I’m getting better.
Or, perhaps it’s better to say that I’m getting different. I am not transforming. I am not evolving. I am simply moving along.
Like a walking catfish who gets up and goes when her water source evaporates. Like the amphibious mudskipper, who flops from swampland to rocky terrain, as needed. She also has the enviable skill of being able to catapult herself up to two feet into the air! I do not have this skill, though I think my sister Kathy does.
Like the Little Mermaid, the version first imagined by Hans Christian Anderson — not by Disney Studios. The one who wanted a different a life for herself, and made the decision to go for it. Would have been way easier to stay in the water than deal with life on land. But this ladyfish wanted to move along, and needed feet to do so. The price was dagger-like pain with each step.
And so we go. The catfish, mudskipper, mermaid and I. No longer lingering in a milieu that just doesn’t work for us anymore.
I’m finding it easier to identify as a non-drinker. Actually, it’s becoming a non-issue — meaning that alcohol has nothing to do with who I am now. I don’t define myself by what I don’t do. Not even sure if bother to I define myself at all. Last week, I decided to get a “vanity’ plate for my new (used) car and nearly went for the obvious one: Mermaid. Instead, I decided on Garuda. A playful nod to my dad as opposed to a way to over-identify with his identity. (He named both his car and boat for Lord Vishnu’s mount.) But I can relate to this particular Hindu God, too, because Garuda took Vishnu places and I’ve got a lot of places to go. My dad’s memory can come along for rides into the future.
I’m doing a better job at parenting. I pay closer attention to what my son does and doesn’t do, and take action when I need him to get his head/body in gear. I also recently decided to trust my instincts about his school. The place felt hollow to me. Empty. Robotic. I didn’t like it. Neither did David. So, my husband and I decided let him shadow for a day at a small private school to see how we all felt about it. Each one of us decided it was a perfect fit. David starts tomorrow in a much better place for him.
I’m standing my ground — even if it is shifting. Yesterday, at my second AA meeting ever, a friendly woman asked me which other meetings I attend. I explained how I was a newbie and how I was just fine with where I was at this moment in time. She told me about another good place for meetings, Monday through Friday at 7:30 a.m. I told her politely that was the time I need to get my son ready for school and myself ready for work. She handed me a list of every meeting in the county, and then asked again if I could somehow make the time to attend to aforementioned weekday morning meeting. I stared into her overly eager eyes and said, “I can make time for whatever I want. and I don’t want to go anywhere but here for now. If I needed a meeting every day, I’d go to one.”
I’m also moving away from the notion of catching a killer or, at least, capturing one on paper. I’m certainly disappointed that my book about a real-life friend who was murdered in Seoul — by two even-better friends — never got to see the light of day. Worse yet, is the fact that it’s a crime for which justice may never be served. Yet I’ve come to accept that this story has no ending for any of us who were there back then. And I’ve got better things to write about now.
Like Iceland in November.