I allowed myself to feel what I felt. In the shower, I asked questions, thought thoughts. After, I curled my hair. I burned my arm on the iron. Put cream on the red spot, the singed skin. It will heal. It will feel fixed. Soon.
I got dressed. Went out in the world. Walked blocks. Felt the air on my face, my hands. Met a law school classmate for lunch. We sat outside. Ate salads. Breathlessly, we talked. Took turns telling our stories. Sharing our hopes. Laughing. This is what I'm doing. This is what I want to do, she said. This is what I'm doing. This is what I want to do, I said. It was a brilliant, affirming lunch.
Outside, we said goodbye. Talked about meeting again. Went back to our individual worlds.
I sit now outside the American Museum of Natural History. The place where we celebrated my wedding, where our little girls learned to walk. The place Dad loved. In just a moment, I will go inside and hear my beautiful sister speak and introduce thoughtful speakers. I will sit there and listen and think. About what it means to be human. About nature.
This is one of those moments where I'm humbled to realize how life works. How a day can begin in yoga pants and sadness and end in fancy hair and deep-felt happiness.
Both. Not either or. Both.