A day like a week, a week like a life

From a chocolate wrap

It was cold and rainy when we got inside of a restaurant and all I wanted was some hot food and a glass of wine. I wanted not to feel the cold. I wanted my hands to be warm again and to feel good. The friends came and we got the food and the wine. The food was not that good, the wine gave me a headache. My friend asked a lot of questions about my plans for this summer and about the kids and about my recent divorce. It was ok. Not the type of conversations I enjoy.

My son was tired and he was sitting on my lap with his head on my shoulder and it was really good to have him close. Every day I realize that I love my children slightly more than the day before. And then I feel like if I did not love them enough an hour ago. And I told my son that I loved him very much. He told me he loves me too and then asked when we were going to see fishes.

We went outside on the cold street. It was raining lightly. We drove to the Academy of Science. We have not been there for four years. We got inside and I remembered the smell of the place and every small detail of all the exhibits. We used to come here every week, normally every Tuesday when my daughter and my son were small. Then I had a feeling that even though I knew the place inside out I could not find my way. First I could not get the sense of it, then I realized I never used stairs in the museum. Funny. My mind mapped all the routes using elevators because with the kids being small we always had a stroller with us and using stairs was troublesome. Now we walked up and down the stairs and I felt suddenly very vulnerable and on the verge of crying. It was all real. I was real. My kids were real. And we had never used stairs here before. Past and present collided in a weird way. In the same space. Mapping different routes. I stood there and read a museum poster to the kids. And my voice became even again. And my heartbeat went back to normal, but my heart still hurt. Calm, serene, and heartbroken.

I smiled to myself. It was a space I loved so much. I loved the kids and my life now. Past was easy not to remember. I lived it, I accepted it, I went through its pain, then I detached myself from it. I moved forward. However when things like not having ever used stairs in the space I knew like the palm of my hand happened, I knew there was crack made in the hard shell I grew around my heart. Some of the pain was let out, some of the air was let in. It is a lengthy process of becoming real.

I enjoy as a kid the Academy of Science. I like watching fishes and butterflies and experiencing the earthquake and learning about the whales. All those things still take my breath away. I have never learnt how to be a grown up. I take kids to these places, because I still like them much better than hanging in a bar or chatting with my friends. We went to see it all today. Oh boy! What a day!

What a week! Feels like a life. A good life. On Monday I went to court to finalize my divorce paperwork. Then went to work. On Tuesday, after work had to go to the court again. Now all is done. Will be legally single again on October 2nd 2015. Single and fully responsible for my two children. On Tuesday my son got his yellow belt in MMA. One small step at a time. On Wednesday went to work. Then to my MMA class. On Thursday to work and to kickboxing. Had late dinner with a friend and the kids. On Friday kids had a day off. Took them to my work. We left to have a nice lunch and do something special for my daughter’s 8th birthday. (We did our nails 🙂 and bought lots of balloons!). All this time practicing violin, reading books, thinking about work and working. I love my work. I could not love more what I do. Not because it is peaceful. It is not. It is stressful. But it is also real. I am working with real people, helping somebody, building something. Not all the stretches in life are about growth. Some are about just living through a bad moment, making decisions, never losing faith in yourself and in others. I read the other day that in our life the connections we make with others are the most important thing we ever achieve in our lifespan, however we treat those connections as a passing thing, not as a final thing in itself. We focus on material things, not on connections. Connections are the most important part of life.

Once, years ago somebody asked me what was my goal in life. And I said “to be real”. I still have the same goal.  And today I felt a little bit more real. A little bit more beautiful. With the headache, and feeling cold, and having two amazing human beings next to me. My kids who I love every day a little bit more. And feeling lost in a museum I thought I knew so well. And thinking about the sounds that the ocean makes when a whale swims at 4,000 ft deep. And having the full responsibility over my kids, and knowing they will be amazing people. And enjoying it. And feeling like a kid myself.

May be I have never matured. I have never lived to a point where I felt secure and taken care of fully. My heart never knew what it is to feel safe. So I made my own life. I built a shell over my heart so that I am not hurt and I can care for myself and my children. And when this shell has a crack, I feel more real than ever. May be I am one thousand years old and I never grew up. I will live forever and I will always be a kid. May be I will meet another kid someday. Somebody like me, responsible, caring, but who still remains a kid. Then we will explore the world together. I have faith we will smile a lot.

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Magic Powers

We all hold some magic powers. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes we are not. Some of us can play music or play chess or run amazingly well. Some of us can write poems, some can speak various languages, some can write code really well. The combination of these magic powers makes us truly strong. We should always try to develop new ones and to deepen the ones we already own. Our abilities are endless. It is all about trade-offs. If I do music I do not have time to learn dancing. If I decide to take on knitting I do not have time to do kickboxing. And so on. I have a few. My kids are learning a few.

One thing that makes us less powerful is attitude. Attitude is the absence of strength. It is this trench coat that you wear on top of your clothing to hide your real body and to straighten your look. Attitude shows up when we do not know how to respond to a situation. When we feel powerless. When we feel weak. Attitude makes us lose ourselves. It also makes us lose our truest friends.

I feel sad because I have lost a friend. But then I think of the lines from the Little Prince “To forget a friend is sad. Not everyone has had a friend. And if I forget him, I may become like grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but figures.” And then I do not feel that sad. Because I am not planning to forget him. True love and friendship live in our hearts. And nobody except ourselves has power over our hearts. I am never powerless. And I will never be. Love is the strongest of our magic powers. Love is not a feeling. It is a power.

I do not look back. The life is like an open field in front of me. Beautiful, endless field of golden rye. I feel like a child on vacations at my grandma’s place in a small village in Russia. I see the blue sky, the sun is bright, I have all the field to run. And I run.

At nights I look at the stars and I remember that I have had a friend.

When something really great happens

Drake Beach

I went running on the beach today.

This morning after taking my son to his MMA class and after doing kickboxing I felt like I wanted to run. On the beach. To run fast. I almost never went running before. I could never handle running even for two minutes. I got out of breath right away and I generally felt like I wanted to fall down and die right there.

This morning was different. I went with the kids to the beach and I went running. Just along the beach, barefoot. Exactly at the line where the water goes over the sand. The sand is hard there and perfect for running. It was cold and cloudy. The beach was empty. I run fast. After the first minute I got out of breath, but I did not stop. I remembered how my MMA coach told us “Your mind is your general, your body is your army. If your mind tells your body to fight, the body will fight. If your mind tells your body give up, your body will give up.” My mind was clear. It was empty. It was full only of the things I saw around. The water, the sky, the sand. It was empty of emotions or feelings or thoughts. And I told myself to run. To run technically, emotionless, detached. And my body run perfectly well. No sign of tiredness. My breath returned to normal, like if I was running on the beach all my life. I just run and felt nothing except the movement of my body. The movement and the desire to roll. The sand was as hard as the fighting mat, and I can roll really well on those. I like rolling.

I run until I was so far away that I could not see the parking lot and the kids. Then I run back. The ocean water was cold. The sand was perfect for running. My body kept the rythm. No desire to stop. No emotions. Passion.

We are most passionate when we have no emotions. Passion is depth. Emotions are the foam on the surface. Passion is silent. Passion is harsh. Passion is technical. Passion is powerful. Passion is the strength of our minds.

I run towards the kids. The sand was dry and warm where they played. The air was like the sky. Weightless and endless. The sky was everywhere. I looked up; at the ocean, at the clouds, and at the hills. I felt the muscles of my back, of my arms, of my legs. My hands and feet on the warm fine sand.

I knew we could do anything we put our minds to.