its intended use.
Then he did something that really proves, yet again, that I am surrounded by only the very best people.
He fixed the photo for me.
Essentially made it look like I had put on some foundation (God forbid I should actually PUT the makeup on) and made my skin look awesome and tidied up my hair a little and put my name on it.... and really, did he have to do that? Of course not! But he volunteered his mad photoshop skilz and gave me back a photo that looks pretty damned professional. Now how did I rate such a friend? No clue. But I'm VERY happy I do. And now I have a headshot I'm not ashamed of any more (oy my old ones suck!)
This is it:
Still the same, just more polished. Shiny! Many, many Thanks Phil for being such a good friend.
And now I just have to get through the audition.
Hey. Friends can only do so much - the rest is up to me (and a large dose of Xanax!) But whatever comes of the audition (whether I do well or not, whether I get it or not) the important thing is the trying. And because I have such wonderful friends: I'm trying.
And THAT'S what's good about being alive.