Months ago, I took a really hard look at my life. To people looking at me, I had it pretty good. Married, two great kids, two dogs, a cat, a house in a great neighborhood, a really high grocery bill to mirror my love for cooking and lots of shoes. Sweet life, right?
It didn’t work out. Although I married a great man….the salt of the earth…..an amazing friend…….in the end, the cat won.
It happens. I was left with a life of reasons to not be home, lonely in a crowd and looking for acceptance from people I barely knew. I had gone from being a kid to being married, to being married again………..with no one to blame but myself for making safe but irresponsible choices. My daughter told me “When are you going to stop hiding behind me, Mom?” Had I done that?
Up to this point, I have had to be responsible for someone else’s life and happiness other than my own since I was a 19 year old KID. I found myself pretending to be into things I genuinely didn’t care for. Don’t rock the boat. Yes, I was raised by the original martyr….thank you my wonderful mother! Since when did everyone’s needs become more important than my own? I can’t remember when that line became so blurry until it disappeared. No one asked me to do it. I just did it.
Over the past year, the fog finally began to lift.
These are the things that honestly make me happy…..taking pictures, writing, cooking for family and friends, being outside window shopping or hiking, the ocean..the smell, the sound and the feel of it, road trips with friends, hockey games, being in the presence of my kids, cleaning house, flirting, lazing on the sofa watching TV, clean sheets, sleeping with my window open, wine tasting and finding one I think is super yummy, mellowing out at home with my dogs, smooching, listening to live music over a cocktail and laughing as often as possible. I don’t want to go to a car show. I don’t like camping in the desert. I don’t want to sit around someone else’s crude friends and have no one talk to me. I would rather be around MY crude friends! 😉
But I digress…….this blog is about not listening to me.
For weeks, it has been a slow progression….a rising out of the ashes, if you will. I didn’t know how to “be”. When you go from a life of people depending on you, to no one needing you, it’s a tough act to follow. There are no raging parties or all nighters. There is me, and my bedroom was becoming my new best friend. I felt resentment towards friends who I felt would spend more time with me now that I had more time and were not. I had an expectation, and when it didn’t happen, I grew distant and said, “I don’t need anyone. I don’t want to deal with other people.”
Tonight, I stopped at the store on my way home. I came home and my roommate had a really bad headache. I changed my clothes, I marinated the meat to barbecue tomorrow night and put it in the fridge, got an ice pack and gave it to my rooommate to put against his neck while I rubbed his forehead. I could have gone into my room and let him fend for himself. He is used to that anyway. He didn’t need me to do that. The awesome thing is that I realized I needed to do that because that is just who I am.
I need you. Each and every one of you. You feed my spirit, and nourish my soul. I got into my car and I moved near the beach….my dream……and I have a car I can’t afford, but it’s so ME……and I have friends over, and we eat, and we have wine, and we laugh….and my life is starting to form into something magnificent. I am learning to be really good with being alone.
“JUST WHEN THE CATERPILLAR THOUGHT THE WORLD WAS OVER… SHE BECAME A BUTTERFLY”