I have recently come to realize that my internal barometer for making healthy, safe, smart choices may have been significantly damaged after John's death. I am 40 years old. I'd be a liar if I said i have lived a sheltered life. Some of my issues were born of things beyond my control, but I will be damned if I will relinquish all of the power that comes with owning my multitude of asinine choices. Seriously. I did some ragingly unsafe, stupid, selfish things in my day. You are going to have to trust me on this. I won't elaborate now. Because my point in reliving and rehashing my idiocy is to remember that if you laid it all end to end, there is no way the path should have led me here: relatively stable, mostly healthy, elementary school teacher, mother of 3, and regular church goer. But it did.
I somehow found the mental and emotional fortitude to live the OPPOSITE of the moderately Machiavellian ethical teachings I grew up with, to not hide from my mistakes no matter how ugly, ratty, or familiar they were...because when you hide, all growth stops.
To be honest, a significant portion of this last year of blind misjudgment has likely been an active choice on my part, on some level. With John gone, no matter how much I love my kids, myself, life, my job...nothing was real and nothing truly mattered. I was living in a flattened out world, with thinly sliced wood fiber able to burn and blow away as the foundation and partner in crime for every choice. Once again, it seems there is an energy around me that I am able to touch or tap into. Because I made it through still wanting to love and learn and fight and grow.
But I guess I finally realized that as lonely as I am, I am not ready for someone new. Not because I'm not open to love. Not because I'm afraid I will be trying to replace John. But because the crushing pain of losing your chosen family, your life partner, leaves you a paper doll wandering in a cutout world. A razor thin slice of working brain. Able to be leveled by the slightest need. Confused and unclear, vulnerable and clueless, desperate to be filled out, fleshed in, touched by the Blue Fairy's wand, a wish repeated: I want to be real...make me a real woman. My heart would beg this, of anyone close enough to hear. I wanted to be seen, because I was invisible. He was not there to see me. Could I even BE seen without him?
So no, I am not ready. But not for the reasons you might think. I am not ready because losing him was like an internal explosion of epic proportions. My soul shattered. My heart liquefied. A disaster that huge causes a rapid changs to the surface of anywhere it touches. There is no quick rebuild. There's no switch to flip. Redefining who I am, what I believe, how I feel, what to dream about, hope and wish for, how to find my stride and rhythm in a dance excluding him...each of these will take time. There is no way to know how much. It has already been a year and 4 months and I am only just now beginning to accept that I must keep breathing without him beside me.