I did a brave thing. I let vulnerability happen and shared my feelings. In the end, I felt empowered, heard, and loved. Bravery has not been kind to me in past relationships, unfortunately. This time, this experience, gave me hope beyond all expectations. This is freedom. This is love.
The next day, I unlocked my front door, looked down next to the porch behind the bush, as I have done each day for almost 6 years, and I saw a bird. Not a real live bird, but a figurine of some sort. I reached down to get a closer look and picked it up. It was pressed into the dirt and leaves a bit. I took it inside to wash off the dirt. Its beak was broken and the base looked as though it had been attached to something else somewhere along its journey.
Where did it come from? Why was it there? How long had it been there? Why had I not seen it before? What the fuck does it mean? Is it a sign? A sign for what?
So, I’ve been thinking about what birds mean to me. When I interview someone for work, I always ask the question: If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would it be and why? I have found that the answer to this questions solidifies my character assessment of the person. This is not scientific or Human Resources approved, but it is important to me to hear the answer. When I answer this question for myself, the answer is: bird. For me, the bird is free to fly and sing, rest when needed and can observe all that is going on below. I have spent a few days spent on thinking way too much about concrete bird statues and recall that several months ago I had shared this interview tool story with the man I love. He didn’t laugh, he didn’t mock me as others have, but he said, “What kind of bird?” I paused and thought about his question. I replied, “No one has ever asked me that question. I honestly don’t know.” What kind of bird am I? No one on this planet has wanted to know what kind of bird I am, but he does.
Birds symbolize hope, freedom, liberation. Did I only see the bird when I was feeling hopeful and free? Did the last layer of dirt and leaves finally blow away to liberate this bird that had been under cover for so long? Am I this bird? Am I this bird, who is a little broken, but found its way out of the muck and darkness to glorious freedom, love, and a prime spot on my mantle?
I don’t know if the bird is a sign or just a bird. I do know I have felt at peace while marinating about birds and the meaning of life these past several days. I am worn and a little broken. Also, I am free and I am loved.
I think of him and smile.
I call to say hello and such, he answers, but is not present. This feels weird. I wonder what is wrong; if I’ve somehow done something wrong. Next, an awkward pause and then he mentions that he has picked up his son.
It seems that statement was code for “I can’t talk right now” or “I can’t be myself at the moment” or “I don’t want him to know how I feel about you” or 4 billion other things or none of them. The call ends with an “Okay, I’ll talk to you later.”
I continue to play out each of the 4 billion scenarios in my head, distracted from work and life for the rest of the day which is now 14 hours after the event. That, folks, is the story of how my feelings were hurt this morning. Likely, unbeknownst to him at all.
Welcome to life behind the wall!
Actions speak louder than words.
With every door opened, hand held, kiss hello, candle lit, breakfast cooked, I feel loved. He listens. He asks questions and hears my answer. He laughs with me. His lingering hugs are safe and slow. He is present in that moment and brings a calm over me that I long for each day.
I also need words.
Words are my baking soda.
It recently came to my attention that I have been consciously or unconsciously so protective of my space that I may have inadvertently hurt his feelings.
I was trying to explain the layout of my laundry room in regard to the gas line to the fireplace in my house. He said, “Well, I may just need to see it. You know, I’ve never been in your basement.” I truly felt puzzled. I then realized that I have been dating this man for over a year and he has not seen the basement, or the house at all, really. A quick loop in the kitchen and backyard once. Oh, and that visit to the bedroom one other time.
I let him in my space behind the wall tonight. Instead of feeling nervous, I felt strong. Watching him see my home, was intoxicating. He was looking and learning…not judging. In the end, he helped break down the wall a bit without even knowing it. And, the cold, ignored fireplace that has been dormant for almost 6 years was safely bright and warm with light and flame…and hope.
My pen feels heavy.
Character in character;
Full of sass, she was.