Do you know I’m talking about you? Have you figured it out? Or do you still have doubts?
It’s okay. I know it’s hard to fully comprehend this. And that’s coming from someone who is living this reality who is now pulling you all into this.
Do you remember the cat that hung around your first apartment? The one that looked like a bobcat but probably wasn’t. Or you hoped it wasn’t. Particularly as its appearances grew more and more frequent.
Even if you don’t remember that, though…
You love the city. You thrive in its chaos and shine in its glow.
You are a bookish marketing professional (expert, I think you should call yourself.)
but you find your life marred with regret over choices that weren’t yours.
You scrunch up your nose just before you laugh.
When you were a child, you told the class your biggest fear was sharks, but you love sharks.
It’s just easier to say that than to say you were afraid your dad was never coming back. Partially because Mom told you not to tell.
“We have to be picture perfect,” she said, to paraphrase wildly. But my wording works. After all, pictures are a suggestion of what was/is. Not a guarantee.
Avoiding mirrors is your short term solution, though you do have better tools at your disposal.
Your fondest memory was the burnt Mother’s Day brunch your children and stepchildren tried to make. Your stepchildren were old enough to know better, but at least the responding fire fighter was attractive. And forgiving.
Other things you cherish:
The swatch of fabric you cut from your wedding dress.
The ring that replaced the one that fell into the ocean.
The sound of your oldest son’s laughter and the picture of the two of you at his college graduation.
The memories of whispers you and your husband would share at night under the covers.
Dreams for the children.
Fears for the future.
Promises you worry you didn’t keep. [It turns out your a glutton for punishment.]
Your ability to deal with loss. After all, you had plenty of practice.
You think people don’t notice, but there’s something about this new phase of your life that feels jarring. The ground beneath your feet hasn’t set yet. Consequently, you’re heart is racing, and your anxiety builds.
You have this ability to light up a room and pull people in.
You are a terrific actress, even if you can never claim your work.
You remember all the names of every person who works in your office, and you try to greet them whenever possible. She noticed it first, and it’s a way you can stay connected with her.
Your desk is a mess. It got worse when you got the standing desk, but you feel better about your health, so there’s that.
It’s hard to know what’s next for you. The original plan fell apart, and no one let you have a Plan B.
For the record, it wasn’t your looks that led to it all falling apart. He was going to do whatever he would do regardless.
You still dream of love and the one you knew. It was more than you ever thought you could have.