Billie Holiday

There is only so much disrespect a heart can handle before finally calling it quits. But a lot has to accumulate before we say -  it’s over. Nope, no more.

There is a beautiful release in this moment. The fear for our loss of security - relating to a job, relationship, or even opportunity, - suddenly evaporates like the clearing of a stormy sky. And in its place, a beautiful breeze signifying total freedom passes in through us. What we had once assumed to be our lifeline - the very thing that we simply cannot live without - suddenly becomes so fleetingly insignificant.

We can breathe with a lessened burden - for a decision has been made.

I guess today was my last day of walking Billie Holiday, a dog who has been part of my life for the last two years. I still love the owner, but I’m 30 - and I can’t tolerate disrespect. So I told her “We are done”.

Interestingly, there was no build up to this declaration. At least none that I can detect. She said something, and I said another. And then, it was all over. Just like that.

Injustice becomes less tolerable the more you experience it. Eventually, you reach a place where you can reject it while knowing it’s not the end of the world. That there is still life after the end of this era. True self-worth in oneself can be found exactly here. The ability to say no while knowing with certainty that things will play out for the better.

I once had a waiting job that I was no good at. I was prone to making mistakes because it was a fancy place and I constantly felt like an outsider. One day my boss sat me down and told me a story - perhaps alluding to the fact that I would soon be fired - about a girl who he had let go. A few months later, she finds the job of her dreams and thanks this boss for his decision.

I remember the fear I felt while listening to this story. The fear of losing mürmur in that moment - for I was convinced that mürmur’s survival was contingent on this job, and without it - it would be game over.

Two weeks later I found something - in fact something extraordinary. It was a place called Lure Fishbar. A restaurant that changed my life forever. I got to meet a lot of celebrities, make a lot of money, and sleep with my boss. It was great.

But it wasn’t until recently that I began understanding this pattern. How rejection always leads into the new. This is life. Nothing is permanent and nothing should be expected to remain the same. In fact, those who don’t realize this, have the hardest time dealing with change - as I once used to be. 

I just got a text from Billie’s owner with an apology. Not only did I stand up for myself - without the fear for potential loss - but also ended up keeping what I had in the first place. My dog, and I guess, self dignity.

You have nothing to lose for nothing is permanent. As long as people see in you the respect you see in your own self - everything will be fine.

(Originally Published 7/2/19)