One of the hardest things for me to put into words lately has been a satisfactory answer to that little question.
"How are you?"
Some people follow that up with "You seem great!" or "But you're happy, right? or even "You look so happy!"
At no point was I ever in the fetal position weeping in despair, but very few things in my life make me happy right now. At the moment, it's a very short list.
1. My boys
2. My friends
3. My new dog, Archie
The list of things I'm unhappy about is a much longer list, and I'm not going to start it because it isn't healthy to focus on so much negativity and loss. I gave up 95% of my previous life. I am literally starting from scratch here, and while that might sound fun, it isn't. Everything is my life is new--from my day to day life, to the furniture, to the things (even the knife block and spatulas are new), to the people I interact with, to the dog on my bed, and to the man at my side.
Newness isn't bad... but it's new. And with newness comes a disorienting sense of impermanence. At least in my marriage, I knew that next Tuesday, and next November, and 2016 were all going to be an endless stretch of sameness. For someone who longs for stability, I just did a spectacular job of removing every shred of stability from my life. I spend my days reconstructing it, re-building it, much as a bird might build their nest, with shreds and scraps and unexpected bits and pieces that I find along the way. But I can't quite re-create the life I had, and so it's my life, but a very different one from the one I had before, and it's so new, I don't really recognize myself in it yet.
I was talking to my friend, Tambra, the other day and she said something to the effect of, "It's really amazing all that you have accomplished in just 4 months." And then she started cataloging my major achievements... Getting a job after almost 10 years out of the workforce, keeping my Thirty-One business from imploding, moving twice, unpacking and re-settling twice, finding the time and energy to pick some old hobbies back up, and being a generally less-depressed, more motherly mother to my boys.
I have another friend, Jen, who's a year ahead in her post-divorce life, and she's been instrumental in helping me focus, remain positive, and in touch with my Xena Warrior Princess side. From the beginning of this whole journey, when my head would swim with doubts and overwhelm, she'd just say "You've got this!" Somehow that was all I needed to hear.
As pathetic as it sounds, I need to meet this stronger, fiercer, more successful Brittany that my friends know. I don't think of my successes that way. For me, success is defined more simply. I made it through the day
without crying, the bills all got paid, the dishes got washed, the boys
are happy... I'm still having a hard time emotionally with all of this. Even if I look like I'm having the time of my life, my subconscious knows otherwise.
Most nights I
1) wake up in cold sweats about my future and the state of my finances -or-
2) dream that I am unable to scream or cry -or-
3) dream that I am punching, hitting, kicking, and generally trying to tear Tom from limb to limb
There's so much to work through, and it's going to be a process...
I'm working on being present and living in the moment more. Nothing about my life is going to be resolved any time soon. It's best to recognize that fact and embrace it.
For now I'll just try to enjoy the notion that for the first time in a long time, life is going to surprise me.