I don't know if it's because I'm a writer or because I've seen/read more rom-com/chick-lit than I care to admit, but I woke up this morning and I swear, I heard a narrator narrating my every thought, my every move.
The next morning, Phi awoke with a heavy head. Kept her eyes closed and contemplated her day. A bed-and-Netflix day seemed quite called for. Or a meet-a-friend-in-a-park day.
But as Phi lay there, she knew this was a seminal moment. Her first set back. How she responded mattered. It would set the tone for years to come.
She realized she didn't want to lie in bed all day. She wanted to email Darnell, send him her dance poster for the studio's website. She wanted to make a Meet-Up group for her East Bay dance class. Maybe craigslist wasn't the best way to advertise...after all, she certainly wouldn't look for dance classes on craigslist...
She realized that lying in bed with her eyes still half-closed, she was already working, planning, getting back on the proverbial horse. And it felt good.
At this point, I swear, I heard Upbeat Energetic Music, you know, like a little bass-guitar riff, like when the chick flick star's about to fix her life good. Like when Bridget Jones gets on that stationary bike, or when Kevin Bacon laces up to dance around the barn. In fact...
Phi got out of bed, put on tea water. As she dressed, she turned on her playlist for her dance class. As she danced to her own choreography, she felt rejuvenated. It was good choreo. It was fun choreo. It was her choreo.
She decided to dress nicely, put on big earrings, a pretty blouse (it's a tank, I don't actually wear blouses, but my narrator is staunchly British).
Though she had told herself she would not check Facebook for the rest of the week- it wasn't healthy to rely on others for validation- she did.
There lay message after message from close friends and acquaintances. With words like:
An old high school friend had taken the time and care to write a message to her, talked of her own experiences.
"And remember, the number of people is no reflection on you (although it is good for the ego). I've played the same film to hundreds of people (who gave it a standing ovation) and to a single person in a lonely rented classroom (where the screen rolled up half way through because the tech guy forgot to adjust the settings). It's still the same film."
It's still the same film, Phi repeated. She wrote the line on her whiteboard. Traced the quote with her palm.
How often this phenomenon had been experienced all over the world, throughout time- creating something with love and care and experiencing a rocky start. She certainly wasn't the only one. In fact, she was now part of a club, of risk-taking self-starters. A club she was proud to be part of. She was earning her stripes.
A friend texted- "Hi Philicious, how was class?" Another friend texted, "Sorry to read about the no-shows last night."
Phi thought back to how alone she'd felt the night before. She wasn't alone. People kept her in mind. She had to remember that. She had written the night before about how she was in transition and still forming community. Here it was: her forming community.
She did not have a Charlotte/Samantha/Annoying Redhead posse, but she had friends, cheering for her from across the Bay, across North America (that's you, PDot), across the world. And for now, that was enough.
She arrived at her neighborhood coffee shop, ordered a strong coffee and fired up her laptop.
There was an email with feedback from a yoga class she'd subbed two nights earlier. One she'd fretted she'd sucked at. Five people had given feedback. All of them had liked Phi, found her kind, attuned, and even funny.
This, too, was transition. Learning yoga, teaching yoga. Finding her voice, finding her path.
She was doing it. One bit at a time. Some things were successful. Some things were set-backs. Some things she had no way of knowing how people received.
Her job was to just carry on.
She took a sip of coffee, and typed a new email.