Pollyanna is back. I lost my voice four years ago and have just found it again. I came back on WordPress to update and get ready to tell stories again and noticed that I had written one that I never posted. It was surreal to read what I had written. I’ve needed to add some updates to the story. I’m still working at the museum and love what I do. It’s been a good fit for me. Three of the four marriages are still intact. I feel like we have all been attendees at a national funeral! The saddest one I’ve ever attended. Little did I know at the time but our country has lost a tremendous amount since then with too many deaths and A nation wide destruction worse than I ever could have imagined on November 24, 2016. Somehow, I felt like I couldn’t start over with Pollyanna without posting where I left off. After this I will start anew and come back together. A little older and a little wiser with still a lot to learn.
Here’s what I wrote on November 24, 2016:
It’s been six months since I’ve posted anything as Pollyanna in Savannah. I started Pollyanna 2 1/2 years ago as a way to cope at a time when it felt like things were falling apart. I had quit my job and struggled with understanding my roll in my new world. So I wrote.
Time has a way of healing wounds and good things come to those who wait. I processed and grieved and experienced and thought and wrote some more. Eventually I came to the understanding that certain things did not define me and that there was a new and different life waiting for me. I had reached the place where I was happy to move on and let things come together again. It’s amazing what a change in attitude can do to change the direction of your life. Coming together.
With the new year came a new job. It started out as a volunteer opportunity. Something to get me out of the house and save me from falling into a depressing and sweat pant wearing rut. I signed up for training to be a tour guide at a local museum. It felt great to put on ironed clothes and use my brain again. I spent four weeks in training and doing what makes my heart soar – learning. I felt alive again. This wonderful volunteer opportunity turned into a job at the museum. I love it, I’m thrilled to go to work everyday and I am humbled for it. Coming together.
I’ve learned this lesson before and I keep learning it over and over again. Things fall apart then come back together again. I learned this years ago from Pema Chodron. The problem is that when I’m in that state of “all is right with the world” I always forget that sooner or later the “falling apart” thing is going to happen once again.
In addition to this new job, I attended four weddings in 2016. I watched the children of two of my cousins, the daughter of my longest and dearest friend and my own son start new lives with their loves. I have a beautiful new daughter in law and she any my son are ecstatically in love. As a parent I could not wish for more for my children. These four weddings also provided the opportunity to reconnect with family and share joy, laughter and good memories. Happy, coming together of past lives events. It felt wonderful to relish in these times of joy. Coming together.
Despite all this happiness I also felt the slightest twinge of fear about my own mortality and what the rest of my life will look like. I’m now twice as old as these young couples are. It seems like I was just their age and getting married and starting a family. My cousins and I share the same grandparents and have great memories to talk about but these newly weds don’t even know my grandparents. They don’t know that family. That generation is gone and only exists in stories. I’m now part of that older generation. One that has seen and experienced a lot of changes in the world. In the same amount of time that has passed since I got married and started a family I could be gone. My life is 2/3 over. I have known a lot of happiness but a fair amount of sadness. When you’re young and just starting out you have a lot of happy events happening in your life. You don’t anticipate the “falling apart”. At my age I know that more and more things are going to fall apart. I can feel the seasons changing and the need to keep the stories.
I didn’t actually attend any funerals this year but in the metaphorical sense of the word I feel a huge sense of loss. It feels as if my country has died and I am uncertain as to what will happen next. My hope for the future has died. Our Presidential election resulted in the selection of one of the most heinous men in the country becoming the next President of the United States. That is terrifying to me and I don’t want the twilight of my life to feel like this. It feels like there has been a death. It feels like things are really falling apart. And at a faster rate than before. I’ve lost friends and family because of this insanity. Some friendships will be hard to resurrect after this. Family relations may never be repaired. Respect has died. Good manners have died. Decorum has died. Hope has died. This “falling apart” is different and feels like one that we can’t recover from. I fear for the future of those young couples who were married this summer with a lifetime to look forward to. I fear for the future of my own children and grandchildren. What kind of world will they have to live in?
I’ve felt this way before. I’ve been afraid and then I’ve found the strength to fight for my life. I feel an urgent need to fight for a better story. This time not for me but for them. These young marrieds and their babies and my own future grand babies.This time it does not seem like things will come back together. But it needs to. It has to. I need to see that. I need to have faith in that. Especially this time.
I’m inspired that others need to see that too. Others want to fight to keep it together. Others coming together. This “falling apart” period could be a long one. But I’m hoping that the coming back together lasts a long time too. Life is good. The “coming together” parts of life always outweighs the “falling part” times.