Today, I watched the movie The Skeleton Twins. If you have not seen it, it is about twins Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig who have been estranged for 10 years in the wake of one of them being molested and their fathers suicide. Bill’s character Milo tries to kill himself and Kristin Wiig’s character Maggie comes to take him back to their hometown to convalesce. Some of the theme’s of the movie are regret, unrequited love and death. This got me thinking back on my own life…
There is a box I keep in one corner of my apartment that has a menagerie of items from my past lives. My life as a married woman, as a new 27 year old divorcee living in New York and my time living in Los Angeles as an actress. There were old love letters, younger photos of me in headshots and postcards from old friends. I found an old Bhagavad Gita from my Hari Krishna days along with some meditation beads. As I picked up each one of these items, it ripped my heart out just a little. One was a birthday card from Britni. I still use the decorative small bowls she gave me and the jewelry box they came in. I usually reserve them for dessert so I can always remember the sweetness of our friendship.
Reading the old love letters and cards from my ex-husband was the most painful. I remembered how in love we were. There were bad times yes, but reading these letters reminded me that I was once loved. I’ve been perpetually single since that divorce with partners not ever lasting more than a year. He is now in a relationship and I honestly hope that he is happy and in love. Even though there is nothing more that I want than just to see him once more, I know that will never happen. I admire him from afar during the occasional google search. Sometimes, I think about him dying and finally being able to see him by visiting his grave. But I’m happy he’s still alive – The world is a much happier place for me knowing he is on it too. Knowing that we both breathe the same air and look up at the same moon.
I’ve come to a place where I believe I will spend the rest of my life single – but not alone. I do love my life and have many wonderful people in it, but when I look back on the pattern of my love life I seem to be unsuccessful at creating meaningful romantic relationships. Even though I was the one that left, I’ve never really completely let him go. There is a place in my heart that he’ll always be. A place where he and I will always be young and in love.
I also found some of my old photographs I took when I first took up the hobby in New York. I was extremely depressed then and I used to wander through Manhattan taking pictures with a plastic Diana camera to get myself out of the house. I see how my technique has changed and improved since those early days with better equipment and practice. Tonight, I’m being paid to shoot another well known photographer’s birthday party. Back then it was my goal to become a professional photographer.
There was the post card from New York that my friend sent me saying that both he and New York missed me. He said that I was brave for starting a new life so far away and he admired me for it. I put that up on my refrigerator.
I also found out today that one girl I knew from my New York days died this past June at 34 from Uterine Cancer. I read a beautiful eulogy from one of her friends that moved me to tears. It reminded me how so very lucky I am and I am still wondering why I did not die. It seems impossible. It feels both unfair that I still live and extremely lucky.
When I opened the Gita, I turned to a random page:
As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from childhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such change.
– The Bhagavad Gita
A sober person is not bewildered by such change. Even though I am not bewildered by the change, right now my heart hurts a little. I accept this pain as the nature of life is to suffer knowing that it is only temporary and impermanent. Overall, I’m grateful for the life I’ve led and know that there are even more adventures in store as I look ahead. But for now, I’m remembering the past.