I want a margarita,” I said slapping my hand down on the counter in my old friend’s kitchen.

She turned to look at me, amused and raised an eyebrow. “It’s that kind of afternoon, is it?”

I nodded, pouting wordlessly.

My friend shook her head as she put her white linen apron on. “You startled me, you know. You said that so definitively!”

“I did, didn’t I?” I smiled, surprisingly pleased with myself, and watched as she proceeded to grab the liquor bottles from her cupboard. I took a bunch of limes from her fruit bowl and squeezed them gently. The day was muggy and the sun was starting its descent. The air conditioning murmured in the background, keeping us cool and filling the silence.

“It’s so rare that I know what I truly want in any given moment,” I said as I sliced and juiced the limes. The words I spoke were raw, previously unsaid and barely thought.

She poured ice into the blender and wiped a bit of sweat from her brow. “Yes, sweetheart. I know.”

I closed my eyes tight. “I think it’s possible I’ve been living the past three years of my life for everyone else but me.”

And as that sentence left my mouth, the truth of it dawned on me. Tears filled my eyes and a cry from my gut wrenched, begging to be released.

I let it out.

She was beside me in a second, clutching me close, stroking my hair. My body shook with sobs and a sorrow so deep and long it overwhelmed me. I was a woman lost in the lives of others with so little of my own to claim. I came up for air every now and then only to sink back down into responsibilities I had taken on by choice.

By choice.

This was not a time to blame. This was a time to release and to choose again. I could breathe fully again. I could.

“You’ve been in survival mode,” she whispered soothingly.

I straightened and stood. I wiped my eyes. “Yes,” I said.

“This isn’t a small thing that you’ve been through. And you’re still going through it, but you’re waking up and that’s a good thing.”

I gave a defiant laugh through more tears. “It doesn’t feel good.”

She nodded. “I know, love. It will feel better. Give it time.”

My friend turned back to her blender giving me a moment to breathe.

I sat down at her table and hugged myself. It wasn’t a conscious move. In fact, I’m sure that two minutes went by before I realized I was doing it. I had been wanting so badly to be held, to be protected…giving so much to others only to feel depleted and worn. The time had come to fuel myself, to love and care for myself.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes placing a hand over my abdomen. Silently, I asked myself what I wanted.

“Margarita,” my gut said. “And then a nap.” I smiled just the slightest little bit. My gut had good taste and a sense of humour.

My friend pressed ‘blend’. Two minutes later she poured the pale, green slush into a tall, salted glass. “The guest room’s all made up for you,” she said. “Drink, then have your rest.”

I shook my head in disbelief at her. How did she know?!

“Oh goodness, Danielle. It doesn’t take a mind reader to see you need a nap!”

I narrowed my eyes at her, studying her and then shook it off.

She grasped my chin lightly. “Drink, sleep, pray, let it go,” she said. “You’ve been so resistant. You know that holding onto something doesn’t make it yours. Let it all go.”

I couldn’t look her in the eyes. Instead I sipped the sweet and sour drink in front of me. It was cold and strong and I felt something within me ease up as I honoured myself with something small, but significant that I desired. The ease spread slowly and I took a deep, cleansing breath.

I can have what I want, I thought. It just takes rigourous honesty to reveal what that is. It comes from a place higher and deeper than this. Yes…higher, deeper and truer than this…

I want what is true.

 

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