I’m looking out my bedroom window while I’m writing this Letters From My Bed, and tonight, as my words stain this blank page, I consider myself very lucky to be bathed by moonlight peeking through an old tree veiled by the dark of night. There is no gentle breeze. There is, however, a deafening silence in this part of the world tonight. There is no sound of garage doors being opened. There is no smell of exhaust fume infringing upon me, coming from cars returning home from working night shift in the alley underneath my wide open bedroom window. The moon has crawled further East. I took one long slow inhale, savoring every bit of air that traveled from my nasal passage into my lungs, foolishly hoping somehow as I exhaled, it would miraculously reward me with some answered questions in my favor. I waited. But the answers never arrived. What I found instead was an immense hole of longing and missing someone.
I needed to be one with this feeling. I needed us, the feeling and I, to sit together, lit a cigarette, pull up a chair, heck, with two bourbons neat if we have to, and have an honest conversation that comes from a place of grace and not from a place of defeat.
I began with a question. Why am I here again?
“Instead of asking why they left, now I ask, what beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy. ” – Rudy Francisco
Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know. – Pema Chödrön
I grew up in a household where I was taught that there was never enough of anything. There was not enough money. There was not enough space. There was not enough love. There was not enough time. There was not enough food. Scarcity was the trending theme in my life. It lingers like a plaque and sat heavily on your chest like a five pound cloud. Childhood was a very scary time.
When you grew up with the idea of lack, as an adult, you try to make up for it by filling up every hole where that ‘lack’ exists with ‘more’. If I can offer an analogy that would describe my life, imagine if you are in a desert and it has not rained in almost 10 years. Suddenly somebody shows up and pours a bottle of water into the sand. It will not create a puddle. The sand would absorb the water like a sponge. The ground is in a state of incredible thirst. Not even a gallon of water would make a puddle. My life runs parallel with this analogy. I have been so scared by ‘lack’ that I thought the only way to eliminate ‘lack’ is by being, achieving, striving for ‘more’. I was misled by the notion that ‘more’ is where happy lives.
But here’s what I learn today. The opposite of lack is not more.
The opposite of lack is ENOUGH. And this is where happy lives.
Focusing on enough is the essence of gratitude. – William Paul Young
I considered myself pretty lucky that I get to experience some incredible dates in my life. In 2007, a man I went on a date with let me steered a boat out of the marina and into the Pacific ocean. This same person took me dancing barefoot on my birthday, at a dock in the marina, the sailboats as a backdrop, under a dark sky peppered with stars. One day, in Culver City, before he left Los Angeles for good to live in San Francisco, he gave me one very important advice that has become the core value of what my business is all about: first and foremost, create good products. His story of how he received pencils from his brother and sister one Christmas has become one of his memorable life stories, and that has taught me the importance of little moments which is now the foundation of my company as we curate life’s little moments for our clients.
If you asked me this morning, as we hugged good bye (he lives in San Francisco), if I wanted ‘more’. The answer was yes. I wanted ‘more’, even back then in 2007 when we said our first goodbye. Today, I wished ‘more’ means an extra night on the boat, ‘more’ long conversations under the evening sky, ‘more’ holding hands and ‘more’ outrageous childhood stories. ‘More’ of each other.
But as I sit here in my bedroom looking out at the disappearing moon, I wonder if perhaps the last chapter of this book of him and I, is not a lesson in getting or expecting ‘more’ but accepting that in the absence of ‘more’, there is just ‘enough’ good and happiness to experience . Maybe our paths will cross again and we would sleep on that tiny boat snoring into each other’s ears, frantically searching for the other person’s hand to hold as if it is safer somehow to sleep holding hands. Maybe our paths will never cross again. Maybe it will take another 7 years for us to meet again, with each of us hopefully having had found our true north.
The cure for pain is in the pain. -Rumi
And so it begins, a ritual that requires no words. My medicine: getting undressed, turning off all the lights, opening the bedroom window wide open, crawling into bed, resting my head on a tear-soaked pillow and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on repeat. This time, crying to sleep for one more time, not because I want more, but because in my incredible experience with him, I find myself perhaps for the very first time in my life, in the presence of ‘enough’- that I am enough, that the experience I shared with him was enough to awaken the person I had briefly forgotten.
Perhaps the story is not written to satisfy my own version of a generic and short-sighted happy ending. I think I must have missed the point somewhere between us meeting and him departing. The story is not yet done. It is unfolding, opening me, with each experience allowing me the time and space to blossom into the best version of a victor by choice and by circumstances.
The magnificent lessons continue where my life is both the class and the canvas. And the student is ready.
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