Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Crutch

As a Christmas present, I bought all the women in Blake's family a custom made necklace. I designed it online to be perfect: gold angel wings, a tiny sapphire stone, and a little pendant embossed with the letter B. I hoped this necklace would be a way to carry a piece of Blake with them wherever they went.

Since the necklaces came in, I've worn mine every day. Anytime I was feeling upset or stressed or nervous about something, I would hold onto the wings and remind myself that Blake was there to guide me. I had other physical reminders: the blue heart ring that I never take off, his cologne that I wear for important events, his shirts I wear to bed, the freckle that's a permanent part of my skin... (etc.), but for some reason I felt like this necklace was a necessary addition to the numerous other things I surround myself with to feel Blake's presence.

This past weekend I went on a road trip up to LA, to San Jose to visit my old students at school, San Francisco to visit friends and old co-workers, and then back through LA again. It was the perfect way to finish off my Winter Break and slowly transition back into school mode. Although San Francisco was a little difficult and I couldn't bear to go back and visit my old house, I felt great about being there. I could truly feel the progress I've made since the last time I was there. I left the Bay Area a lost, broken girl, and have returned eight months later feeling like I've come out the other side a happier, more complete woman.

What I want to write about is something upsetting, but ultimately symbolic that happened this weekend. After my first night in San Jose on Thursday, I accidentally left my angel wing necklace at my friend's house. I called and checked to make sure she had it, and she did, so I decided I'd wait until the end of the weekend to pick it up on my way back home. I wished that the second I realized it was gone I could've gone to her house to get it, but it was impossible. I was going to have to face San Francisco on my own.

Sure, I still had my ring and my freckle to touch when I felt upset, but I had grown used to rubbing the little angel wings. It was frustrating to not have them as a crutch anymore, but I had to learn to look inside myself instead of to a tangible object. But when I came back through San Jose on Sunday night, I was relieved to finally have the necklace again.

Sometime in the hours between Sunday night and Monday morning, my angel wing necklace got incomprehensibly tangled in my purse. I had never seen a collection of knots so big caused by nothing more than sitting in a pocket. Determined to wear the necklace again, I kept it in my hand the whole drive to LA, trying to unknot it any chance I got. But there was no use. I was clearly going to have to take it to a professional.

When I drove up to my friend's house that night, I must have let the necklace fall from my lap when I got out of the car to greet him. I've looked every place that the necklace might be, but it seems to have just completely disappeared. It was left behind, then unwearable, and then lost. I can either blame myself for this, or try to believe that it happened for a reason.

What is this reason? Maybe Blake was telling me I need to stop using him as a crutch. If I surround myself so completely with him and believe so deeply that it's him helping me through things, I'll have no room for confidence in myself. I can't even begin to let anyone else in if I treat him as my own personal guide through life. Ultimately I know he's there, but he doesn't have to be responsible for every decision I make and lifting me up anytime I feel lost. I can, and should, do that for myself now.

So necklace or no necklace, I know I can handle anything.

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