What a Difference a Day Makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain
— Stanley Adams
Okay. To be fair, the full difference wasn't made in just twenty-four little hours but I really like the song and it speaks to the larger point. It's remarkable how your entire perspective can change in a very short time due to one thing.
A year ago — six month ago, even — I felt like I was just going through the motions of life. I was stable and functional. I wasn't in a particular depressed funk for the most part. But I just didn't feel like I had purpose anymore. I've never been someone who likes to focus on myself and, with my kids on their own, I felt like I was just spinning my wheels with nowhere to channel my attention. I dug into our construction and tech projects at church and I still enjoy those things but they had stabilized and, between COVID and budgets, future projects have been on hold. And while they were great ways to fill time and work toward our church's mission which I really believe in, they didn't fulfill me at a base level. So I had pretty much just been treading water.
Her presence in my life has given me a sense of purpose and meaning again. Really, actively loving someone — and allowing yourself to be loved by them in return — is the essence of something I've said many times in the past. Our deepest human desire is for honest connection with someone. To really know them and be known by them at the foundational level. To shed all of the pretense and tear down the filters that we hide behind and let them see all of those things that we don't even like to see ourselves. That's what she and I both want and are working at. It's not easy — relationship never is — but it's priceless.
I don't want to overstate the point here. I wasn't at the end of my rope with no way to go on. And she didn't swoop in to save me from my despair. But I don't want to understate it, either. I was in an emotional and mental rut. And she did show me that someone can love me in spite of the things I am insecure about. In short, Erica has changed my outlook and made my life so much better by being in it. I now have someone to care about and a future to anticipate and plan for.
This, dear readers, is the first New Year's Eve in a quite while in which I'm actually looking forward to the coming year and not just marking the passing of the old one. I hope that you, too, have a reason to do the same, whatever that reason may be. And to Erica, thank you for being the incredible woman you are, for loving me, and for letting me love you. I'm excited for our future. "And the difference is you..."
Blessings to you all in 2022 and beyond.