The other day my friend was saying how great it would be if life was like a Janet Jackson video from the early 90s, where people would suddenly bust out into fresh dance moves.
On Saturday night, while I was hauling thousands of dollars worth of projection equipment from my dead car to my friends’ who happened to be at the bar accross the street car, I really wished I was in an early Janet video.
What happened instead of a Janet Jackson video.
I spent all last week obsessing about the process of forgiving myself for lower attendance at Saturday’s screening since I had an intense month at work and didn’t have as much time to do publicity (and since everyone and their cousin had an event on Saturday).
I felt so proud that I had done all the emotional work to figure that out.
And, I felt good that I reached my forgiveness goal of at least 20 people (there were 25).
I thought I had emotionally conquered. I was in total control.
We loaded up the car, I sent the volunteers off. And then, the unanticipated: my car didn’t start.
All sorts of things happened after that that I never could have anticipated.
Things I was emotionally unprepared for.
- I realized that I didn’t know if I had roadside assistance service because my ex was supposed to purchase it for me. I called the ex and demanded the information, while they were doing who knows what–giving a toast–at their previous’ ex’s graduation party. (Hard to follow, I know). Turns out I didn’t have coverage.Then I called my sweetie, and my bestie, and no one answered. Panic. One of my closest friends who I’ve known since 5th grade and her sweetie happened to walk by at that exact moment on their way to the restaurant and I chose not to call out to them because I don’t know how to ask for help I was busy figuring out a solution on my own so I could curb my meltdown.
- I discovered a group of friends who usually help at the screening but didnt’ this time all chilling together at a bar across the street. I immeadiatly launched into an intense delusion that they didn’t care about me or support me, and that quitting my job was a bad decision because if my own friends didn’t believe in me why should anyone else?Warp speed defeating stories pulsed through my mind. I pushed back tears, took their keys, denied their several offers of help, and borrowed their car to shuttle equipment home.I quickly recognized that I was DELUSIONAL, that my story of heartbreak was unjustified and I was taking everything too personally. But even though I recognized it, it took more than a day to finally come back to being totally present. It was exhausting fighting off those stories.
- As I was shuttling equipment back and forth between cars (my car was dead on Germantown Ave where I couldn’t pull another car up next to it, so I had to walk all the equipment) and walked back to my car, the one person in Philadelphia who I have not been on speaking terms with for several years happened to be standing right next to my car talking to someone.It hasn’t been for a lack of love. And, it wasn’t a permanent cut off. I had told the person that they needed to work on something and if they felt they had they could contact me again. And they never did.I decided to say hello because it was just too absurd that they were right there. They were as shocked as I was. They asked how I was doing and I replied “Pretty shitty at the moment, actually.” That was the end of the conversation.It ended well though because they left me a note on my dashboard and I decided it’s about time to talk.
- Another friend I know–though not that well yet–happened to be at a table at the bar next to the car friends. At just the right moment after I was done shuttling she texted to ask if I had Triple AAA.She and her friend who I only met once for 2 seconds stayed with me past midnight through a false start jump and harassment by a super drunk guy while we waited for AAA to come bring me a new battery. They were amazing. I am so grateful for their laughter and company and patience and help. They were miraculous.But seriously, next time I can’t wait for the person I know least well to miraculously offer. I literally had several close friends within 30 seconds of me, a bestie and and a sweetie calling and texting, and I couldn’t ask any of them for help.