Today, I woke up early. The sun flooded my newly-cleaned room, and for once, I didn't pound the snooze button over and over again; I didn't lie in bed, computing the amount of time I could spend wrapped in my comforter without being late to work. I didn't have to hurry through my morning routine in order to get out the door on time. Because I was early, I was able to leisurely stroll downstairs, let the dog out and make my coffee. I didn't hurry through my shower. I was able to take my time when putting on my makeup. Normally, I change clothes two or three times each morning. Today, I liked the very first outfit I put on. I had time to make my lunch and empty the dishwasher. The DJ on the radio promised a high of 50 today, and I knew I wouldn't need my down-filled, fur-lined coat - A simple black jacket would be enough to keep me warm. I put on my big black sunglasses and smiled, thrilled to be given a day where they were necessary. I didn't have to speed to work. In my car, I listened to Al Green sing about love and happiness, and I thought "This will be a good day."
I pulled into work a full fifteen minutes early, which is a rarity to say the least. I walked through the parking lot without having to dodge snowbanks and ice patches. The gentleman walking ahead of me opened the door and motioned me through. I smiled and strutted into my office. I turned on my computer and delighted in the fact that Outlook greeted me with ten new messages, none of which were junk. Before the clock struck 10:00, I had already finished the projects I didn't complete on Friday. I feel motivated and ambitious. I feel good.
My good feeling, I'm sure, is due in part to my weekend. I was blessed with the presence of two wonderful old friends. One rode the train to visit me from New York City, and one thought to dial my number from her phone. I met both of these extraordinary women when I was in high school, and I've been lucky enough to maintain their friendship ever since. They make me laugh just as much now as they did seven years ago. I'm proud of who they are, and impressed that they have become such fabulous women.
Dominique showed up on Friday night. Three months away from her wedding, she's radiant and successful. Tumbleweed called me Saturday afternoon. Her voice was a surprise, still filled with the intelligence, confidence and fearlessness I remember. Hearing their voices felt smooth, effortless. It felt like finally slipping into neutral and coasting, after miles and miles of congested roads. It felt like a deep breath, an exhale. It felt warm and soft, an all-consuming comfort.
You feel content when talking to people who knew you before: Before you were hard, before you were lonely, before you had a job, before you knew who you were. You don't feel you have anything to hide, or that you're not good enough for their company. These people liked you when you were muddling through all of the people you wanted to be, and before you turned into the person you've become. Just thinking of things that made you laugh years ago still causes you to giggle. It feels like home.
All I can think of today is how lucky I am to still have these two women in my life. Dominique was with me to plan my wedding. Tumbleweed was there when the wedding was called off. They've been there for me through my biggest successes and most terrifying disappointments. I know they're going to be with me forever, and that makes me feel good.