My therapist had encouraged this moment, telling me that not only was anger ok, but that it was valid and that she wanted me to feel it. I had a right to be angry. And she hoped it would come soon.
And so it did.
I could go into the details, but it's long and messy and boring and ...over.
A former therapist said that when the anger comes, to buy cheap plates at thrift stores and find a place to smash them. And I do. And it feels really good.
I spent the past year fighting battles that I never wanted to be a part of, standing up for what I believed to be true and right, and being honest and transparent every step of the way. I absolutely had moments where I was a not the best version of myself - moments that I was not proud of. But for the most part, if this was indeed a fight, then I believe I fought with integrity.At the end of the day, I suffered a lot of damage because of it, but I have no doubts about the person that I am, and that the person that I am is good.
Sooooo...when the anger came, it was intense. I was furious. Furious at the way that I had been treated, furious about the lies that had been spread about me and others, furious about my own shortcomings, furious about a false narrative that was being presented as truth, furious about a community that had been completely marginalized...so much fury.
And then strangely...joy. Because I came back to who I am. And along the way, as I cut the toxins out of my life, these amazing people who I have always kind of known, began to shine so much brighter, and I had the opportunity to become a part of their lives. We have had some amazing moments - I have been blessed with these moments, with these amazing people.
As ugly as the past year has been, I don't think I would have changed much about what I did.
The only thing that I am pretty sure that I would do differently is to understand that if I am going to be comfortable with this outspoken, passionate, honest and flawed person that I am, then I need to be ok with the fact that I am going to have enemies. And I am going to have enemies who are going to be less than kind. And I need to learn when to walk away.
Last week, I was walking to church and I saw a lump in the street. As I got closer, I saw that it was an injured mourning dove. I carefully picked it up and moved it into some bushes. I waved my arms in the air so that its mate would see where it was, and then kept walking. When I got to church, I felt like the sermon and the dove all tied in together and it was like this beautiful symbol of hope...the universe was speaking to me - it sent me this dove as a message of hope! I cried a little, because I have all of these crazy emotions and that's what I do now, and doves! and hope! and universe!
When I walked home, I again saw a lump in the street. It was the same dove. And it was dead.
Because if the universe sent me a message of hope, then it also smashed my hope right in the middle of a neighborhood that I had wrapped my whole life around for years.
But...I still took meaning from it. And I think the meaning I took was even better than the message that I thought I was getting.
Sometimes, you are going to put all of your energy into fighting for something, saving it, loving it, making sure it's ok.
And sometimes, after all of that effort, the dove is going to end up smashed in the street anyway.
I'm still glad I tried to save that dove, because it was the right thing to do. And I would do it again, a thousand times over.
Thank you so much for being here. A friend told me tonight that her favorite people are the people who are messed up. I agree and I don't - I don't think that it's being messed up that makes a great person. I think we're all messed up. But it takes courage to say it, and to try and navigate through it to come out a better person. So here's to all of the people who are not afraid to own their own disasters - I am so incredibly grateful to be able to share this journey with you, and that so many people have been sharing their own journeys with me. It's been, and continues to be, inspiring.