My Nepenthe*

Back in college I had the big breakup. You know the one. The one that brings you to your knees, where you can’t speak for days, where the anguish is so crushing you don’t know if you’ll ever recover. It was a love at first sight kind of thing, spotted in a coffee shop and three espressos later we were shacked up for the next two years. If there is such a thing as past lives, I’m sure we must have known each other. It has taken nearly twenty years to exorcise this guy from my psyche, still making cameo appearances in my dreams all these years later.

Anyway, this is the kind of breakup I was recovering from and it was not pretty. I was crushed, crying every day, in such deep grief I didn’t know if I would survive. Right around this time I met D. He was funny and adorable and loved to take photos as much as I did. I agreed to go out with him because he made me laugh and forget my troubles. We played, went on photo safaris, did road trips and cracked each other up. And then, maybe six weeks later, he stood me up. Just didn’t show up for a movie date and even though he had some good excuses, I got a really bad feeling… A few days later he fessed up and told me that the ex-girlfriend had come back into town and he was “really confused.”

I was just “really angry.” We broke up and I was furious that I had opened up my heart again. Even just a little bit. I felt duped, both by him and by the universe, and that all of my wounds that had begun to scab over were ripped open again.
I remember flopping on the couch in total exasperation and anger, tears pouring down my face, and asking god, the room, whoever was listening, WHY DID THAT ASSHOLE HAVE TO COME INTO MY LIFE? (I think I actually asked this at full volume to the empty room) And because I sometimes played a game where I asked the dictionary a question and opened randomly to get my answer, that’s what I did in this moment. I grabbed the dictionary and asked again through my blinding tears, Why did Dan come into my life?

The word I got was nepenthe: A grief banishing drug; something that eases sorrow or pain.

My breath caught in my throat. Oh my god, I thought. Dan was my nepenthe. He had gifted me six glorious weeks of healing laughter. He had pulled me out of one of the darkest places I had ever gone. He wasn’t supposed to stick around. He was supposed to be a simple gift.
In that moment, my heart was awash in forgiveness. All I had was total gratitude for this boy and to the universe for bringing him when I needed him most. I still think of him with so much appreciation.
Yesterday I had coffee with the incredible Romney Steele. Her grandparents opened the restaurant (the phenomenon really) called Nepenthe in Big Sur. I’ve just started reading her beautiful book about growing up there and I highly recommend it.
And of course I love the title. It’s called My Nepenthe.

Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter Follow on Pinterest

Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

1 Comment

  1. oprolevorter

    Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready for your next creative adventure?

Download the Mondo Beyondo dream generator!

Latest from the blog

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

  Some of the best books I've read this year The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren This book travels through a whole vocabulary of emotions and truly celebrates them - showing you that each one (even the so-called...

read more

Ready to add color to your life?
JOIN OVER 5,000 INSPIRED GRADUATES IN AN ECOURSE

Camp Wonder-Seeker

30 days of ease, joy and cultivating wonder

Creative prompts, stories and secret missions that will bring you help you wake up your creativity, invite you to see the world in an entirely different way + celebrate ordinary beauty and magic.

Capture the Magic

Rock your camera-phone - and discover that beauty and joy are everywhere.

The very best camera is the one that’s with you! I’ll show you how to get on your own path of joy and delight while learning photography skills along the way.

Brave Blogging

30-days of breathing life & inspiration into your blog

Blogging is still the best way to grow your audience and find your tribe, while connecting to your voice and your spirit!

VIEW MORE COURSES