BY: Dee-Dee Kanhai – “The Spice of Suburbia”
I am going to be honest with you Feelers… November was a fucking rollercoaster for me, like the rickety old wooden kind that you are positive will break down for the first time in 100 years while you are sitting in the first car. This rollercoaster didn’t just go down, the damn car flew off the rails and I am mid-air at the moment.
The Rollercoaster was in that upward climb, it was my 40th Birthday and it was amazing. Turning 40 was everything (and more), thanks to the love of my friends and family. I felt all the feels when I saw everyone there FOR ME! My birthday is also Election Day, and the Candidate I was campaigning for the last year did WIN… that was a sweet, sweet victory.
Just as I reached the top of the coaster, I am at the height of my joy, the cart tilts forward… and that’s it…
My entire Love, The Undoing 2018 Holiday collection of handmade bracelets, necklaces, satchels of crystals and rings were “accidentally” thrown away. The person who took the garbage out of my office that day thought the clear Rubbermaid box – full of jewelry – was garbage. When I decided that I couldn’t bear the thought of my handmade jewelry sitting in some disgusting landfill, I went out to the dumpster and dove. Yes, I went dumpster diving… in the cold… for HOURS. A few of my coworkers who were equally annoyed that anyone would mistake my jewelry for TRASH, were out there with me, we dug through every half-eaten lunch, used tampon, and snot rag in the hopes of finding at least 1 little bead, a tiny crystal, ANY SIGN to keep looking…but, NOTHING! Then, we open one of the last bags, there it is, the container I had the 200+ items in – BUT IT WAS EMPTY. Vanished into thin air. No explanation!
I brought this issue to our “HR” department to see if maybe we can ask a few more questions about why we found the container but no bracelets. Maybe it was a simple mistake. Maybe the man who took the garbage out threw them in a different dumpster. ANYTHING! HR responded with a giant “OH FUCKING WELL”. So, six months of work and love is gone… Simply gone.
To outsiders, they are just pieces of costume jewelry. They don’t know the lengths I go to in order to find the beads from sources that pay living wages or crystals from mines that aren’t employing children in dangerous caves. The love that comes with every bead someone brings me from a trip they take or a piece of old jewelry their grandmother wore. I mean, they aren’t just replaceable things. They are handmade with so much love… only those who have worn one would understand.
So, for the rest of the day, I am on some, woe is me shit. I decide to go to sleep super early. Knowing that there is just one more day until Thanksgiving, and then I can hibernate. I wake up to 27 missed calls and texts. This isn’t new. My family has me on a group chat that would make your head explode. I robotically open the most recent text. I read it. It says one of my dearest friends has passed away. So random. Couldn’t possibly be true. We were planning a friend-cation literally 2 weeks ago, we just spoke. I mean, there is no way. So, I call the person who texted me, wondering if he meant to send something else… but his silence speaks volumes. He is in the car with his little boys, I hear them. I just hang up.
Immediately, I feel sick. Realizing that the sense of loss I felt the day before, was nothing compared to the way I was feeling in this moment. I refuse to believe this. I call his cell. No answer. This cannot be true, this cannot be right. We were literally just talking. I scroll through our text messages, what did I miss? The last message from a few days before he says “I just tried calling you, you must’ve fallen asleep”. I wish I spoke to him that night. I am forced to make several phone calls that day, painful ones. A brutal reminder of what really matters.
I am teaching on Thanksgiving morning, of all things, a Gratitude Meditation. I barely manage to get through it. I am having trouble breathing. I am shaking. But I do it… I cry throughout Thanksgiving, what a blessing to be with my family who I love. Healthy and happy. I run to the bathroom and let the tears stream down my face. Staring in the mirror. I am mad at myself. I grab a towel and scream into it. I am not ok. Still, as I type, I am not ok, again. I decide in that very moment I will NEVER cancel on a friend or put off answering a call until tomorrow. I will leave my ringer on at night, and if I get woken up – so be it. Tomorrow isn’t promised. The bracelets being gone are just a memory now. I am going to be a better person, friend, daughter, mother, EVERYTHING. I go out and smile with my family. They deserve the best version of me. They know when I am crying, so they just smile at me. A smile that says, I love you. I cry for his daughter, I cry for his wife. I don’t know what happens to a child in these times, but it cannot be easy.
I am now on a mission. I drive an hour in traffic to my childhood friend Mikey. I know he is working on Thanksgiving, and he is away from his children. I need to let the people I love KNOW how much I love them, and cherish our friendship. This is what friends do. They don’t sleep through phone calls.
I know I can call Mike at any time, for anything. I am blessed with the best of friends…SO fortunate. I have a handful of people like this in my life, they will stop on a dime for me. I still cannot believe I lost one of them.
I get it Universe. I need to be present. You’ve made your point.
My family convinces me I need to go out and get some fresh air. I spend an entire day in the city with them on Saturday. I adore the goddess section of my tribe, my mom, sister, Aunt Sue.
After the city, I head straight to the yoga Studio where I am teaching a full moon meditation class. Although I am out of sorts and I can not find my words, I get through it. Everyone is understanding and full of love.
Monday, I struggle through the entire day, between my social anxiety and sadness, I am a mess. We say our goodbyes. Not the way I wanted to say goodbye. Someday I will tell you all about him, and about our unique friendship that spanned almost 30 years, all of which were platonic. I just cannot right now. It’s too hard.
By Monday night, there are no tears left to cry. These are the days I understand why people drink, to numb the pain. I stopped drinking years ago, a teaching in Dharma led me to believe that I should experience life without mind-altering substances. I am sober, by choice, through it all. I need to feel the highs and lows of life. That is that.
I wake up Tuesday and say out loud, TODAY I BEGIN TO HEAL. I put my best foot forward. I sign up for a yoga class, and I am ready to be the best, healthiest, me possible. I never make it to class though, I get hot suddenly. I am feeling nauseous and realize I haven’t eaten in days. I forced down some crackers and they come right up. I proceed to vomit about 12 more times. It appears I am officially fucking done. Either I am sick or I am making myself sick.
I begin to meditate, one hour.
I bring out my mat. I lay there, listening to Tibetan Chanting and chimes.
I tell my soul that I am a ray of light. I am a positive force. I conduct healthy, loving vibrations. I inhale all the good in the universe and I exhale – EVERYTHING THAT NO LONGER SERVES ME.
The rollercoaster starts to slow down…
I find myself alone, in the cart, waiting for the handrail to raise up.
Instead of running off, I get off and don’t look back. I go forth, with a more positive outlook.
Sometimes, life happens. Rainbows don’t form without the rain. This was my reality. My life is not perfect. All the sage and crystals in the world won’t prevent the inevitable from happening.
It is now December. I was happy to welcome it. I am actively working on being the happiest Dee-Dee I can BE!
So, there it is, me in real life. No filters.
Dee-Dee Kanhai, aka “The Spice of Suburbia”, was a big city girl for 25 years who was transplanted to the Suburbs of Northern New Jersey. This relocation led to her “undoing” and with that, the discovery of her true self. Besides being a wife and mother to a teenage daughter and toy Chihuahua, Dee-Dee works in finance and owns a small Etsy Shop @LoveTheUndoing, where she sells heart-made jewelry, crystals, and other whimsical crafts. Dee-Dee is a student of life, teacher of meditation, practicing yogi and a mystical moon child.