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Point Of View

From Rut To Royal

by Janine Betts

It was 6:00 on Friday evening and as usual, I was driving home from work, via the usual fried chicken route.  My car was filled with the sound of Aretha singing one of my favorite tunes and I was reminded of a time when I felt much better than I did at that moment.

I was happy then…three sizes smaller, with a man by my side whose whims ruled my world.  Gardening was my hobby and shopping and lunch with the girls were things I looked forward to.  However, as time passed and love evaporated with the sound of a slamming door, I wandered aimlessly into the crowded land of floaters.  A land filled with people who lived to work and worked to live to overcome the vacuum in their lives.

As the music blared on with a saga of bygone love, I realized how unhappy I was with my current state.  My job was my life and all I functioned for.  I loved the outdoors, but I only took in its beauty through the glass.  I loved art, but I didn’t own a painting.  I no longer had friends, because I no longer trusted other women.  To me, they were petty, competitive, or envious.  I loved the ballet but was too cheap to buy a ticket.  Suddenly, I realized as I looked down at my drab attire and my size 16 figure, that I didn’t really care what I wore or how I looked either. For me, clothes were a required cover-up whose only proviso was to be clean and neat.  I shrugged my shoulders in resignation.  I was just not into current fashion, chilled wine glasses, expensive hairstyles, and the latest music. Life’s pleasures for me were few and simple…a car that worked, a television with cable, a good novel, and all things chocolate.

As I searched the scope of my life, I slowly realized I was depressed and that real living was passing me by in full steam.  At home, I owned a couch I seldom sat on, music I rarely played, and a stationary bike I’d never ridden.  In the evenings, I would stare blankly at the TV until my eyes began to droop.  On weekends, I’d sleep late and attribute my lack of energy to a tiring week at work.  I would often sit and stare out the window and envy the scurrying of people who seemed to have somewhere to go.

As these thoughts churned furiously in my head, I slowly passed the fried chicken place, and abruptly turned the opposite way.  I turned the music off and the silence engineered a peace that had long eluded me.

I decided right then and there to end the day a different way.  I began with a salad for dinner. Six months later, I had a new zest for life, a committed relationship with a man I met at a wine tasting and I was back to wearing a size 10 dress I was a princess again, and this time I had a tighter grip on the crown. 

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