This week, I have found myself questioning what I am doing here, in England, several thousand miles from the country of my birth. I came to the UK in 2009, on my own, to work in Social Work, and I met Stan a year and a half after I moved to London. I was working in a difficult, stressful job in south London, when we met, and had considered returning to the US after my three year contract was finished.
Although I loved the UK, I felt very much alone in my new environment, and spent the majority of my time on my own. I had made some friends in the Buddhist Centre, where I attended meditation and yoga classes, and I had some work colleagues that could loosely be considered friends. But, for the most part, I was alone in a giant city with only my books, writing, and internet for company.
I had an all-out breakdown a few days ago. The kind I haven't had in at least a year. I am chocking it up partly to hormones and the damned full moon, but also to everything else going on.
Nothing is settled in my life. Most of the time I am used to this, and I ride the waves well. But sometimes it piles up. My career as an artist is sort of like hanging off a cliff on one finger right now. Every now and then I get a better grip, a few more fingers on the ledge, but yeah... this whole entreprenuer thing feels trecherous. All the time. I constantly have no clue what I am doing. And just keep trying my hardest to hold onto the ledge of blind faith sometimes faith is all I've got
Next week, Mike and I will have known each other for 6 months. He and his daughter Shelby will be coming down to visit for a long weekend in just a few more days. We've spent countless hours on Skype, but this is the first time I will be meeting her in person. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous about that. I'd be lying if I said it didn't begin to trigger all kinds of future thoughts.
Suddenly here I am, in the midst of so much change I barely know what happened. This time, it's good change, but that doesn't mean grief isn't still part of it or that it isn't still scary and hard...
Yesterday I had one of those encounters with people who REALLY don't know what to say to a widow. You know the type, they rattle off every cliche in the book with very little understanding of what they're actually talking about. Furthermore, they usually have zero ability to pick up on the fact that the words of sympathy and wisdom they are imparting really aren't helping but are actually just making you more uncomfortable or upset.
I'm visiting Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory, for a good friend's wedding and decided to fill in a morning by getting my nails done. I hadn't intended on letting it slip that I'm a widow because (a) after two years I have had more than enough of these awkward encounters with strangers to know that the 'my husband died' conversation rarely goes well (especially when you're a captive audience, with your hands stuck in a LED nail lamp) and (b) I'm trying to enjoy this weekend away for what it is - celebrating a friend's love story - rather than dwelling on the untimely demise of my own.