I have always envied birds their ability to fly - even on the windiest days, even as they look as though they might lose the battle with the forces that are hurling themselves against them - because they're flying. I am fascinated by their ability to fly through almost anything and their apparent swooping fun almost always.
I haven't dreamed of flying for a long time. I used to dream of floating off windowsills in high winds only to discover I could stay aloft indefinitely. In my dreams, it never surprised me that I could fly. I knew if I stepped off the ledge, I wouldn't fall. I loved those dreams.
As I said, though, I haven't had one of those dreams for a long while. I feel like it represents a change in me. It's a change I don't like. And it's fed by a person I love.
So my very dramatic post of yesterday culminates in this: I have to say goodbye to someone. Someone I've commiserated with and cried with, who has listened to my fears and hopes for many years.
I realized the other day, after several hours of yoga, as I lay sodden and spent on my mat, that as much as I love her, her contribution has always been a negative one. Too often she confirms my fears and dismantles my dreams. She tells me not to get my hopes up. She makes it easier for me to give up.
I've thought about this pattern. I've contributed to it by asking to hear these things. I have called on her too many times to hear that it's okay not to do, say, want things.
I have addressed the pattern with her. Possibly she doesn't see it. Possibly she doesn't want to see it. I can't say. What I can say is that it won't change. It can't change. We've entrenched ourselves in these roles.
I've tried to add new lines of dialogue, but she comes back to the same scene over and over - even when what she says doesn't make sense. She only knows the one play and she can't improvise.
So I have to let her go. It breaks my heart. Not only because I'm sad to lose her, but because I see the effect her unwillingness to change the pattern has on her. She is becoming afraid and bitter. But she and I can do each other no more good, it seems.
I took a day to wallow - to look at our elementary school pictures, read our old letters, remember the fun - and to cry. I almost can't remember my life without her in it.
She is my oldest friend. She knows more about me than anyone. She knows things no one else will ever know and understands me in ways no one else ever will. And I still have to give her up. Because as much as I love her, I love me more.
I need to dream of flying again.