I have always viewed myself to be a relatively strong, relatively independent woman. I can do...and have done hard things. Which is not to say they need to be done on ones own but I’ve never been ?afraid? of them? Or maybe I have but I see the past through rose colored glasses.
Lately though, I’ve been wondering where that went. It’s a boggling cyclical inner dialogue. A round about of sorts. And I’m still looking for my exit.
I started reading Rising Stong by Brene Brown. A gift from a dear friend who knew I’d need a good bucketfull of strong.
Oi. Vulnerability. Yes. “The only path to more love, belonging and joy” with the downside of “stumble, fall, and get your ass kicked.” Today I feel like I’m sitting on the ground after a fell on my face on the stairs fall. Not sure if I’m steady enough to get up. Not sure what I’m going to do when I do get up. I have so many options it’s paralyzing. I have enough experiences to feel strongly about what I want. Thought enough humility to know that what I want is rarely what I need. Except in the case of salt.
The theme of Rising Strong, as instroduced in the introduction is “Fall. Get up. Try again.”
Oof. Okay. I’m hearing it.
Through vulnerable experiences I have experienced a whole lotta big love. I think that’s why I like blogging. It’s a whole lotta out there...but it’s lead to some awesome relationships and has been a great Avenue for conversation starting.
I try to write and share my experiences for several reasons. One reason is because it’s good to remember where I’ve been. Another is because it’s a way to invite other people to join my journey. Because sometimes I don’t know I need people until their kind words lift me on a hard day. Because sometimes someone might need to know that life is not “Facebook perfect.” Because sometimes someone might need to know that there is and can be good.
There’s a conversation about failure in the book. When initially drafting I wanted to talk about experiencing a failed marriage. The thought of writing “when I failed at marriage” caused me to recoil. Is it my failure if my partner declined all wilingness and desire to solution seek? I pursued all solutions. It’s not MY failure.
Except it was. I took a risk on commitment, parntership, and love. It failed. My venture failed. As Brene (were on a first name basis in my head) says “failing is painful. It fuels the ‘shouldas and couldas’ which means judgment and shame are often lying in wait.”
While I’m happy to have loved and lost the wind has been knocked out of me.
I still grieve the loss of a partner of many years. Where there was a person who got all your things, a person you enjoyed making dinner for, or helping out in odd ways there is now a void.
I am anxious to fill that familiar void with a person. But really not just any person. My person.
The person I can sit and chat with about all the things. The important things like Harry Potter, Pokémon, the semantics around the title Superhero, and compost worms. The person who enjoyed a good meal as much as I do. The person who smells so good I can’t stay away. Not cologne good and not that other people smell bad but like biochemistry come hither good. I can’t describe it but I know it when it’s there.
Alas, I am struggling between feeling hurt and acting hurt, between feeling disappointed and acting disappointed. I want to approach pain and grief with the efficiency of meeting with a school counselor. Is this a two year plan? What is the procedure. Which classes should I take? What books will I need to read. As if accolades and achievements could somehow accelerate or abate this process.
Brene talks about how “once we fall in the service of being brave we can never go back” and “this change often brings a deep sense of loss.” Do you ever read stuff and think “Thaaaaaat. Thaaaat is what I’m feeling. Daaaaang how’d they know?”
I’ve pondered what it could mean to go back. Back to places I’ve been. Where did I feel safe. Does that still exist? Most resoundedly no. Home where I grew up no longer exists as it did. Other places that felt comfortable before might have felt so through the context of my former partnership. The only way out is forward but in which direction? I feel paralyzed and yet I feel compelled to take action. The epitome of an internal conflict.
Oddly it feels good to send all that out into the world.
Yes, I realize it’s scattered, disorganized and unedited. Let me extend my appreciation for your understanding.