may fly

This is something I forget sometimes: I have a lot of love in my life.

Like, a lot. I am lucky to be liked, loved, cared for, considered carefully and well by a significant number of people. I am important. I mean something to their lives and to their hearts. Sometimes, more often than I know, usually when I don’t realize, I am in their thoughts. Sometimes when they go to the grocery store or they’re driving or on the subway or sitting on the couch making noises at their beautiful baby, they think about me the same way I think about them. My heart is full of them, and their hearts have room for me too.

I am an incredibly lucky woman.

I forget that, sometimes. And that is selfish. To think you are invisible? To think that you don’t matter? It is unfair. All those kilowatts of heart-power going wasted? It could power a small city, the love you have in your life. I promise you.

It’s taken me so many years to figure this out. So many! Too many! Really a ridiculous number of years. My god, I am the worst learner in the world. I never remember anything for more than the space of approximately five minutes. I am a May fly. So I have to keep relearning, over and over, and it is painful every time, the cycle. I can forget in the instant of a bad day, or it can be ground out of me over the course of a long week and then I have to figure out all over again why I feel wretched, why that wretched feeling is a lie, why I am utterly crazy, why I need to stop doing this, for the love of god.

Some day it’s going to stick, I swear.

Right now, right now I remember because I have palpable reminders that I am loved. Every time I go to the fridge there are the cards, the beautiful families of my beautiful friends—mo pie and the cute brigade (a jug band), Trixie and Penny and the geese who bite, Magnus the littlest tattoo artist. There’s the desktop photo I try to remember to look at every couple of hours, my little bright-faced nephew tucked into the arms of his dad, one of my favorite people on earth.

There’s the leatherwork pencil case on my desk, stamped with my name and perfect for a writer, from A. The utterly gorgeous, painstakingly hand-painted matroyshka dolls from Karen that made me burst into sobs the moment I unwrapped them. Each one is perfect. Each one is the work of hours and thought. Each one is utterly humbling.

I forget that being overcome with sincerity is no bad thing. I forget that I am loved as much as I love.

One Reply to “may fly”

  1. Hi Jen, I recently became aware of you, devoured your book, and now check your blog. Just like the synchronicity that brought me to your book, as I weigh (all puns intended) the pros and cons of my (second) weight loss surgery, today I find this post. I speaks to me directly. Yesterday I found out that I lost an old and very special friend to suicide. I cannot wrap my head around it, and I can. He was a beautiful, sensitive man of many talents with a huge heart. Over the years we had many a late night conversation that visited honestly with our darker sides and our insecurities. I know he battled many demons. In grief and probably narcissism, I wish he would have reached out to me. I think I could have intervened. We had lost touch over the last few years. He was on FB and in pictures his wife posted, he continued to be the beautiful gentle man, now married with a small adoring son. Nothing seemed amiss. Father and son have the same feet. My thoughts are not totally coherent. I’m trying to say that the superficial outer layer can make folks think all is well. (Did I mention that he was physically the most beautiful man–basically a Norse god, but humble). I am reaching out to you, because although I don’t know you, I feel that your struggle to remember that you are loved as much as you love, is mine too, and was Hans’ as well. We are not unmoored. We are not invisible. We are connected to others at all times, maybe even especially when that bridge feels tenuous. My weight has been up and down all of my 49 years. When it was in the “normal” range I carried a special and strange anxious burden of feeling like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I never felt like I had “arrived” and all was well. After a large weight loss when people stop complimenting you for your appearance, it can be so uncomfortable. First because they did that at all (like you have said in some iteration–it is creepy and strange–what did they think of me before???), and because you might miss it. Sorry this is a sloppy ramble. I am trying to come to grips with this earth shakingly bad news, and quickly find some meaning in my own life. It would be great if part of the meaning could be to continue to get out the message you write about today. Love should be like gravity. It should anchor us invisibly to life.

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