I find myself solo at times, and I don’t feel uncomfortable or anxious anymore. The kids all have plans nailed down and I’m over here like “Hmmm….I wonder what I should do?” The feeling is refreshing. I’m alone, but I don’t feel lonely. I’m making a list of things I want to do by myself. It’s growing, surprisingly. My new normal is opening up possibilities and opportunities that I never imagined I’d ever have. I’d always prefer my original normal to anything, but the knot I used to get in my belly from loneliness is waning. I like my own company. I have never imagined that I could feel this way. At first I felt guilty when I started feeling okay with being alone, but now I know grief caused that. I’m doing myself far more good building, owning, and refining my foundation, simply because it is mine. I am learning that those I love will benefit when I put myself first, because if I’m taken care of, they’re taken care of.

I want to travel, near and far. I want to finish this thesis, and grant myself about a year to see more of my home state. I want to take every inch of it in: the rivers, foliage, apple orchards, cherry trees, vineyards, and more! I want to travel abroad. I do not care to see the riches and luxuries of Rome, I want to stay off the island of Crete and fish for lunch. I want to see real people living life differently than I’m accustomed. I want to learn and understand their culture. I want to be uncomfortable, and crawl out of my shell instead of hide in it. I want to try different foods and discover my foreign likes and dislikes. I want to swim in water so clear, I can see the pop of the reef below me. This getting to discover me stuff is selfish. I’m typing a lot of “I want” statements. Yet, how am I supposed to know what my talents are, what fears I can squash, and which direction I should take, personally and professionally, if I don’t know what I want?

It’s a tricky balance, preserving one’s soul. It requires more self reflection and tenacity, and this can be distressing for some. I know it’s been very difficult for me. I had to see myself for the very first time, unattached to a lifestyle shared with another, and I didn’t always like what I saw. In order to grow as a person, one shouldn’t always like what they see. Mistakes should be made; I need to know how I drop the ball, everyone needs some humility. I thought I had balanced out my personal goals and dreams, but my goals and dreams never really were personal. Although this was never a problem before, once I found myself alone, it became quite problematic because I didn’t know what I wanted. I still cannot list categorically what I want out of life, except to say that I want to be happy and for me being happy also encompasses making someone happy. I am unequivocally satisfied with creating a life for myself and my family, and since now I know this is all I really need, when the timing is right and the chemistry is there, I’ll be ready for whatever and/or whomever is interested in my time. It’s a lovely feeling unconcerned with attachment. I was attached for so long, I didn’t realize it could be this way. God knows I miss Jas and I know he’s with me, helping to guide me, but I have an odd sense of boldness to this self reliance I’m unearthing. I’m ready to get my hands dirty 🙂