Technically, I spent the weekend with my children and my mother. Sam left for Ohio to collect the honor of his father being inducted into his high school's football and basketball hall of fame. He left Thursday, drove home today.
Mama came and told me to make plans with people, and so I did. So technically, I spent the weekend with my kids and my mother, but I spent less time than normal. I had breakfast with the ladies after a meeting, then Sunday, I met one of my closest friends at the diner between our houses. I love having breakfast with her, drinking shitty coffee with that lovely, natural conversational pace you only get with old friends. We ate fast, then went to a flea market, which ended up being more of a swap meet. I bought a huge fake g-force watch for eight buck. My mother told me I should have paid five.
Later another friend C. picked me up and we drove to a place where a woman channels spirit guides and angels. I sat on the floor, and my friend K. rested her feet on my thigh. The room was filled with women, a few men I had never met, most of whom I consider my friends, my confidantes, the people I laugh with, have called crying, who know a little bit about every little nasty bit of me. I know them the same way. We share something in common.
We meditated together, then the channel went one by one staring into our eyes. Some women saw the face of their mother as she stared at them. She looked like a holy woman to me, a wild, beautiful shaman surrounded by a golden light. She transformed. She oozed good medicine. As she came around, I felt a jolt of electricity and something like fear. My heart raced, and I saw flashes of experiences, like a film of a life passing before my eyes. I looked up to the Buddha above her head.
I am not my fears. I am not my weakness.
"It is okay. You do not have to be afraid, I cannot read your thoughts."
Thank you. Please say her name. Lucia Paz. Please say she is here, and if she is not, can you tell me if I should even be writing this book? Will it get published? Will I ever get published?Am I a fraud? Should I stop writing? I want to keep writing. I want to write books that people love, like the books I love.
She was still staring into my eyes.
"What you wish for, you will get."
"Do you understand? Do you know what I am talking about?"
I nod, tears welling. I don't know why I am crying. Her eyes move to K. She begins talking about being a woman in this lifetime. And how fucking hard it is to be a woman. I remember her saying, "But you already know that." K. tears up.
I play with the words in my head. What you wish for, you will get. It sounds like a Chinese curse. She stared at me with such earnestness, such surety, though I know it is not. It humbled me. Was she simply daring me to be responsible with the power to have wishes come true? I stretch the words...what you wish for, you will get. I turn them inside out. It is a mobius strip, you will wish for what you have. Did I wish something? I did wish in the moment she stared at me. I wish for peace of mind most days, serenity, sobriety, for a connection to God, or the divine, or other people. I wish to know my destiny. To know if I should keep pursuing writing, or leave it along the road for another person to pick up. Maybe the answer was yes. Or maybe I really don't want to write anymore. What you wish for, now that is the problem.
On my birthday, I rose at 3:30a. It was coincidental. This was days earlier. There was a meteor shower, (I mentioned it before). At 4p, I made the plan to sit out in the night, watching meteors shoot across the sky. A whole two hours of wishes for my thirty-eighth year. According to my weather app, outside was destined to be 12 degrees F at 3am, perhaps cloudy and snowy. I couldn't bear to wake up in death temperature to make a wish or fifty, yet communing with night sky usually trumps practical concerns. I decided to not set an alarm and leave it to fate. If I wake, I will watch the stars from my bed.
I rolled over and looked at my phone. It was 3:30 am, so I sat up in the dark of my room. Fate wants me to see a meteor. The boy was snoring, uncovered. Leg draped across my thigh. The clerestory windows face the east. I see the stars framed by the three. I put my glasses on, propped up some pillows and waited. The sky seemed clear, but I was drifting in and out of sleep. Then it happened, a streak across the night sky, like chalk being drug on a clean slate. Three of them quickly appeared in the windows. I made a wish, then another, then another. I woke three hours later, in the early dawn light, with my glasses on and a kink in my neck not sure if it all was a dream. I made three wishes. I remembered that. I held them deep inside me.
What I wish for, I will get.
Last year, on this very day, I had different wishes. I wished I could sleep all night, not woken by nightmares, or shame, or a constant refrain of guilt and shame. I wished I didn't have thoughts of wanting to die. I never wished to kill myself, just to die a quick painless death in my sleep so I could stop having so much pain and stop causing so much pain. I wished for friends that didn't abandon me in my worst moment. I wished to understand why they abandoned me, what it was about me that pushed people away. I wished for energy. I wished to see my body as a source of strength rather than limit and weakness. I wished for love--to give it and receive it wholly. I wished I had an answer. I wished to laugh until my cheeks hurt. I wished I had a community in real life, not just virtual. I wished I could be a better mother and wife. I wished I wouldn't drink when I didn't want to drink. I wished that alcohol wasn't the first thing I thought of in the morning and the last thing I thought of at night. I wished for peace, serenity, and calm. I wished to be of some use in the world.
What I wished for, I got.
Today, I have one year of intentional sobriety, that includes weekends. My mouth still waters when I say the word bourbon, when I romance the booze. Over ice. Undertones of vanilla and oblivion. I miss it some days. Those days are fewer than they were. The without-it part is too good. Sobriety suits me. I came to sobriety gutted, lost, broken, willing to do anything. All of those wishes I had last year have come true, the psychic had that right. And not always in the way I imagined they would be granted. It has been a fucking hard year, but the saying, "Suffering is inevitable, but misery is optional." I get that now. I get it.
Today, I am not my fears. I am not my disease. I am not my daughter's death. I am not my righteous indignation. I am not a victim. I am not a bundle of wishes. I am not fixed. I am just a girl trying to do the next right thing. That sounded like the perfect wish.