"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Early this morning I saw that quote and it lifted my spirits. I am having a tough time right now. I wake up in the middle of the night, as I've written about before, and it feels like my world is falling apart. But when I wake up in the morning, somehow I feel more optimistic and less afraid. This morning, the positive feeling came when I read that quote. I've read it before, but it had special meaning for me today.
I have always found a way to get through difficult times. Friends of mine are fighting for their lives. A billion people in this world go to bed hungry, with no access to clean water, no money and in desperate fear for their lives. That is incomprehensible really, but true.
What I am going through is painful and challenging, but it's a process of grief and mourning and then opportunity. I would love to know that my life has more meaning than to just mope about getting a divorce.
My four day birthday weekend in Miami with my community of women was amazing. I can't say much about it other than to say it was the highest of highs and also moments of really deep sadness. When we weren't in sessions with Regena, we were at the beach or at the pool. For me, there is nothing more healing than the ocean. I also wore a bikini for the first time in over twenty-five years. A hot pink bikini. With polka dots. (There will be no photos posted, I promise.)
On Friday night a group of us went to a Greek restaurant called Opa, where we danced on the tables with some very attractive young men and a couple of belly dancers. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun. Why are there no restaurants like this in New York City? I need to dance on more tables.
We floated in the ocean and had long conversations and shared our desires. We sat around the pool at one in the morning and looked at the full moon. The women who come to Miami for these weekends are all ages: twenty-two to seventy something. Mothers and daughters come together. There are all kinds of professions: lawyers, professors, actors, writers, veterinarians, physical therapists, social workers, teachers, dancers, financial advisors - there was even a fantastic opera singer who performed. I have never cried as much as I did this weekend, or felt more comforted. There are cancer survivors, women who have gone through difficult divorces, women who are estranged from their children, who have lost jobs.
There are also many women whose lives are going really well, better for having connected with this community. My friend Polly shared a hotel room with me for two nights and wouldn't let me pay my share. She generously told me about her divorce and then about her wonderful recent marriage to a man she dated in college, who she deeply loves. She gave me advice about my job search and a list of books to read.
I am looking for the opportunity in this difficulty and what I am finding is love and friendship.