Today I stood in a parking lot and cried. This is not unusual for me; I cry a lot, especially in parking lots. But today I wish I had been strong enough not to cry. I wish it didn’t hurt so badly. I wish it was easier. It is still hard, all this living through something that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is the right thing, and is simultaneously so very sad. Many people who have been in my shoes have told me it will get easier with time. I’m waiting.
They say every story has a villain. Today I played the villain. Our lives go in phases and chapters, and as we close out those phases and chapters sometimes we leave people behind. Sometimes we hurt people. Sometimes we hurt people without explanation, either because we can’t explain or because they can't hear us explain. It’s okay. It’s part of life. But we need to accept responsibility for it. I think it’s the teacher in me that tells me the next logical step after taking responsibility is to say that we need to apologize for it, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing. I don’t want to say I’m sorry. Maybe that will come with time also. But I feel like I can own being the villain, I can accept that responsibility, without being sorry. I’m not sorry.
I have learned that determination is not always a positive attribute. I have learned to listen more. I have learned the importance of being humble. I was the girl who used to throw her head back and laugh like the Queen of Sheba and say things like, “I don’t take out the trash, and I don't make my own coffee.” Now, every morning, I stand over that sink, I fill that coffee pot with water, and I am humbled. That coffee has come to represent a lot to me, though; it represents my freedom. And it tastes so good.
So in this case, for now, I can accept my role as the villain. But I will to say this: If you are out there thinking that your life has been ruined by someone or something, you are sorely mistaken. If your life is ruined, it is no one’s fault but your own. And no one but you can change that. We can all sit and place blame on spouses, bosses, families, circumstances, but the fact of the matter is you allowed those things to happen. Be humble, be responsible. Be sorry or don’t be sorry. In life, no one’s hands are clean. Don’t give the responsibility of your happiness to another person. Make your own coffee. It tastes better that way.