Sunday, October 24, 2010

the will

It doesn't matter how hard any of this is.

I shouldn't say it doesn't matter, because it does. It's going to be important later on when I look back and think about the things I've gone through and overcome. There is a lot of significance in this time, but what I should say is that's not what I should be focusing on. I should be focusing on where I am and why I'm here. It is definitely remarkable and hard to believe that I'm in India. India was hardly on my radar of places to visit until I met Meghan, and even then I tried to talk her out of it. I just wasn't really interested. I get it though. I get why India was so important to her. Meghan always sought challenges and India is certainly full of them. She wanted to experience as much as possible and India is vastly different end to end. Camels, wild peacocks, antelope and elephants all in the same day. It's amazing how old the tombs and temples and culture and customs are. They've remained largely unchanged for the last 500 years. She would love hanging out with the old men in the chai stalls (I should clarify, she would've loved it for the first ten seconds of sitting there and then would've quickly been fed up with the old men blatantly staring and asking which country) or sharing a meal with villagers on a blanket after dark in the desert under the stars (guaranteed more shooting stars than you can count) or wandering through the endless maze of tiny alleys in Jaisalmer. These are experiences that few get to be part of and she would have loved that they were hers. They are hers.

It will be six months that she's been gone this Wednesday, as of few days ago I didn't think I was at all prepared for it. I know six months is a completely arbitrary mile-marker, but it exists and it exists to remind me that I'm alone. That she isn't here anymore. I didn't think I could handle it. I might not be able to. But so far, I am doing IT. That's the point. I am in the middle of it, still surviving and coping and carrying on. I am still here.

Meghan would be so proud and overcome at all that has happened in the past months. Things have progressed beyond what either of us ever expected. She would be so happy with the current place and the path for the future. We do have big plans for all of this. This doesn't just end with me. My goal is to make myself obsolete and have this entity carry on as its own, spurring others to live in Meghan's legacy, reflecting on all that she has to offer and all the of the strength she made so clearly visible for us to see. She is, in every way, extraordinary. Thanks to her I know how to let myself be upset, to grieve, to evaluate everything, then pick myself up and trudge through the mire life so often carelessly distributes to those that hardly ever deserve it.

We are amazing in that we possess will. We have the ability to see the impossible for what it is and overcome with sometimes nothing more than our determination. I watched Meghan do it countless times and on a regular basis. Overcoming provided fulfillment for her, like one would expect, but not like the journey to get there. Those individual steps were her triumph, the bumps along the way that she wouldn't let slow her down. It didn't matter how imposing those roadblocks were. The struggle is what held the significance.

She didn't let life pass her by. She allowed herself to relax and enjoy tiny moments that others hurried to get through. The small stuff holds the significance. The good, the bad. The heavy and the light. Where you are and why you're there is significant. Drinking coffee with a loved one is significant, not the stupid fight you have that keeps you from talking. Drinking chai in a sandstone hut has weight. Riding the slow bus to the beach has weight. Going to a hockey game with your family and best friends has weight. Not the final score, not the cost of the ticket, not the chai itself. Its the up and the down, the happy and the sad, the pieces that make up the whole that are important.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Wall

In the last week I feel like I've hit a wall. The one made up all those painful feelings and memories of losing Meghan that's insurmountable and seemingly infinite on both sides. I've managed, off and on to turn my back on it and pretend it's not there or walk alongside it but again, avoid it. Until this past week. I've run out of ground to distract myself. It's here and it's huge and it's sad. And it makes me every bit as upset as it did five months ago. I have trouble sleeping at night, because every time I close my eyes I see the film reel of Meghan. If I'm lucky it has sound and I feel close and connected, if not I'm forced to watch from far away and I feel completely alone. Half the time I have to sleep holding a pillow or rolled up blanket.

All of this intense, heavy feeling combined with the cultural difference made me unfairly dislike India. And that is so unfair, to jumble a set of feelings into a judgment about one country. Not just one country, India. One-fifth of the worlds population. 150 different languages and thousand year old customary traditions that change as fast as the towns along the highways. India is beyond rich in life. I've been unfair.

I hated the hawking and heckling. I still do, but I think of it differently and react differently. With so much competition its hard to set yourself apart if you cant get a patron's attention. I hated the dirt and grime, but that too, I think of differently. Being dependent on tourism means a lack in infrastructure to upgrade things like sewer systems or electricity. Theres also an 'if it aint broke don't fix it mentality." India can be overwhelmingly difficult and intense. But so is Chinatown. Any Chinatown. Somehow though, I feel at ease about Jaisalmer. I'm not as frustrated, it's a slower pace of life here which can be pretty relaxing if you let it. I'm faced with these choices of how I can react to situations every day. It doesn't do me any good to react in anger, it just furthers my frustration. I feel more connected to the school and the people in it. The children are quickly responding to the English lessons and have made huge progress in their comprehension.

Back to the not sleeping. That too, I look at differently. It's not something to be sad about. Yes, what happened is incomprehensibly sad. But, I do have very vivid memories of Meghan. Some say that they can't remember facial features or voices or smells or instances after time and I still have all of that. I'm fairly confident it's not going
anywhere either. I miss her so much and I'm grateful she's still here in some capacity.
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