Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of an extremely difficult day in my life.I don’t think it’s important to say what happened, because let’s face it. We’ve all had difficult days in our lives and even years later, these days are hard to think about.
The pain I felt that day is still there, it’s just not as sharp as it once was. When something unexpected happens, just being able to accept the reality of “what is” can be extremely difficult.It’s overwhelming to realize your perspective, your trust and your sense of security was nothing more than an illusion.You try to find reason and hope in the days that follow, but it’s hard. Really hard. The world as you knew no longer exists. The people you called friends may not be there at all. Through that, you are expected to move on and be the person you always were. When you no longer look at the world the same way, that person may be hard to find. If you want to find them at all.
When you experience loss, whether it’s your health, the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or your career, you learn things. Like, who really cares about you. Unlike Maid in Manhattan, the guy running for Senator isn’t always okay with you wearing Natasha Richardson’s clothes*. When you role changes your relationships do not always follow. Ask any divorced couple and they will tell you there are “his friends” and “her friends”, no matter how many dinners you shared together. With time, you realize the people you lost may be the most difficult part of your transition. But then you say to yourself, F them. They weren’t my friends at all. But, you also get mad at yourself for not realizing this sooner. Like, before you bought their $150 wedding gift and poured your heart out to them.
When you lose something important you suddenly have permission to drop the bravado and focus on what truly matters. You are no longer too busy to think about what you really want to do with your life. This is what people call “the silver lining”. The problem is that when you figure out what you want to do, it’s not always easy. Fragile self-esteem and grief make these failed starts even more difficult. But with perseverance you may find yourself on the other side, thankful for what life has thrown at you. I am not there yet, but I am getting there. It’s a road that has been traveled by many people much less fortunate than me. Ones that would relish the opportunity to be in my position. Writing a blog while they are home with their kids, living in a nice house with 3 crazy cats shedding all over the place. As you can tell, I am trying to cheer myself up and doing that thing called “putting things in perspective”. I am sure you’ve been told to do that before. This is when Rocky Road Ice Cream comes in handy. Unless you are a diabetic, in which case you still eat it but skip the marshmallow cream sauce.
Did I experience “silver lining” in my life this past year? Yes. I am grateful for the time I’ve had with my kids, to write, to rest (I have fibromyalgia, so this is important). But, this doesn’t take away the feelings I had 1 year ago today. They are still there, but they speak more quietly to me. With time, I hope I won’t hear them at all. Because what matters is my opinion of myself, no one else’s. It’s just easier to say than to believe sometimes.
Explanation of my Natasha Richardson reference:
*If you haven’t seen Maid in Manhattan I am pretty sure you’ve never had cable. J-LO tries on a rich lady’s clothes when cleaning her room. Cute guy sees her in the clothes and thinks she’s a guest at the hotel. They fall in love, but guy doesn’t know J-LO is a maid. They fight when he finds out, but they end up together. I am pretty sure the bitch isn’t a maid after that.