Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect…”
It’s been many weeks since I’ve blogged, but honestly, most nights after Marley goes to sleep, all I want to do is have a glass of wine and Watch “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.  Life is good, often great and I’m happy, content and comfortable most of the time.  It’s strange how things have changed and I’m struggling to find the words to describe the difference.  I’ve often blogged about my cloud lifting, about acceptance and understanding, but this change is different, stronger.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, but it happened fairly recently.  I began to notice the change right around the time the school year started, around mid August.  I found myself single again, not that I was ever really taken.  Taken would insinuate some sort of mental or physical connection, neither of which I honestly had.  I’m not sure what I was doing or why I spent so much time floating down a rapid river, bumping and scraping my way through a relationship that often times made my skin crawl.  I knew it was wrong, I was more than aware that happiness was far from what I was feeling.  I have no excuse, no reasoning beyond the obvious – if felt good to have someone around, a date to a wedding, a partner in volleyball.  I also remember thinking that this was to be my future and that I should accept that I would never be as happy as I was with Ryan.  Thankfully, I can now look back and recognize the idiocy of those thoughts.
          Late August brought about a change.  It’s as if I shed a thick layer, raised the wool from over my eyes and began to see and feel fully again.  People at work started commenting, noticing the bounce in my step and the sparkle in my eye.  I noticed the change too and here’s where the difficulty to explain begins.  It’s as if I felt myself again.  Suddenly I was passionate about my job, cared deeply for my students, looked forward to interacting with their parents and couldn’t wait to see my colleagues.  Although surprised by her presence, I immediately recognized this person.  It was me!  So why did this happen?  Where did this person come from and most importantly, why didn’t I fully recognize that she was gone?  The answer is anything but easy, but if you’ve followed this blog, maybe you already know.  Like a needle in a haystack, I found myself with stamina, perseverance and pure determination.  Now I look back over the past two years and marvel.  Remembering, from the explosions to the nuances of grief, I cannot believe I survived.  It takes feeling like myself again, finally recognized that person in the mirror, to truly comprehend how far I’ve come.
          Ends can often bring about new beginnings.  Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.  October 10, 2010 was the worst day of my life, but it was also the first day of the rest of my life.  It took many months to accept my new circumstances, but once I found the strength to understand, I also found the ability to begin rebuilding.  Once I worked through these obstacles, I was left with one final and daunting task, moving on.  This was less a hurdle I needed to jump over and more a barrier between myself and true happiness.  Even though I wanted to move on more than anything, I found myself internally fighting this final complication.  To me, moving on was letting go, but I now realize that this is not the case.  Letting go would be forgetting and I’ll never forget.  Moving on is simply allowing myself to seek out and find happiness again.  Moving on is realizing, after my most recent failed attempt at dating, that happiness is not dependent on another person.  It took another end to open my eyes to my new beginning.  My life has purpose; I’m grounded in a comfortable routine and centered in my current state of health and happiness.  Codependence is no longer the fuel to my success.  What it is however, is still something I seek by choice. 
          I spent the greater part of this week remembering, reflecting and worrying.  After all this time, I still occasionally fear that the monster of grief will return to wrap its ugly hands around me.  Getting through days like today assure me that this will never happen, but my body still physically reacts to the paranoia.  All week I’ve been experiencing these symptoms:  My eye lid twitches, my stomach hurts, I often feel anxious and even a little dizzy.  It’s okay though because deep down I know today is a hard day, but tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow I can go back to my bubbly self, my happy life, my positive attitude.  Tomorrow I can spend time with a special friend, a man I recently met that makes me very happy.  Tomorrow I can go back to dreaming and wondering about what my future holds.  Tomorrow I can go back to watching Marley grow and learn.  Tomorrow I can go back to feeling very, very lucky.  Today I remember and maybe even grieve, but tomorrow, I’m back to being me.