They say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. With that in mind, it was a completely rational, utterly sound decision. It was probably even compassionate. Surely it left everyone, even me, feeling some relief after the fact. Still, it was hard to hear the words: We don’t want you. Not now. Not later.
I am thriving in my new life, but that doesn’t make me any less possessive of the old one. I have kept it carefully wrapped in tissue paper and tucked away like I might keep a lacy blouse that no longer fits. I don’t want it back - not really. I keep it "just in case," so I'll have the illusion of control. Every once in a while, I’ll take it out of the drawer and try it on, as I did this week. And every time, it fits worse and itches more than the time before. Still, I ignore the obvious.
But it turns out that the wreckage of my past has a very long shelf life. So just about the time I think, “Gee, I’ve really left all that meshugas behind me; maybe I can get some of that old stuff back,” I’m reminded – rather abruptly -- that many people still only know me as a crazy, undependable mess with a graduate degree in self-sabotage. I can protest all I want that I'm not like that anymore, and most of the time I'm not, but here’s the real truth: Given the wrong set of circumstances, I’m still capable of being exactly like that. And it’s obvious even to me that this would have been the wrong set of circumstances.
So here’s what I know, and I suppose I should give myself some credit: I prepared thoroughly. I did the footwork, and then some. I returned telephone calls. I was ready to show up, even though I knew this particular effort was probably doomed. I behaved with a modicum of grace. I prayed. In short, I acted like the person I strive to be. Only, it didn’t work out the way I wanted.
Today God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself. Apparently there's a surprise in store.