THE ALMOST

Artwork: Terri Duan

Almost has been a repeating theme of the stories that made me, well…me.

I have almost been married, almost a wife, almost living a domestic coupled life. Why I didn’t is a story that is tender and long and deserves special attention, maybe formed as a song.

I also came close to passing a test that would have put me on the top, amongst the very best. It would have propelled me to heights that promise success, a lifeline away from my freelancing mess.

I was almost a mom, almost chosen, almost moving. Almost in Poland, almost with Him, almost in Spain, almost “free” of pain.

Those almost stories break me to pieces because not knowing the end leaves me wondering and restless. Tormented by the life that was almost, but not quite. In a whirlpool of thoughts of choices gone wrong and choices gone right. I had all the woulda, coulda, shoulda whizz through my head as I battle insomnia in a no longer restful bed.

I am tired though now of repeating the same, the endless pattern of worry, shame and blame. Something shifted inside and I can no longer chase the stories that weren’t mine in the first place.

I am starting to see that those stories “gone wrong” were bullets I dodged all along. The envisioned marriage would have failed, crashed and burned, when the pink glasses came off and the tides would have turned. The job I pined for would have left me burnt out, with distance I see this without a trace of doubt.

The shift I experienced came in the form of a man who I fell for abruptly with no schedule or plan. Every cell in my body was buzzing in delight, for it has been ages since I felt so loving and light. I was oozing with passion, intellectually fed. No strategies, no bounds and discovering freedom instead.

For this particular story I had no blueprint nor plot, and that allowed me to see what is there and what actually not. A clarity formed that was both painful and freeing – we weren’t both opening the full extent of our being. For me he was a “hell yes!” while I was his “let’s see”, which just doesn’t cut it and is not my cup of tea.

In a rapid and strange sequence of events, I went from hurt to acceptance, and making amends. If this story was mine, there would be no need to grasp, we would show up for each other with no questions to ask. Instead, I showed up for myself and said a gutted goodbye to a man I cared for that couldn’t give me his time.

No judgements, no blame just a clear thought in mind: that “almost” is useless and of the destructive kind. If something was almost, then set it fully free, don’t clutch it white-knuckled and, for f*ck sake, let it be.

I am not an almost person, I don’t do life half-assed. I let all my passions in, not letting the inhales pass. The exhales, however, need to occur. The dust needs to settle, otherwise things are a blur. The settling, the rest, the dirty and the mess all need to be present for a story to be its full-blown best.

“Almost”, you can go now, you have served your due time. “Not yet”, you are welcome in, old nemesis of mine. I used to despise you because I coupled you with lack, not knowing you were bringing me my patience back.

So I sit now still, with the occasional twitch, making me want to scratch my proactive itch. Movement and breath quiet me down, bring me back to patience and chase away the frown.

The full-circle stories I feel in my gut, I will live them quite soon now that I am out of my rut. They are right around the corner, I am willing to bet. But now is not that moment, Not yet, Maša, not yet.