Two weeks ago, I went to confession. The line of sinners was surprisingly long; I assume the snowstorm from the previous weekend had kept the faithful at home and away from the church, so everyone was playing catch up. That’s why I was there, at any rate. But there’s something about being in that intimate, sacred setting that always compels me to spill my guts. Maybe it’s a simple effect of being raised Catholic, a kind of Pavlovian reaction to the whole ceremony, but I like to believe it’s more than that, like it’s a sign from the universe that my faith is real and working, and that this kind of spiritual purging is healthy and necessary. Whatever the reason or motivation, when it was finally my turn to enter the confessional and the heavy, cloth curtain swung shut behind me, I dropped to my knees and told the priest everything that had been burdening my soul. I unloaded my emotional baggage, carefully and delicately removing every piece of troublesome ego and holding it up to the light to reveal all the intricacies. I think the popular nomenclature for such an event is “word vomit.” At the end, I was breathless but felt somewhat lighter. I also felt guilty and ashamed, truly humbled.
And the priest laughed. He laughed loud and long and hard.
This may seem like a harsh reaction, but please trust me when I assure you that it was completely warranted. My life, as of late, has turned into quite the melodrama. To protect the innocent I won’t go into details, but if you could me a favor and think of the most ridiculous plot line from a daytime soap opera – that’s my life. That’s how I’ve been living. To hear it out loud, to finally speak about it all, was somewhat amusing. I was on the verge of laughter myself – sometimes we laugh to keep from crying, no? So the priest was in no way a villain. His laughter subsided, and he told me I was certainly in a “sticky situation.” He promised he would pray for me.
The priest promised to pray for me. That’s how dire my situation is.
I hope this anecdote helps illustrate why I haven’t been keeping to the resolutions I made so boldly before the new year started. I’m the worst, I know, but I’m trying.
I hope you are all trying to, no matter the endeavor.
It’s been a few days since the last time I wrote, which is in direct violation of the goal I set, and the promise that I made not only to anyone reading this, but to myself. I am so sick of stopping and starting, of stopping and starting; I’ve never been all that successful at capitalizing on momentum, and I believe that is because I am lazy, selfish and weak. That may seem a harsh criticism, but it’s true. I’m not admitting these flaws to incite a pity party, but putting them in print does help to make them more manageable in an odd way. I am beginning anew, but with a renewed sense of determination that must be enough to help me see everything through; the writing, the weight loss, the employment search. While it is difficult to sincerely have faith in myself when I have continually fallen short of the mark, if I can cease the pessimistic thoughts and not accept contrived compromises – not become complacent and settle for a plan B – I can do it; totally.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, a wonderfully symbolic day for rebirth and renewal. I went to the Easter Vigil mass tonight, and it was definitely beautiful and moving. Usually I go to mass early on Sunday, but my family is in Florida currently. Also, my oldest sister and her family are going to the boardwalk tomorrow to celebrate the holiday and I am going to tag along.
On Monday, I’m going to see Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden with a couple of friends. Despite my love of writing, I know I would never be able to adequately express how excited I am.
On Tuesday, I am flying to Florida to visit with family until Monday.
But I promise that I will exercise, write, read, pray and be a better person every single one of those days.