Yesterday I Wore A Tutu

26 Mar

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Yesterday I wore a tutu.

I’ve had this blog post swirling around in my head for two months and I could never come up with a beginning until yesterday.

Because yesterday I wore a tutu.

I wore a tutu and got nachos with Hilary and Rob and went purple lipstick shopping and ate gelato and ordered extra ice diet coke with lemon (because my McDonald’s orders are quickly turning into orders only appropriate for five-star restaurants) and I shoved my big, blue tutu into my silver Corolla and felt slightly like a bride with all the tulle puffing up around me.

Yesterday I wore a tutu and Hilary said, “Jill, you look and sound so much better today.  I actually know what to say to you.”

Yesterday I wore a tutu.

Let’s rewind a bit.

About a month ago I had a day that was quite possibly the worst day of my life.  In Looking for Alaska, John Green’s hyper-intelligent, hyper-verbal teens sit around drinking and smoking and talking about the worst days of their lives. This fictional conversation got me thinking about my own, real worst days, because as you know by now, that’s what books do for me.  Turn me inside.

And last month I had what was quite possibly the worst day of my life.

I say it was “quite possibly” the worst day of my life because it’s hard to know, really.  There have been other bad days, but I don’t remember them as well.  The pain isn’t as fresh.  And last month’s bad day is still very much on my mind and very much in my tear ducts.

I have found that I have an unlimited supply of two things in my life: obsessiveness and tears.  It doesn’t matter how much I’ve cried over one particular thing, the well never seems to dry up.

And that’s kind of a scary thought.

This Worst Day fell smack dab in the middle of one of the worst months of my life, which turned into one of the worst two months of my life.  I was texting a friend about this and the text autocorrected to “one of the worst months of my lives” and we laughed and said it was probably appropriate.  Because if I had past lives, my goodness they are still talking about the last two months.

I was at lunch with a friend the other day and we were talking about our ages, and the ages we act like/feel like.  This particular friend was born a middle-aged man with all the desire for comfort and stability that comes with it.  I was born a 17-year-old girl filled to the brim with emotion.

As I told him this he said, “Jill, if you’re 17 you’re a 17-year-old former beauty pageant queen.  You’re too cynical for 17.”

And he was right in some ways.  The last two months have been so awful, in part, because when I was actually 17 I was much looser with my heart and life than I am now.  I’m still dealing with the consequences of decisions I made when I was 17.

I’ve found as I get older and things go wrong, I don’t necessarily cope better than I used to.  In some ways I cope worse, because I’ve had so much time to build up poor coping mechanisms.  The London period, in particular, introduced me to a slew of bad habits, things that flooded back to me in no time these past two months.

It’s disheartening how quickly I can slip into former, worst versions of myself.  Like these selves are there the whole time, just waiting for a bad moment to pop out and taunt me.  Just waiting to remind me all my efforts to eradicate these ugly parts are only temporary.

But this blog post isn’t about that.  It’s about healing, and, of course, tutus.

The turning point in this haze of overwhelming was last weekend when my old roommate Harry came in town.

We spent a simple day together, certainly not one for the record books.  We ate samples at Trader Joe’s, Harry gulping down the entire tray without thought.  We watched March Madness, or rather Harry and his friend watched March Madness and I did everything I could to distract them from March Madness.

We discussed Dickens.  And Austen.  And if Hamlet is the peak of human creation.

We visited a chapel where Harry casually suggested we get married and honeymoon in Europe and I casually said yes, as friends do in beautiful churches.

We ate shabu shabu, and even though we could barely move we were so full, we ended up at a fro yo place and Harry had his green apple/key lime pie monstrosity and I had my whipped cream/cake batter monstrosity and we laughed.  Real, honest laughs.  And I was happy.

I watched the sun set in a Red Sox hoodie and had an epiphany about the types of places I love most in the world, towns where everything closes down at 6:00PM.  Towns with cottages and good local food.  Rich towns.  Sleepy towns.  Cape Cod.  Palos Verdes Estates. Malibu.

And then I went home and something was different.

I cooked.  I bought fresh produce.  I went on a walk.

I wore a tutu.

I know people always say love comes “when you’re not looking” or “when you least expect it” which seems like bullshit to me.  If that were true I would have found love a long time ago.  Then again, I think most definitive statements on love are bullshit.  Love is just too complicated.

But maybe the “when you least expect it” thing is true for happiness?

On Wednesday last week I made an emergency road trip to Vegas to see Celine Dion/boost my spirits.  If any day was going to turn my mood around it was my dramatic Road Trip Celine Dion Find Myself day, I was sure.

And Celine Day was a good day.  But it wasn’t the turning point.

The turning point was a simple day that I gave no thought to beforehand.

Also, yesterday I wore a tutu.

Did I mention that?

Well I wore a tutu.

And today I’m wearing it again.

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11 Responses to “Yesterday I Wore A Tutu”

  1. Hilary Miller March 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    “She wore a tutu for every day after, and all loved her for it.”

  2. Rachel G March 27, 2014 at 3:38 am #

    Gotta love those days when you can find joy again after too-long of a period when everything sucked…

  3. Ksenija @ With An Open Mind March 27, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    I love this piece – because, though I have the feeling you kind of said nothing and left so much open, you said everything you needed. Nice.

  4. Kylee March 27, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    First, I think your blog posts could easily be complied into a best-selling book. Second, you make me want to blog because if for no other reason, you have this beautiful journal that your children and their children will forever cherish. Third, I want that tutu.

  5. Marla March 27, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    This was absolutely beautiful.

  6. koseli March 28, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    girl, you look good in that tutu.

    don’t stop blogging. your blog is good for my soul.

  7. chelsea March 29, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    I love this post so, so much.

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