One Step Forward

Even though my life is moving along relatively smoothly it has not been without it’s rough patches. Most things have gone as well or actually far better than I could have expected, yet there have been some not so wonderful surprises too.

Everything happened so fast, deciding to leave my marriage, deciding to attempt dating, deciding to fly west to meet a ‘random’ man, deciding to stay with said man, move in with him, build a house with him, get a dog with him, create a life with him. Things that might take most (sane?) people four or five years to do I did in way less than one. And no one could have told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do things exactly how I did them. For better or worse, I had/have to go through these times, learn for myself and get me to where I need to be, a path I am continuing to forge.

It is only now, sixteen months later that I am taking a breath, looking around and thinking about a lot of the things that have happened. This has made for some difficult moments.

We do what we do and it’s hard in the moment to see all the possible pitfalls or repercussions of decisions we make, but ultimately we cannot escape them when they do show up. I guess for me that time is now.

Which is not to say that I am sitting in a corner rocking back and forth feeling sorry for myself, far from it. I am however noticing feelings and thoughts that are not so positive that were brought on by my whirlwind year.

One of the things I never really did was take the time to mourn the death of my marriage. We were together for thirty-eight years, married for almost thirty-four of them and that’s a long damn time. To think that I could rush headlong into a new relationship without a glance back over my shoulder, even though the split was, for me, both over due and ultimately better for both of us, quite shortsighted. I got to say I was somebody’s wife for a long time and I don’t get to say that anymore. I got to be a part of somebody’s family for a long time and I’m not anymore. I got to be involved in and take care of somebody’s day-to-day life for a long time and I don’t get to do that anymore. I lived in the same house in the same town with the same kids and dogs and activities and lifestyle and friends and the same man for a very long time. None of those things are true anymore. These are not good or bad things, but they are big things and by virtue of that are going to take some time to get used to. I didn’t give myself that time, I pretended they didn’t exist and kept dancing.

Recently the reality and gravity of these as well as a few other things have all come crashing down on me like a wave. Some mornings I wake up, look around me and say to myself, “Uh, wait. I did what???” And Yes, I did do all those crazy things in that short a period of time.

And yes, I lost places and people and things but I also gained new members of all those categories. I did big, brave things, things most people who know me (including myself) would probably have not thought me capable of. And I am not sad about the new people and places and things even though I miss some of the old people and places and things. And now that I am slowing the pace of the whirlwind I can take the time and space to reflect and process the bad and the good of the last year or so.

I can’t say I recommend going as far or as fast as I did but like I said, nobody can tell you how to live your life or make or learn from your actions or mistakes, you gotta’ do that on your own.

On the good days, which is to say, most of them, I am grateful and happy that my decisions, however rash they look to me now, led me to the situation in which I currently find myself. On the not so great days I am working to let myself feel sad while keeping in mind the realities of my former life and not just nostalgia for the past. It is a deal with myself that is worth making and keeping.


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