Paper Bag

No idea what I want to say today. 

I am feeling so restless. Right this minute, this week, this year. In life. 

I have always been someone who knows what I want. Someone with specific goals and dreams, and a certain and roundabout way of getting there. I have always had a vision. 

Lately though, I'm having a lot of trouble seeing things. Everything feels blurry. Everything feels up in the air. My thoughts change from moment to moment, and I feel like some indecisive teenager who is discovering life for the first time. Some parts of this feeling are a bit exciting, but mostly, it scares me and feels foreign. This isn't me. It's not the me I am used to dealing with. I don't know this version of me, and therefore, I have no idea how to navigate her. 

So many questions. So many thoughts. So much anxiety. 

I guess, maybe, perhaps, that after almost 5 years since the sudden death of my beautiful husband, I have finally reached that point in life where my main thought has switched from the old standby of: How am I supposed to do this without him? to more of: Okay. What next? What now? Where do I belong in this world that I exist in today? Where is my next home? 

The life I knew with my husband is no longer. This still feels surreal to me most days, but I know more than ever that it's the brutal truth of things. So, after 5 years of surviving and trying to breathe, maybe I'm just now trying to figure out that next step. All I know is that I can't stop feeling restless. Like I want to do something drastic, or different, or not expected. My heart feels all over the place. I'm dating again, and while a big part of me is very much enjoying that, another perhaps bigger part of me sits inside of a situation with a person that is very special to me, and who isn't anywhere near ready to be more than my awesome friend. I feel torn. I feel anxious. I feel like nothing is keeping me anywhere, and on a daily basis, I have this weird urge to pack up all my stuff and just move somewhere else. Where? Who the hell knows.. A new city. A new start. Something different. Shake things up. When I tell you I have NEVER felt this way before in my life until this past year, it's the truth. This is not the me I'm used to. I don't know how to navigate this or figure it out. I just know it's there, and I don't know why. 

And yet, I don't have the luxury of doing anything such as this. My life is stuggling. Working paycheck to paycheck. Paying the bills. Trying to keep health insurance I can barely afford. Making it on my crappy paycheck. Having obligations. Having the 2 cats my husband left me with to drag with me wherever I end up. Trying to hold onto the one job with the one steady income I have had in the past 15 years. Responsibilities. I can't just pack up and go somewhere. That isn't what my life is about. Maybe I wish I could. Maybe this is some form of rebellion or resentment I'm feeling at the fact that I've had to do everything alone the past 5 years. Maybe I'm just tired and over it. Maybe I want something different. 

Part of me wants to leave here and try a new city. Part of me wants to just make my life easier and live in a place where the cost of living is a lot cheaper, so my entire life doesn't consist of just paying the bills and barely scraping by. Part of me wants to keep my promise to Don that we would move to Florida together and retire there. And yes, I know that's crazy. First of all, I'm only 44 years old, so obviously I can't retire for a very long time, if ever. Also, Don is dead. So I won't be moving to Florida with him anytime soon. But, when I'm down there, I feel a sense of peace and closeness to him that is difficult to describe. I feel like he is really, truly with me, and that I am somehow back home. I don't understand any of these feelings. Florida is way too fucking hot for me. And I have never felt like wanting to leave NYC. Until this year. 

This probably isn't very interesting for anyone else to read today. I'm sorry. It seems like the kind of thing that one would discuss with their husband - what to do next, where to go, life decisions. But I don't have a husband anymore, and so now I talk to myself in a blog post in type, and I feel a little bit crazy. 

It's like I'm one of those paper or plastic bags that you see outside sometimes, in city parks or playgrounds, or maybe near the boardwalk of a beach. It's just there. Sort of floating. Back and forth. Drifting. Slowly coming down, then being brought back up by the wind. It's destination is unknown, and it has no real purpose at this specific moment. It just stays mid-air, teetering on nothingness. I feel like that paper bag right now. And what I need is for someone else , something else, some force, to step in here - and make my next move obvious. I need for the wind to take me wherever it is that I am supposed to be going. 


Showing 5 reactions

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  • commented 2016-06-10 22:04:13 -0700
    It will be five years for me on August 10th, and this post is a great description of how I feel. The sentence “How am I supposed to do this without him? to more of: Okay. What next? What now? Where do I belong in this world that I exist in today? Where is my next home?” felt like a relief to read. I thought that I am not the only one that feels so lost at this stage, so maybe we will get to where we figure it out. Other people figured it out so why not me and why not you?
  • commented 2016-06-10 20:07:25 -0700
    Kelley… This makes so much sense… And more so after you have done such a great job putting it to words!
    Keep doing what you are doing… And follow your heart……
  • commented 2016-06-10 18:42:32 -0700
    Yes, it speaks volumes. I felt this same way a couple of years ago too. Five year mark must mean something. You know, like at two years when the reality hits. I did make some changes, and for the most part, I am happy with them. But the shit fact remains, I still am by myself too. It is all too surreal………..still.
  • commented 2016-06-10 17:55:00 -0700
    That does help Penny. It always helps to know my thoughts arent completely crazy. I didnt think this one would make much sense to anyone else but me, but I guess it does. Thanks!
  • commented 2016-06-10 17:38:14 -0700
    Kelley, I think, in a small way I get it. Lately I’ve had these very aimless days where I don’t know what I want to do or where to go, or who to contact that might bring me some joy or satisfaction or just scratch that itch. I guess it was until after my husband died that
    if I had these days, I’d talk it out with him. He was always my voice of reason. They are very unsettling and cause me to be anxious. So I can’t imagine how it is when you have extended periods of this “unspecific-ness” (I believe I just made up a word). I don’t know if it helps to know that when I read your post, I pumped my fist and yelled “Yes!!!” Despite your thoughts that your post would not be very interesting to anyone, it sure spoke to me. Thanks again!