Monday, May 13, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 7

Chapter 7, The Afterthoughts
It was early evening, the sun just below the horizon. After Todd dropped me off I showered, dressed, and brought a glass of water out to the back deck. The breeze was light, the deck in shadow. Before me the pergola still bathed in sunlight. So many things were swirling around in my mind I was beginning to have trouble latching on to a single thought and taking it anywhere relevant.
My memory took me back to one month prior. I am unable to recall many of the details leading to my perceived fall from grace. I guess I cannot say I fell from grace, if the life I was living was a lie. The fall had to have taken place much earlier. Trying to sort out the lies I have been telling myself, for who knows how long, is quite arduous. Disappointment has settled within my bones, making a cozy home for itself. I lived in superficial innocence, resulting in a deceitful life.

I allowed myself to believe that I was working my dream job. I was not. I thought my dream was to climb the corporate latter, be successful in my field, move up in ranks for the title – but why would I want that? I cannot help but wonder what I saw in that type of success. Actually, what I saw was expectations, of me. So, I talked myself into being that person, wanting a life revolving around my job, regardless of where my heart lay. I did not know how to live true joy. Or that it existed.
I began dating a man that on paper was perfect. Though there was much lacking in our relationship I chose to ignore it, worried about how things looked from the outside and not wanting to upset or hurt him. Caring how people perceived me became my driving force. I got in so deep I had no idea how to get out. That only perpetuated the issues.
I am having trouble remembering what snapped within me. It seems I just woke up one day and decided I was not happy. Though, if I am being frank, I have not been happy for many years. Ignorance is not bliss. Denial is very dangerous, even if what you are trying to deny seems insignificant. I know that now.
Is your heart really in the right place if you need to lie to yourself in order to follow through? Apparently not…
While only a couple of days have passed since arriving at this beautiful cabin, it felt like a lifetime to me. It has been the first time I can remember that there was no planning, no schedule, no contorting of myself for the sake of another. Here, I have been letting things happen as they will, dealing with life as it happens without over thinking. How odd.
I knew I had to call Stella. Not only would she love to hear about Todd, but she always helped me muck through the mess in my head. She was incredibly patient while I unloaded the book of events having taken place since I last spoke to her.
“You what?!” Stella shrieked. I mean literally shrieked. I think she was more excited than I. “I cannot believe that you made me wait until the end to share that with me! You should have opened with ‘The hot sheriff, Todd, kissed me!’”
I knew she was not actually mad at me. And she knows that if I would have started the story there, I never would have been able to share all of the crazy that has transpired in my two full days of being at this cabin.
“You have to admit, the lead up to the kiss is very important. Did you hear the part of the locked room?” Did a part of me want to gush? Absolutely! However, with everything revolving around my painting and that room, I was afraid to get lost in a romance that could potentially derail my entire purpose for being here.
“Yeah, yeah, in a minute, give me details. What kind of kisser is he? Was he gentle, rough? Was it dry? Oh, was it wet? That wouldn’t be very nice –”
“Stella! First of all, I am not going to share all of those details with you” – Clearly I had no choice. To satisfy Stella’s curiosity and to get back on track I entertained my initial feelings of the kiss – “It was amazing and took place at Overlook Pass. It was special, nice. Second, I don’t even know him! I met him two days ago…What does that say about me that I let him kiss me already?”
“Oh, Ivy…,” Stella quieted. I could always tell when she was trying to say the right thing. “Did it feel right? Did you feel a connection with him when you first met?”
“Yes and yes. I can’t explain it, Stella. The moment I met him I felt like I had known him my whole life. It’s weird and frightening, but at the same time it felt right and exciting.”
“Then my advice to you is: do not over think this. Do not worry about what others will think of you. Truly follow your heart. You’ll be fine.”
“Thanks.” I am glad I shared my concerns with her; they felt less of a big deal, which is good because now we can focus on the weirdness that has been since my arrival.
“When will you see him again? Think he’ll kiss you –”                         
“I don’t know,” I said with more of a punch than intended, “but can we move on? I really do need focus on the locked room right now.” Exasperation is becoming an understatement at this time. “I thought you’d be happy I entertained this part of the conversation as long as I did.”
“Alright! Geesh! I’m sorry.” I heard a shuffle on the other end, picturing Stella standing up to pace. “The locked room; you said you painted the room that just happens to be in the upstairs of a random cabin you chose to stay at?”
“Yes…a little creepy?”
“Maybe…Certainly intriguing; could it be destiny?”
“Stella, you know I don’t believe in destiny. I believe in free will that can be guided by –”
“I know, God. So, maybe He helped lead you here.”
“I can get behind that.” I thought for a moment, “But why?”
“Ivy, I think He is the only one that can answer that for you.” While Stella was uber exuberant, she was also incredibly thoughtful, possessing a depth of wonderful proportions. I loved when our conversations got both of us spinning our wheels; building on each other’s thoughts to gain knew understanding and perspective. “Ok, we know you prayed before you even thought of taking a vacation. What has God told you since?”
“That’s the thing: once I booked the cabin, I kind of fell off the prayer wagon. I didn’t even realize I had until after my first night here.”
“Let’s break it down – Cliff’s Notes version, please. Think of all that has taken place since your reality check.”
“Well, I realized my life was empty, and nothing was what I thought it was. I broke down and turned to my bible. I prayed for God to reveal my truth to me, and to reveal His truth to me. I wanted to know how I could have ended up here when I tried so hard to do things the right way. On a whim, I began looking for a vacation spot to spend a couple of weeks with the intent of soul searching. I came across this cabin and was immediately drawn to it. It felt right. Then I spent a month wrapping up my old life in order to close the door on my past and open the door to my future…You know what? That’s when the dreams began.”
“When you divorced your old self?”
“If that’s how you want to put it, yes. But, Stella, they never changed until I got here.”
          “I'm not sure how you'll feel about this, but what if part of your past took place at that cabin?”  

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Is Stella right? Was Ivy in the cabin before?
Think you know? Have any ideas? Share your thoughts!!!

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