12 Hours

12 blissful hours is all it took.

I've been going through the last three weeks with an attitude. A big one. And a chip on my shoulder that said, "I'M PISSED!!" And everyone had to take note of it. If you didn't, I was kind enough to point it out. The last several months, I've been in a funk. Oh, it hasn't been a continual funk. There were periods of joy. Some days I was happy. Some days I was excited. Some days I was genuinely having a good time.

But today. Today I was overjoyed. And all because I had this sense of contentment and peace. I've been reading (and am still reading) Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book. I'd heard about it, of course, because she's been on Oprah, and who can forget a title like that one? But I'd thought it was fiction.

I like fiction. I've always liked fiction. I'm the queen of novels. Have been since I could read. Once we got past the "see Jane run" nonsense, I was off and running. You know how you were supposed to read up to a certain point and stop? Or your teacher would assign a book and you had to only do one chapter each week? I always read the book in the first week, maybe even the first day if it was captivating enough. Why would I stop? So I can forget what's in the beginning? Don't you know I'm reading 4 other books right now? I can't be bothered to be on the slow reader track. And oddly enough, I liked most of the books we had to read. If the beginning moved slowly, I'd still ordinarily give a book at least 100 pages to get it together. Two books I couldn't stand: Siddhartha and Anna Karenina. I really liked "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "Don Quixote." Surprisingly. I really didn't expect to like the former. I mean, hello??? Western? No. I'm soo girly and I like it. Plus my father used to force us to watch Westerns with him when he was home (he traveled a lot when my sister and I were little).

It turns out Eat Pray Love is decidedly non-fiction. And had me thinking from the first chapter. Who gives up their life to go travel for a year? So bizarre and out of my realm of thought. Of course I was skeptical, but one of my favorite co-workers was only about halfway through and already recommending it. Hmm.... that sounds quite promising. You know how there are some books that are so well-written they make you want to write yourself? They provoke such thought in you that suddenly you can no longer keep pen from paper or your fingers from flying across the keys? That's where I am right now. Thought-provoked beyond measure. And I like it. I want to just sit here at this computer and write and write and write until I can't any longer. And then what shall I do? I guess write some more.

Last week, en route to homecoming, I missed Grey's Anatomy. I was certainly miffed about this prospect!! As was Brandi. She told me they wouldn't be able to get me from the airport because it would mean missing Grey's. Brat. (More often we use another name, same first letter.) We got Grey's recaps from everyone who'd seen it, though: Brandi's mom, her cousin, and Ashli. So many regurgitations of the show that I'd forgotten I hadn't seen it until V was talking about seeing Samantha Who. I said to myself, "Self, what is wrong with you!??! You missed Grey's and have taken almost a week to catch up?!?! Unconscionable!! Get the to the internet viewing immediately!!" So today I watched it.

It was about forgiveness.

I just stopped.

That's a real topic. It's one that has been following me around for the last couple of months. In church, bible study, books, magazines, newspaper articles, quotes from friends, conversations with my parents. When you refuse to forgive someone, the person it eats at is you. I know you've heard that before, but it's true. When you hold on to that hate, you can't grab at the love in front of you. Whether it's love of life or of other people. While you are so intent and focused, primed for hate, you negate the positive things in your realm.

So I forgave him.

I know. Bizarre, right? And so strange considering it took Grey's Anatomy to get me there. It wasn't just Grey's. It's a combination of things, but today it started with the 12 hours of sleep. There have been a plethora of sleep studies in the last few years. They tell us all sorts of things like a lack of it makes you overreact to emotional stimuli, even more than they thought you did; that it makes you irrational, and unhappy; that it can even have an impact on your physical health, make you gain weight; and doesn't allow you to recharge. It was the first part of that, the part about our reactions to emotional stimuli, that really hit home to me. When I'm sleepy, I'm a basket case. These aren't groundbreaking, necessarily, they just make sense. We all know how most people operate when sleep-deprived. Now there's concrete, evidentiary, statistical support. As if your grumpy counterparts weren't enough, right?

This morning as I was stepping out of the shower, ridiculously refreshed, and feeling nicely recovered from homecoming, it hit me. While I was there, at the place where we met and became incredibly close friends, I hadn't been angry. Or sad. I hadn't even really thought about him that much. Of course he came to my mind, but it wasn't like when I was in Norfolk back in August where nearly every waking moment was another reminder of what we had. This time, I was really, really enjoying where I was, and what I was doing, and who I was with. I was having fun. And when that came to me this morning, it was like a lightning bolt of clarity. I'm going to be okay.

