It’s a little past eight in the morning and already so much has happened. I woke up on my own this morning, my eyes opening at 4:17am. This surprised me, and made me smile because it is clear that my body is adjusting to this new early morning writing routine. This makes me happy because this writing thing, this writing first thing ever single day thing, has been nothing short of incredible. I so want to keep it up. And plan to.
I had to cut the writing short a bit to make it to my therapist’s office on the East Side. Our appointment was at 6am. In the past, this time struck me as inhumanely early, but no longer. I left my house. On Columbus Avenue, I hailed a taxi. It was still dark, and damp, and the streets were empty but for some dedicated morning runners. I snapped a few pictures. My favorite of the bunch is above. I love the green lights.
I said it in my little daily Instagram/Facebook update, but I feel like I am in a green light place right now, a place of progress, of moving forward, of going. I told my therapist this. We are seeing each other every 3-4 weeks at this point and each time I arrive in her beautiful office, I begin by filling her in on what has happened since I saw her last. Today, I told her that things have been good, like really good. That I have been off alcohol again for almost a month, that I have woken up to write at 4:30am for two weeks in a row. I rambled on and on because that’s what I do.
I think it is good for me to write first thing because writing my book is very important to me and I am making the time to do it and doing it at a time that is all mine, when no one in the world needs me, when my mind is full of dreams and ideas and not yet cluttered by the day. When I start the day this way, the rest of my day feels free. I feel more present with my kids, with my husband, with myself. I feel more free to walk around and have lunch with a friend or colleague. I am reading books again. Working out again.
When our time was up, I thanked her. I told her I think I have come pretty far in the past two years and even in the past month. I told her that she has helped me get to this very good place. She smiled. I told her I’d see her in September. Because I will. And I will look forward to it.
In the lobby of her building, I sat in a chair and wrote words. Words about all of this, about this Green Light Place. The metaphor works, doesn’t it? In life, there are green light, red light and yellow light times. Times when we are stopped by something internal or external or both. Times when we are slowed, stalling, spinning in place. And then there are those glorious times when we are moving along.
As I was hunched over my phone exploring this early morning metaphor, I heard someone say my name. “Aidan?” And I looked up and saw that it was my OB/Gyn, a woman I just adore who delivered two of my three girls. She looked confused to see me in the lobby of her apartment building at such an early hour. “My therapist’s office is here,” I said. And I didn’t hesitate one bit. Just said it and we caught up about our kids and our summers.
In the past, I kept these things close to the vest. The drinking thing. The struggling thing. The seeing a therapist thing. And I understand why I did. These things can feel private and raw and scary. But these things can also feel a bit different. They can feel real and universal and okay. Good even.
Anyway, this is another telltale ramble. But that’s who I am these days. A happy, rambling thing. And I’m going to go with it.
I guess if there’s a point, a message, a takeaway, it’s this: It’s okay if you do not have it all together, if you are struggling with something, if you are stopped or stuck or stalled. Honor the red lights and the yellows because they are part of life, part of the game. And when the green lights come, and they will, they will be that much better.
I’m not sure any of this makes much sense, so I will blame that on waking up at 4:17. Also, I’m realizing that I feel this way at the end of my best, most important posts. This feeling of not knowing, of wondering if I am a bit too all over the place is usually a sign that I am saying something I want to say, and people want to or need to hear. I guess we’ll see.
TGIF, friends. Oh, and check out Husband’s hairstyle this morning.
Would you say you are in a red, yellow, or green light time of your life? Have you ever been in therapy? Why do you think people are sometimes hesitant to talk about the fact that they are talking with someone? Do you see therapy as a sign of weakness or strength?