Slow Down

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I mentioned in my previous post that this has been a particularly trying week. What got me through it - in addition to my correspondence with the subject of my previous post - was knowing I had a session with M, my therapist, on Saturday. 

I hadn't seen her in seven weeks, because of my new job, and moving, and so on. So I had so, so much to tell her. I was really looking forward to seeing her to start sharing everything that's been happening - good and not-so-good.

Unfortunately, this seems to have been designated "Let's Make Cass Sweat" week <lol> - and whoever paid for it was determined to eke out every minute of the full week. 

I got up early - well, actually my coughing got me up early, after being up 'til nearly 3:00 working on a project. The good thing was that meant I had plenty of time to get down there. I could take a walk, get a cup of coffee, and just relax for an hour or so.


What *should* have been a 70-75 minute drive became a two-and-a-half hour nightmare.

The worst part?

I was stuck less than ten minutes from her office in complete, utter gridlock.

In the past, I would have been fuming; I can imagine the steam that would have been coming out of my ears as the minutes ticked away, minutes during which I had been counting on telling M about what had been happening.

But now... I just wanted to cry. And I did, a little. I was just so, so tired.

I missed all but the last five minutes of my session. And I only got there for that because I ran six blocks without stopping once I finally managed to find a parking spot.

I sat down, panting, and tried to squeeze in as much as I possibly could in the few minutes I had, literally and figuratively breathless the entire time.

When my time was up, I mentioned that I had called her for the first time one year ago last Saturday. The day my life began, as I described it. 

She was genuinely shocked. 

"I don't think you have any idea how far you've come in such a short time," she said. "The courage it takes to do what you've done so far is remarkable. 

"I have clients who have struggled for years to make a tiny fraction of the progress you've made in twelve months. I am so, so proud of you.

"You're having all of these new emotions and new experiences, and you're feeling things so intensely because the hormones are taking effect now. 

"You've been on the go non-stop for nearly two months. You started a new job, packed up your old life on the weekends, and moved to a new state. And for all intents and purposes you did all by yourself. *And* you did it with broken ribs and a sore back. 

"And on top of all of that... you're transitioning. 

"I know you have so much you want to do, and need to do, and that you want to do it all at the same time, and as soon as you can, and the best you can possibly do it...

"But you also need to know that it's OK to slow down. Even if it's just for a little while to catch your breath.

"So... slow down. Please? Just a little bit? Just for a little while?

Will you promise me you'll at least try?"

M, like all good therapists, NEVER tells a patient what to do.

So I knew she meant it.

So I promised I would do my best.

I told my friend this week that I want to be where she is right now, and to have what she has, and I want it so badly it hurts.

But I know I have to let time take its course. 

And M's words reminded me how far I've come in what really isn't much time. (Yes, I wanted to cry when she told me she was proud of me. And I did, a little. So did she. :c))


I promise that I will do my very best to just… be. 

I don't need to hide in work anymore.

I don't need to frantically work on three major projects simultaneously, then start them over when they were nearly done, simply so I didn't have to be alone with my thoughts.

I can just be myself. 

Because now, finally, thanks to M and my dear, dear, friends, I like who I am. 

And even more, who I'm *going* to be.

And that's worth taking a little time to appreciate.

So I will.


Here's what I think is the single most moving song about friendship I have ever heard: Nanci Griffith's lovely tribute to her best friend, "There's A Light Beyond These Woods (Mary Margaret)."


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