Wanderlust

I need to see new things. 

And, also, see the same things - somewhere else.

I need to stand on different street corners.

And, walk roads that lead to new

people and places.

I need to breathe the air - somewhere else.

Anywhere else.

I feel like I am holding my breath,

Living here in the outskirts of my old life.

~Staci

 

I feel restless lately.  I want to make changes in my life, but I am at a standstill because I am unsure of myself.  Currently, I just exist in suburbia - I am "living" the life that swirls around me.  But, I am not present in my life.  I am just going through the motions.  As much as I try, I am not content, despite the "good" life that I have in front of me.  Without Mike, I am unsettled and underwhelmed, and no one but me can change this.  I need to follow my intuition.  I need to action something...

Around this time, last year, I painted my bedroom in an attempt to acknowledge that I was able to make decisions without Mike.  I wanted to prove to myself that I was in charge of my life and I tried to accomplish this with a nice shade of the palest blue paint.  A year later, I can say for certain that the paint was unsuccessful in making me forget who is not sharing my bed. His absence remains painfully obvious.  Around the same time last year, I carefully rearranged the furniture in the living room.  But, likewise, these changes haven't made me feel less alone on the couch.  No matter how I fluff up the new pillows or arrange the furniture I feel him missing.  Whatever small changes I make, I still picture Mike all throughout the house.  Clearly, I have to do much more than these subtle alterations around my house. But, what? 

 

I've grown tired of these ineffective, roughshod attempts at reclaiming my life.  I feel big changes inside me, but I still do not have the confidence to bring them to life.  I am frustrated with my lack of commitment.  I want to do something significant to change my life because, at this point, I know that it is foolish of me to not attempt to live my life.  Mike isn't going to become 'undead', no matter how much I wish he could come back.  Only one of us is alive now and that's me.  I best start acting like it.

I am not longer in survival mode.  Simply surviving isn't enough to satisfy me anymore.  I want to do far more than survive Mike's death.  I want to LIVE again.  I want to thrive for myself, and for my children. And, thriving is going to involve changes that go beyond pillows and paint, even if the paint is the best shade of pale blue.

 


I find it difficult to make decisions since Mike died.  I was confident and very self-assured before - and I know, one day,  I will  be like this again.  But, for now, change scares me in ways it didn't before.  Maybe this is because so much has changed in the last 21 months; and, now, I hesitate to make further changes in my already unrecognizable life.  But, despite my fears, I know that I have to action further changes.  I have to move outside of my comfort zone.  I can not continue  living the way I am because I am neither content, nor happy.

Since Mike died, I spend a lot of my time dumbfounded and lost in thought.  Some moments I still can not believe that the life we shared together no longer exists.  After almost two years, I still can not believe that this is real.  I still can not believe Mike died.  I don't know how long it will take for me to really "get" his 'deadness' and grasp the permanence of my changed life.  For now, I admit that I spend most of my time daydreaming about days gone by.  In my mind, Mike still seems very much alive.  But, he's not alive.  He's gone from here and I need to let my life get louder and his memory get softer. 

It is incredibly hard for me to live without thoughts of him constantly fluttering into my head.   I feel like I "live" in two worlds.  In one world, I  keep Mike  "alive" in my thoughts.  I escape to this place all through the day; and, concurrently, I "live" in this physical world.  In this world, I go about working.  Raising kids.  And, I attempt to participate in life.  Yet, I am not fully present in either realm. 

 

I exist somewhere between these two places. 

It is an utterly exhausting and completely unfulfilling existence because I am not authentically anywhere. 

I am just sort of lost between worlds. 

Wandering between dimensions. 

It is very tedious.

And, I know that I can't continue to be like this because this is not living...   

 

I don't know how to fix this.  But, I know that I need a change of scenery.  I desperately need to shake things up.  I need to make new memories that are only mine.  I need to separate myself geographically from where we created our life together.  I am just not able to move forward where I am.  Despite that there are almost no physical traces of Mike left, I am still stuck here.   I need to go.  I am not sure where, but I need to be somewhere else.

I need to wake up and see the sunlight streaming into a room that I entered for the first time, the night before.  I need to open the curtains to an unfamiliar view.  I need to order an Americano somewhere besides my local coffee shop.  I need to walk along paths that are precariously perched above another ocean.  I need to stop on this unfamiliar path and look out over the edge.  I need to breathe the moment in.  I need to stand there, and "be" in the moment.  I need to learn to "be" enough - on my own.  I need to have the sunshine fall on me and warm my Soul - somewhere far away from here.  I need to hear the rain fall on the roof of a place with a name I've never heard.  I need to wander through a market that has signs written in a language that I can not read.  I need to enjoy lunch outside, at a charming bistro, in a country I've never been to.  I need to wander off the street, as the sun is setting, and get myself a table for one at a quaint restaurant.  I need to order myself a wonderful dinner.  I need to have someone I do not know interrupt my meal and share a good conversation with me as the light of the streetlamps glow off a cobblestone street.  A street I've never been on before.  A street I don't know the name of.  I need to  drink wine under the light of the moon somewhere far, far way.  This is what I need.  I need to go on an adventure to stir life back into me.  I need to leave home because, without him, nowhere feels like home to me.  I need to wander the earth until I am comfortable again.  And, maybe the only way I can  get comfortable is to leave the places that are well worn and familiar.   I know myself, I have a wanderlust heart... The only way for me to really move forward, without the man I love, is to leave the place where we fell in love.

 

Godspeed to me,

 

Staci


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  • Cathy Quinn
    commented 2018-11-25 06:40:23 -0800
    Thank you for your post, Staci. It crystalized some of my recent thoughts. I am 15 months into widowhood and also feel stuck…in this place of memories that I can’t seem to leave in my mind and in my house. We moved 7 years ago and made this a home where I could live and manage alone but I’m finding that I also feel that I need to do something big to jump start whatever comes next. Like you, I did much without him while he was alive but now I’m not at all as confident as I was when he was here. I often do short trips with a group of friends and on the most recent one, like your blue room, I intentionaly did an ‘independent’ thing…bought my first souvenir in 35 years without him. Unfortunately, like you, it didn’t do the trick… It looks terribly lonely amongst ‘our’ souvenirs and is just a reminder that I don’t have someone with which to share the memory. And isn’t that, after all, the purpose of souvenirs? We had many wonderful trips over his 12 year health crisis as there’s nothing like the threat of death to motivate living. Greece is the place we didn’t get to and I very much want to do that. But, alone feels very scary and a tour with strangers (and couples) doesn’t seem right. Always, seeing couples only make me long for my lost couplehood and the man that knew me, remembered my younger self, saw me and loved me – flaws and all. I’m now invisible and alone and lacking purpose. After 35 years of building a family life and 12 years of focus on Mike and making our memories as fast as possible, how do I now make my next 35 years meaningful for me, our son, family, friends and the universe? Baby steps…Greece anyone?