And... I also feel ready to date. That made me pause. That thought popped up, also as I was climbing out of the shower. Ready? Already? How long has it been? Oh... a little over 5 months... hmmm... is that long enough? Then I thought, well, it's almost 6. In the grand scheme of things, another month isn't long at all. So maybe I wait another month. 6 months is a nice round number. I'm not saying I'm ready to dive in, but maybe it's time to stick my baby toe in the water. Maybe even the long second toe. Isn't it somehow related to survival? What I do know is that I'm ready to take on the world.


Dee said...

thanks for the mention of Eat Pray Love--I judged it by its cover as one I wasn't interested in.

I liked the positivity in this post.

La said...

*big hug* I love it!!! Isn't it a good feeling? I need to write about seeing the ex this weekend but I wasn't gonna til I read this. Go Team Jam!!!

Liz Dwyer said...

Someone else I know is reading that book and loves it. I can absolutely feel just taking a time out from all the craziness of what we all think is important, and just reconnecting with the roots of humanity, what really touches and moves the soul.

And if you are ever in Cali, I have a nice guy to introduce you to. But I'm sure everybody's always trying to fix you up with somebody!

BK said...

Yessir.. I learned that lesson a long time ago.. FORGIVING is so much more cleansing as much as we may not want too!!!


Jameil said...

gc... you should give it a try. like all books, i don't necessarily agree with everything in it, but it really is a good one.

la... yay!! thank you dahling!

liz... reconnecting is SO important. people actually never try to hook me up, oddly enough.

bk... i know! its just so hard!! and no, you may not have my shoes, but thanks for asking!! :) lol

Chris said...

you're a brave one, Purple Shoes. Forgiving is something I can't do with females I never even dated, so to go through that with someone you thought you could settle down with...yeah. You get props.

SpecialK261 said...

i tend not to read books much..i wait for it to come out on dvd lol...but I like what you wrote about...i feel you on the realtionship end...i've been there before..as always with time things ALWAYS get better..hang in there and meet someone when you think u are mentally ready to do so.

Toni "Turtle Dove" Phoenix said...

Forgiveness doesn't make what they did alright, it makes us alright. That's enough for me to grab hold of it. I love your reflection.

1969 said...

Watch out world....somebody is getting their swagger back....

CNEL said...

Here you go with the revelations and such.

So happy for you.

So happy you've taken your time to just do you!

Continue to do you.

Little Brown Girl said...

Odd numbers are better LOL!! Be ready now in 5 or hold out till 7 months...trust me!

Glad you have released whatever it is you needed to in order to move on. All things take time, but when you get there it is so refreshing!!!

Good Luck...and Gimme Dem Shoes LOL!!

Jameil said...

chris... trust me. holding on will block whatever is out there for you. you won't be able to see it and she certainly won't be able to see you.

k... books are so much better. i'm just opening myself up to the idea. no rush.

toni... YES GIRL!!!!!

69... HOLLA!!

cnel... you know i will!

rd... when the time comes, i'll be ready. NO ON THE SHOES!!! lolol. y'all are so funny.

Adei von K said...

Can fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? james 3:11

yay Jameil! hate and love can't live in the same person and that is an AWESOME forward step you made!

dreamyj said...

good for you. i definitely understand what that feels like, and forgiveness is key. congratulations!

the joy said...

yay!!! holler! i heard once that forgiving is more about the firgiver than the forgivee. dont hold on to that any longer. and dont let a good one pass you waiting for that 6 month mark!!

Rashan Jamal said...

Wasn't All Quiet On The Western Front about World War 1? That was one of the books I was supposed to read but never did. Still got an A on the paper.

The funny thing about forgiveness is that its easy to say, but hard to do. It sounds like you've achieved it.

Jameil said...

stace... you've been there for it all. thanks honey! i love you!!

dreamy... word!

joy... it's def. more about the forgiver. you don't hurt the other person when you hold on. not like you're hurting yourself. i'm open to possibilities right now but i'm not forcing it. if it comes along, great. if not, i'm okay with that, too.

rj... it was. there were def. a few books or essays i didn't read but got a's on papers or quizzes. i think oedipus rex i just had my friends give me the synopsis on. i got 100 on the quiz. they all got 80s or 90s. i was dyin laughin.

very easy to say (which is why i didn't even bother to pretend i was there before!!), extremely hard to do. i'm gonna be ok.