Friday, January 8, 2016
A Come to Jesus with My Soul
About six months ago, the Universe challenged me to an arm wrestling match that I would eventually lose. Or win. Depending. Let’s just say this sharply focused, merry old soul emptied box after box of tissue and was a sniveling, hot mess. “Uncle! Uncle! I cry Uncle!!”
More negative life events have been piled on me these past few months than any sane person could handle. But, then, we all know I push the bounds of sanity. Worse, I have not been able to share. I have not been able to share, mostly, because it isn’t anybody’s damn business. I have blogged bits and pieces, but very few know the story front to back. Even fewer know the history of events leading up to the story.
Allow me, if you will, to zip through the events in simplified form. At the end of summer last year, I quit a job I loved with absolutely no plan as to what I would do next. It was not a decision I wanted to make but one I felt, for reasons I won’t share, compelled to choose. At the same time, my mother went into the hospital. We thought she might die. She lived. But she would begin a cycle of alternating between nursing home and hospital with “alternating” being the operative word. Due to a difference of opinion during all of this, my sister stopped talking to me. In some families this would be no big deal or, perhaps, a welcome reprieve. For me, it was devastating. Throw in the fact that I do not live near my family. I kept a bag packed and a full tank of gas. Hilton Hotels became my second home. In October, I asked my husband for a divorce. It was more a statement than a question. I allowed him to stay in our home of twenty-eight years. My two youngest decided to keep their own rooms instead of moving to the new place with me. Double whammy. Divorce AND empty nesting in addition to the move. Throw in the fact that I chose to not publicly share that I am going through a divorce. As far as everyone knows, then, I am not “single” but still married and living at home. I am living a fake life, not talking about it, and have everybody fooled. Or not. I need a job. But that bag is still packed and most often at the door. Unless I am my own boss, I am not going to find something with the flexibility I would need. Throw in the fact that I have never lived on my own. Learning curve. I can do it, but learning curve. Friends who know my story talk about dating. My husband and I have been together since I was nineteen. I have not dated in thirty-three years. I will refrain from zipping through every negative event that has actually occurred, but I trust that you now have a picture of how my life has gone in this short span of time.
When I was a little girl I was big on “the moral of the story.” I loved the fable books, those tales of animals that become human and run into a wonderful opportunity to learn a major life lesson. When my mother would finish reading, I would look at her and ask, “What are we supposed to learn from this? What is the lesson here?” I have pretty much approached my life in exactly the same way.
And so I reflect.
With a good amount of therapy, liquid from local vineyards, and coffee shop time with friends, I have come to this. Shit happens. Even to good people. Cowering or running away from problems neither solves them nor rids oneself of their burdens. Failing to set boundaries is never a good idea. And pain is felt whether one gives it a name or doesn’t. It is okay to let go of what is breaking one’s heart. It is okay to run toward that which sings to it. It is okay to be me even if being me is not okay with another. I am not enough and that is okay, meaning that I am enough just exactly as I am.
I ask, then, what is the moral of this story? The moral is that I am learning to determine my personal space and what I will allow into it, I am learning to be brave and to speak up for myself even if that is not what others would like to hear, and I am learning, once again, to allow the little girl inside me room to run and play, to nurture her, to cradle her, and to fall in love with her just exactly as she is.