Starting over in the same city

Hercules moved away. I don’t feel left behind by Hercules, but by my own life which seems to have somehow escaped me. I am beginning to feel engulfed by this when my friend Maria Antonia comes over.

“Transition periods… they suck,” she reminds me. “I can’t think of a transition period that didn’t suck.”

“Uh huh,” I smile. Maria Antonia is incredibly practical. This sucks, but it will pass. We try on dresses, talk business and girly things, and go out for the night. I come home early. Socializing seems silly when all I can do is think of myself.

Another night I visit with Belle and her fiancé. It takes a lot of effort on my part not to be the third wheel; they are just sickeningly cute. I give myself a gold star for not being envious. I feel more grown up this past week, and I wonder if you learn lessons faster as you grow older.

Hercules left on a Sunday morning and I miss him on a Thursday. I go to the iTunes Store and download sixteen songs in a row, add them to a new playlist and hit repeat. They are mostly happy songs and soon I feel like the world is once again at my feet. Then I remember the other night, Zeus, and the five glasses of wine. We’re sitting on my couch.

“Am I your rebound?” Zeus asks.

“Of course!” I declare. I feel bad as soon as the words escape. I liked Zeus the moment I saw him and tell him so.

“Love at first sight?” he chuckles. I don’t think it’s funny since love is both the closest and farthest thing on my mind.

“Something like that,” I reply.

And I don’t want him to be my rebound, but I don’t see any other choice. I feel incapable at relationships. Zeus seems younger than most guys I date, and is both sweet and guarded. He makes me want to write, and a few days earlier, he bet that I would make a good girlfriend. This makes me happy and so now that we are alone, I kiss him. It’s not what I expect.

“Zeus, you know when you see an outfit that you really like and you have to try it on to see if it fits?”

“Yeah…”

“I’m not sure we fit,” I say. I’m not trying to be rude on purpose, but the word vomit keeps coming! We keep talking and he agrees and disagrees with everything I say, taking a middle-of-the-road approach. This is good I think and I like him more as the wine wears off.

A lesson I’ve learned though is that when men are in my life, it engulfs me. And when men aren’t in my life, I rise up like a balloon that was being held to the ground and is finally being let go.

I like both states of being despite their unequal weight on my shoulders whispering in my ear. I feel the need to choose relationships or career because it’s easier to go all-in on one side of the coin instead of trying to reach a balance. Defining your own success is indeed as rare as successfully hanging curtains by yourself. I’ve been thinking about this, and the strange feeling of glee I have to own a new beginning where everything is different, yet exactly the same.

Later in the week Zeus texts me, “So what do you think, did the clothes fit?” And this makes me a bit giddy, because that line seems to be straight out of a movie, and I think maybe the clothes do fit. And I ready myself for another stab at flourishing in life.