Talking with a friend over the last couple days, and she said to me.. “You’re really lost, aren’t you?”
Because for 14 years, but especially the last 5 or so and particularly in the last 2 1/2, my life has been about Mark. I relate my life in terms of “Mark & Jane”
How it will affect Mark.
How it will affect Mark’s health.
How it will affect Mark’s self-esteem.
Whether or not Mark can do it.
Whether or not Mark can watch the kids while I do it.
Whether or not I can do it because Mark’s having a bad day and the boys are too much for him.
What career choice and how far will it go based on what we need because Mark’s never going to work again.
How active of a social life I will have based on how comfortable Mark is with other people.
How late we will stay at a party because he’s done and needs to go home.
Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t resent it. I had complaints some of the time but I loved him, was IN love with him, to such a degree that I enjoyed his company and was happy to spend most of my time with him.
He supported me in my goals/plans/hobbies.
He loved me enough to give me the opportunity to fly.
He pushed me, encouraged me, supported me, was the perfect complement to me.
But now he’s gone, and I’m “just Jane”
I don’t know who Jane is anymore… I don’t know what *I* want.
Remember the movie “Runaway Bride?” She became whoever her fiance’s wanted – because she didn’t have a strong sense of who she was or even how she liked her eggs…. I feel a bit like that.
I know how I like my eggs, but I don’t know who I am when I’m not “Mark’s Wife” I wanted to be a wife from the time I was little. My marriage wasn’t how I envisioned it, but I adjusted, I flourished, I made it the best I possibly could.
But now I’m not Mark’s wife – I’m his widow. And I don’t want to be known as just “Mark’s widow” I want to be Jane… and know who she is.
I’m tired of being a chameleon. I feel it happening in any social group I’m in. Put me in a big group though, and I’ll get quiet and hide in a corner (or on a deck) watching people because I don’t know how to chameleon with multiple groups of people and have it “work” and be comfortable.
I relate to people on a lot of different levels. It’s not deceptive when I chameleon – its a matter of just relaxing into that part of my personality and minimizing the other parts of me. The problem with this, is that I never get to truly be ME.
I could, and did with Mark. Around other people though? I would stifle my opinion on something if I thought it would offend them. I would not “agree” so much as not disagree with someone – the implication being that I did agree with them.
So now – I get to figure out who I am on my own.
I’ve had a beautiful life with Mark. I’d go back to it in a heartbeat if that was an option. I miss him more than words can express. My heart aches at all the things I don’t get to share with him and he doesn’t get to be a part of as our children go through their lives.
But I get to figure out who *I* am. Me. Learn to live on my own. Learn to make (and follow) my own rules. Figure out how I like my eggs (scrambled, dry thank you very much). Figure out what things turn my crank and how far & fast I can crank it because its’ just me and my life, and I get to create a life that works for me and my kids.
I have two choices in becoming a widow. Get lost in the past and wallow in my grief… or try to move through my grief, create the life I want, that Mark would be proud of and that our kids can look back on and say “Hey – life was pretty good. ”
Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. I went for a walk with my friend Sarah today that pushed me a bit and I enjoyed myself. I have good endorphins going through my body and I’m feeling positive about life. Sarah helps me with that. She’s pretty awesome that way.
I want to know who I am.