I’m supposed to be packing. It’s 9:15 a.m. on a Wednesday. Instead, I’m sitting in my car drinking my half syrup pumpkin dirty chai latte and wishing I could just throw on some warm clothes, lay a blanket down in the grass, and stare up at the sky for a while.
A good friend of mine reminded me recently to practice gratitude especially for the things I find it hard to be grateful for, so here we go.
My children’s father left me in August. (I’m trying to move away from the word “husband” because, while we are still technically married, I’m trying to change my language to reflect his new status in my life.) And last night, for maybe the first time, I really started to see the good that is coming out of this storm. I don’t like how the change to my life came about but I’m really starting to think this change is necessary for both him and me.
I’m packing up my things and moving out of our shared space to a new, much smaller place. My son Zeke and I will be the only ones in the new house. My oldest, Mori, will be living with their father. It’s certainly not how I’ve ever imagined things would go for our family. And I’m still going to grieve the loss of the future I’d envisioned, the future we had talked about for years. But I’m also realizing that I’m grieving something that never existed except in the space of my mind and our conversations. I’m grieving the loss of a fiction I was emotionally invested in but it was still fiction, it never existed.
It’s easy to think of the life we’d built and the life I believed we were building towards and mourn their death. And it’s harder to face the reality that things were not as they seemed, to see things from a different perspective. It’s like looking at an optical illusion sculpture, one of those sculptures that changes shape as you move and look at it from different angles. In the video below you can see a pair of giraffes until you move just a little and then suddenly it’s an elephant. I’m moving and shifting and changing and that is causing me to begin to see what’s happened to my life from a totally different angle.
If you’re into the Enneagram, I am a type 4, the moody, creative type. (You never would have guessed, right? 🙄😂) Fours spend too much time in their heads examining the past and dreaming about the future and I am no exception. I’ve spent way too much of my time trying to figure out what the future looks like and trying to decipher the clues left behind for me from myself in the past. And today, I’m deciding to work harder on living in the now. I can’t change the past but I can learn from it. And I can’t know my future but I can work to shape it.
I may not like how the change came about in my life but this storm isn’t just changing the circumstances of my life, it’s changing me. Of course, that was inevitable but what’s surprising to me is how much I like it. I like the way I’m changing and I am interested to see how different I’ll be a few months from now or a few years. And, for once, I’m going to work to not spend all my time dreaming about the future. Nothing is established anymore. And, let’s be real, it never was. I will take nothing for granted anymore.
So I’m walking through the storm. And, strangely, I’m grateful for it. The truth is I’ve always loved walking in the rain.