I’ve written about it before, but July has kind of a stigma for me. For the past decade-ish if negative things are going to happen to or around me, they happen in July. It has caused me to go into metaphorical ostrich mode and just try to power through July until August 1 hits.
Last year on July 25 - well it was a really awful evening. I don’t like to think about it actually. But flash forward a year, and I actually had a really great day today. I received some great feedback that I didn’t expect and I was simply shocked by it.
July still isn’t done, but what a difference a year makes.
I sat down at the table. The mood was palpable, heavy. One of those moods that felt like could be dug at with a spoon. I didn’t know why it was like that. I didn’t know why I’d been called downstairs.
My parents seemed still and stiff. They were staring at me too hard.
I looked to my older brother, sitting across the table from me. Misery radiated from him. It was a strange shift from earlier - he’d sat at dinner like he didn’t have a care in the world. I felt like this was a big moment, one that would stand out - but I didn’t know why.
That’s when I noticed his hand. His left hand. The ring finger was encircled with something that hadn’t been there earlier - a plain gold band. An unoffensive ring that was offensive in it’s presence. A ring that changed everything.
Everything felt like it was starting to crack underneath me. I had been pushed. I was falling and I couldn’t stop.
He began to speak, but his lips didn’t seem to match the words I was hearing. He said he got married, that he’d been married for two weeks. He told me I was an aunt. He told me I had a sister. He told me I was his best friend.
I told him to stop talking.
I asked him why he didn’t tell his best friend he was dating someone. I asked him why he didn’t tell his best friend he got married.
He told me he kept secrets because he loved me.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that some wounds never heal. They scar over. Just like if a limb were severed, they have phantom pains.
The pains are unpredictable. I never know when they are coming. But when they do they remind me of the pain I first felt.
Pain is like that. Even when the feeling is gone from the body, it stays in the memory.
July 27 - A Year Later
A lot can happen in a year. The last year of my life proves that. Today is the marker of the end of a year I never expected, a year I never wanted. But they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I think I finally understand that. God has definitely made me stronger in the last year.
I’ve suffered from great pain and a terrible loss in the past 365 days, but I’ve also started on the path to becoming someone that I really love being. I cannot say enough how wonderful it’s been to realize how much my friends love me, an unconditional kind of love, and how much I finally feel like an artist. The people that supported, nurtured and just loved me since last July know who they are and I cannot live my life without them. The people in your life, the people that make you you are invaluable.
I don’t know how God is going to get me where I’m going, or exactly what is ahead, but I am excited. I am excited to continue discovering my voice as an artist and I am waiting for my new season to come.
I wait for the day that I can celebrate something that happens on July 27 instead of dreading it’s arrival. I know that day will come.