Do you remember the Muppet movie of 1979 when Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog were Moving Right Along the road until they came to a fork in the road? Of course, we’re talking about the Muppets here, and it was a literal fork in the road. I giggled at the idea of a dinner fork being in the road, but then as I grew up I began to understand the metaphor of the fork in the road signifying a decision that needs to be made: should I go left or go right? Do I want Mexican or Chinese for dinner? Which lane at the grocery store will move the quickest? Do I follow the Nav or follow my gut? Do I choose to vaccinate or not? Do I stay in a relationship or is it time to leave? So many forks in the road of our lives. We get to make most of our decisions as adults, but sometimes when you’re cruising along the road of life, you come upon an unexpected road block with a detour sign above it. Like many of you, that road block emerged for me in March of 2020.
I don’t know if you’ve listened to Alanis Morissette’s newest album by the title of this post, but if you haven’t, let me encourage you to give it a listen. This album has been the music that has sustained and propelled me forward since its release in June of 2020 when I was anticipating seeing her 25th anniversary Jagged Little Pill tour. Like I said, up until March of that year, my life had been going down a familiar road, but then there was this unexpected road block called divorce. And Covid. Divorce wasn’t my choice; I was content to cruise down the road of safety. Covid was nobody’s choice; it robbed us all of our creature comforts, like seeing live music (Jagged Little Pill tour postponed). This new road was scary and uncertain and, at the time, I had no idea that the destined fork in the road would be so unapologetically beautiful.
Smiling by Alanis MorissetteSuch pretty forks in the road on this continuum I’ve been bouncing,
life flashing promise before my eye.
This is the first wave of the white flag, this is the sound of me hitting bottom.
This is my surrender if I can bear it, in the anatomy of my crash
….and I keep on smiling, keep on moving, can’t stand still.
After my ex moved out and moved on with his life, I would play this song over and over to help me connect to the surrender and to accept my new reality. Day by day, breath by breath, bird by bird, I moved forward. I felt all the pain and all the joy, and the liberty and the release too. Eventually, my new road wasn’t so scary. Sure, it was lonely at times, but it was liberating too. And here’s the thing I’m learning about divorce, and really about any kind of ending in a relationship. Relationships have a time and place and purpose in our lives. Sometimes that means forever, as I thought my marriage would be. And sometimes it means 20 years, and sometimes just a few years or even months. People come into our lives for a reason, and sometimes we need to let them go (or be let go) for an entirely different reason. My ex did me a favor by doing the thing that I wasn’t brave enough to do: he loved me enough to let me go.
My pretty fork in the road lead me Portland
to finally attend the twice postponed Alanis Morissette concert, with my accidental boyfriend, “Jack T. Colton”. I purchased my concert tickets before ever meeting Jack, before ever thinking that there could be somebody new in my life, before knowing that this new person would have lived the previous 10 years of his life in Portland. Coincidence? No way. The universe arranging the timing of events behind the scenes? Absolutely.
I had never been to Portland before, and so Jack planned a personal tour of his city for me that included food and art and architecture and gratitude trees and breweries and Japanese gardens and bookstores and private art studios and hidden speakeasies (best cocktail of my life!) and import stores and most of all, so much love. At one point, over a plate of pot stickers, I turned to him and said “Do you know what I love?” After his instinctive comment “Me?” I smiled and said that what I loved most about my life right now was how carefree and happy I felt. My younger kids were being cared for by their dad, Austin was safe at DRA and I had no pet at home alone to worry about. I was free to be me, and for the first time in a very long, I took a deep, deep exhale. Which (isn’t it ironic?) is my word of the year.
Such Pretty Forks in the Road Artistry at work in Portland Me and Jack T. Colton at Alanis Gary actively printing his latest poster Well brewed, Portland Serenity in the Japanese Gardens
The Jagged Little Pill concert was awesome. Her setlist covered all the songs from her explosive Grammy award winning (and now Tony award winning) album, plus a few of my favorites from her newest album, including Smiling. The venue was outdoors and the amphitheater was full of lifelong fans while the moon shined brightly overhead. I had a moment of “this is so strange, the timing of it all.” Just four days earlier I attended a packed cathedral to honor the life of my Angel named Calvin, just one month earlier I moved to a place of my own, just six months earlier, I said goodbye to my beloved dog Crosby and bravely sent my oldest son to therapeutic boarding school, just nine months earlier I had met this man who I never thought would stick around in the midst of my crash, just one year earlier I had signed divorce papers and just a year and a few months ago, Alanis’ new album was released and her concert postponed. All of this life happened at that fork in the road in March of 2020. So to be there, on that night, in that unfamiliar place, with that new new person to love, I looked up to the vast sky overhead and gave thanks.
I know for certain that with every ending, there comes a new beginning and that if we are open to healing the wounds of our past, we will attract new people into our lives who are better for us in that new place where we have arrived in our lives. I don’t know what lies ahead in the road, and that’s ok, because I’ve waved my white flag. I’ve been to the bottom and I have learned to surrender. And I know, with every fiber of my being, that if I stay connected to the oneness (Ablaze), that I will be loved and supported on the journey ahead, wherever the road may lead. Namaste.
I would love for you to share with the Let Love Rise community about a fork in your road of life!
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.”- Walt Whitman