Doodad Kind of Town


On Suburban Saturdays and Healing a Broken Heart
June 2, 2007, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m sometimes surprised to find, these days, that I am still not over my recently ended relationship. I would like to believe that I am at peace. I would like to believe that I have bestowed forgiveness and kind understanding upon my ex-boyfriend, that I have released him and the future to God, and that I’m ready to move confidently on to the next adventure in my life. But, in truth, there are a couple of hours in every day when I feel either angry or sad about the turn of events in my love life. All the pain comes back, and then I have to feel it all again, and then let it all go again.

Let me attempt a potentially awkward metaphor here. It’s like I’m on a ship moving away from a familiar shore that I’m desperate to leave behind. I want more than anything to reach the middle of the ocean, where only the sea and sky are visible and I can be at peace. But every day, I get up and go out on deck, and – damn it! – I can still see that shore. I can still make out, clearly, the places where I suffered the most pain or knew the deepest heartache. The ship keeps moving and taking me with it, but our daily progress is mere inches, when I want to move miles. What does a girl have to do to reach the Sea of Forgetting?

Well, she gets up each day, gets dressed, has her coffee and tries to stay busy. She can vent to friends, and accompany them to forgettable movies, which is what I did this afternoon. (“Mr. Brooks” – Kevin Costner as upright citizen/secret serial killer. My advice: avoid this one, like the plague. ) After, the movie, she can wander around the neighborhood art fair, sipping a lemon shake-up and feeling grateful that the thunderstorms which were threatened for the afternoon never actually materialized.

Or. . . she can embrace her inner nerd (if she has one – and I sure do), and sign up for a six-week Saturday morning seminar on European History. As you may have guessed, this is what I did this week. Classes start on June 9. Every Saturday, I’ll be on a Metra train to Chicago with a big notebook and a cup of steaming Starbucks in hand. I’ll spend two hours learning about the rivalries and tensions that lead Europe into the first World War. I am secretly quite thrilled about this. I say “secretly” because there aren’t many people to whom I can say “Every Saturday morning this summer, while the sun is shining and you’re out jogging or buying sweet corn at the Farmer’s Market, I’ll be in a classroom learning about “The Origins of the Great War: European Rivalries 1871-1914,” and I’m REALLY PUMPED!” (Not without getting a reaction along the lines of “Oh, uh-huh…. er, um, yeah, you know, I really have to run, gotta get home and vacuum the cat… Bye!”) But for me this will be a treat. It’s something to do just for me that no one else has to like or approve of. And isn’t that really the best medicine for a broken heart?

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