This was originally written in 2019. I’m adapting and changing for today’s thoughts and emotions.
Day 51– page 51– Standing alone
I never dated in high school. I was too immature, too socially inept, too different for the guys to even consider asking. It took me a long time before I understood, (early twenties) but looking back, it was that hind sight is 20-20 thing. I almost had a date one time, but it was just a way to get an old girl friend jealous. The day of the event, the supposed date was totally forgotten. Hurt? Yes, but you accept and go on. In all honesty, I didn’t think it was going to happen anyway. I was one of those girls who went alone to the prom. I spent most of it standing against the wall watching, wishing, dreaming. I was the girl who went home early, disappointed and wondering why I went. What sort of memory is going to the prom alone, to stand against a wall and only watch others have a grand time?
After school there were relationships. There was failed marriage. Then, there was my now deceased husband. So many years together. So many good times shared. And yes, bad times, difficult times, endured. We created a life together with his daughter and then with our son. Over thirty years together, then, you were gone.
Its been almost six years since you were called home. While James still lives here, he is living mostly in his camper beside the house, it is of course different. I’m working on being accustomed to being alone, though it isn’t easy at times, I’m managing. In this, I find comfort in a way that I didn’t know possible. I am finding me. I just have to find the energy to enjoy the me I am finding.
The me I am finding, enjoys watching documentaries on television, or even so called children’s animated movies. There is no one to give me that sideways look thinking I’m silly. I can hike where I want, when I want for as long as I want and not have someone lecturing me on being out there alone. Even though I knew, you lectured because you cared about my safety. As time and energy has allowed, I have cleared out most of the things that my husband swore he would need someday. Slowly, I am seeing clearing. Slowly because I always seem to find a hidden stash of nails, screws, parts of things that even my son is unsure what they are for. There is even a few items of your clothing hanging in the closet. Not good enough to donate but not worn enough for the trash, and then there is the memory and the closeness they bring.
Then, there is the being able to sit here, quietly, enjoying the peace. When the weather warms and clears, and the yard dries enough, I can get out there and make a Molly and Bella created disaster into something that looks presentable and welcoming. I can create and decorate as I wish, designing a place where I find peace.
And peace, is what I am finding. I don’t feel as if I have to be dating, I don’t find myself always longing for companionship of any sort, even as there are those moments when the quiet grows too deep and the solitary existence difficult. I have even grown content with my own company and no longer constantly crave conversation. As I sit here, as I learn and grow, as I find the person I left behind while trying to be a part of two, I make out that bucket list of wants and desires.
I want to find courage. I want to find the courage to go out on my own to places I haven’t gone before. I want to go to restaurants where I haven’t been. I want to go to craft fairs, to concerts where you sit in lawn chairs and enjoy, I want to go hiking along trails local and distant. I want to feel comfortable enough in myself that going somewhere alone is an adventure that opens doors to new friendships and adventures.
I want to find learning. I want to learn new things, or to learn more about the things I know. I want to learn this thing called technology better so that my son will be amazed and proud, but not as much as I will be of myself.
I want to learn how to dance. I want to learn how to shag, how to do the hustle, how to dance some of the dances that I see others doing at events like Relay while I stand back and watch. I want to dance in the shallows at the beach or in a cold mountain creek. I want to dance in the summer showers and the puddles they create.
I want to create colorful designs on clothing and wear it proudly. I want to break out my paints and create images that make me happy no matter what the critics think or say.
I want to stand in my kitchen and create different dishes to tempt the palate and satisfy the hunger.
I want to decorate my home, the way I like and not worry about what anyone thinks.
More than the physical, surface things, I want to create in myself the friend that others want to have around. I want to be the person that makes others smile, where they find comfort in the presence. I want to be the person who encourages, inspires, uplifts others. I don’t want to lead or manage things, I’ve done it and at times I do miss it, but more than manage, I want to be and feel a part of things. I want to be there ready, willing and able to help when and where needed.
I want, I hope, I desire, what I am finding. Peace and contentment in being alone. Understanding though that grief has no timeline. There are moments, when I miss my husband terribly, when I pick up an item that was his, or that reminds me of him. When I see or pass one of those big rigs or hear the jake brakes of a truck passing down the road. When that queen size bed seems so very big and empty. When I awaken in the night at strange hours listening for what I won’t hear. Waking, with odd thoughts racing through my mind. The times when I walk, and I have to pass by where he always parked Sweet Lady Green, and its not there. Still, as time passes, I adjust. Time has brought me the realization that a lot has changed since I was that 25 year old meeting my soon to be husband. At 65, I am a stronger, different person. Yet, I am still growing, learning, discovering that peace, is possible, and finding that peace is important, and within reach. And I am finding, that I can do it, and that it really isn’t a bad thing, this standing alone. I know that life itself is a journey. Along the way we will face many things. We will struggle, we will deal with emotions good and not so good. We will face challenges and temptations. Along the way, we will not know what waits around that next curve or over that next hill, but as long as we keep moving, as long as we keep believing, as long as faith is our constant guide, we and I, will be fine.
We are alike during our high school days. Prom scared me so much and I never had a date.
The good thing about going stag and knowing I was going straight home afterward.. I remained completely sober.
Good, you should while in high school. Yep… 😂