“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
~ Alfred D’Souza
I have always been a person who has always been waiting.
When I was a child, I was waiting for high school because from what I observed by watching Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210, high school was real life. Because after sporting events and lame school dances, it was all downhill.
When I was in high school, I was waiting until I could go off to college because college was real life. I would be out of my small Maine town and I would study abroad in Europe. I could immerse myself in the subjects I cared about such as History and French.
When I was in college, I was waiting for graduation because that was when my career was going to happen and possibly I will would meet my future husband. I was going to earn some real money. And life was going to begin.
When I was finally out of college, I was waiting for my career to take off and to meet that husband I dreamed about meeting. But none of those things came with a college degree so I kept waiting.
Once I was in a relationship with Bryon, I was waiting to get engaged because then I would be planning our wedding and my life would begin.
When Bryon and I were engaged, I was waiting to be married and when I was a wife, then life would begin. We could put the stress of wedding planning behind us and we can focus on our happily ever after.
Once I was Bryon’s wife, I was waiting to buy a house and become a mother. We would become a family and raise our baby in our little house.
Once I became a mother, I was waiting to have our second child so we could be the perfect family with two kids. Bryon had been working hard on a career as was I and we would buy a bigger house. Then life would begin. We would raise our two perfect children, maybe three and take them to whatever sports or lessons they had. We would get a family dog. We would go on family vacations. Bryon had plans to become 1950’s dad and make our daughters dates uncomfortable. Then the kids would go of to college to wait for their lives to begin and Bryon and I would grow old together.
Only life as I envisioned it would never begin. I never once thought “once I become a young widow, then my life would begin.” But my life is happening and for once, I am not waiting for anything. I know I have a long life ahead of me but for the first time in my life, I am not eagerly anticipating the next phase of my life. I don’t even know what I should be waiting for. I don’t even know what my next phase of my life is. I know I will see my daughter grow up but Bryon won’t be there. I hope to be in a position to help people but I am not sure how I will get from here to there.
During my grief process, I have felt like there is a lot of waiting. I am waiting for the pain to subside. I am waiting for things to get settled. I am waiting until I can think about everything that happened and not feel like I am being punched in the stomach. I am waiting until I can talk about what happened without having my voice shake and tears welling up in my eyes.
I don’t know what to wait for. My life has so many paths it could take. I am not looking forward to the prospect of someday dating again. But if I did, my life would follow a certain path, a path I am not ready to consider at the moment. For the time being, I am actually looking forward to my time alone to figure out exactly who I am. But since I don’t know who I am right now, I don’t know how to envision a future alone. There are many facets of my personality I wish to explore and depending on which ones I develop could affect my path.
I spent 37 years waiting for my life to begin. But I have been living my life this whole time and not living in the moment. I spent my years with Bryon looking towards the future and that future never materialized. I spent so much time waiting and not enjoying the life I was living and that life is gone. I can’t go back and focus on those moments in the present. I only have memories. Memories, a future I am not waiting for and the present. It’s a shame it took my husband’s death to teach me how to live in the present.