Yesterday I was sitting on the end of the pier with Kali looking out over Lake Ontario thinking about how this has been a very difficult year for us. I thought about how different I am from the person I was this time last year - wiser maybe, but I would have rather done without this wisdom. I thought about how devastated I felt in the fall, how isolated I was all winter, and how ready I am to move on. The sun reflected off the water in blinding glimmers and I looked out over the horizon and tried to envision what the future holds for us but I couldn't. I have no idea where we will be in 6 months and it's terrifying. But also a little bit exciting. We have some big decisions to make in the coming months. Inaction is not an option. As much as I hate moving, this time all signs are pointing to GTFO of this place where we are right now.
When I walked back to the beach an older woman with long white hair and kind eyes stopped me and said,
"You looked like the happiest person in the world out there."
I wish I could say I just smiled and left it at that but it took me a few seconds to realize she was talking about me, not Kali. I looked around and stammered "Wait... who? Me?" She said "Yes. You and your dog out there were a vision of pure bliss. You seem so at peace right now. Are you happy?" which made me laugh out loud and blurt out: "Oh God no. But I'm happy you think I am. That's something, right?"
And her face fell a little like she was confused, so I added, "But thank you. That was nice of you to say."
And she said, "Well I hope things get better." And I thanked her and we walked on.
I think I let her down. I should have kept up the charade for her sake to brighten her day, not dim it with my cloud of sadness. I walked away smiling though at being mistaken for someone who's happy. Maybe when she looked out on the water she saw the future me that I couldn't see.