I have no idea where I am going.
I am still trying to figure out the person I want to reinvent myself to be.
I have no idea what the future entails. I am not sure what I want from the future. Bryon’s death has given me the opportunity to really think about how I want to spend the remainder of my days.
Because life is temporary after all.
If it were just me, I probably would have sold my house and would have had plans to go somewhere new. Where I have never been before. On my own. But I probably would have wound up in Chicago or Florida because that is where one of my best friends and my cousin live, respectively.
But I have my daughter and it is important for her to have roots where her father and I had our lives. And to be around those who loved her father and love her.
During my widowhood, I feel like I live in two different time dimensions. The first dimension is the same dimension that we all live in where time moves forward in minutes, weeks, months, years, etc. The second dimension of time is where the past is in the present. The times that I try to cling to a memory for as long as I can because for that brief period of time, I can pretend that I am still in that moment and that Bryon is alive.
I have resigned myself to the fact that I live in this first dimension of time. I am still here on Earth for an undetermined amount of time. I want to make the best of my years here and do as much good in the world as I can. I want to be the best version of myself I can be.
Because I can’t go back and be the older versions of myself. And I don’t really want to either.
Even though my soul feels broken without Bryon, I don’t want to be the person I was before he got sick. I didn’t know what was important. I was selfish. I worried about things that were insignificant. I did not appreciate all that I had and I did not appreciate Bryon. I let my fears rule my life. And sometimes I just went along with things Bryon wanted because I didn’t want to risk an argument. But in the process of not rocking the boat, I wasn’t always true to myself.
Going forward, I must always be true to myself.
Even if it means rocking every boat in the marina.
Death changes everything. The timeline of my life has been broken into two very distinct pieces- the before and the after.
I can never go back to who I was when Bryon was alive or who I was before Bryon came into my life.
I can never go back and be the lonely shy child who grew up in the outskirts of the Boston suburbs.
I can never go back and be the restless teenager in rural Downeast Maine. The girl who knew there was an exciting world out there and felt trapped in her small town.
I can never go back and be the girl who went to college but had no idea what she wanted to do. The girl who had no confidence and was equally afraid of success and fear.
I can never go back and be the 21 year old who was spending a semester “studying” abroad in Winchester, UK.
I can never go back and be the 25 year old girl who had just broken up with her college boyfriend and who was working three jobs to get by.
I can never go back to the 27 year old girl who was involved in politics.
I can never go back to any of these versions of myself. But I still carry something from each version.
The child version of myself represents my Boston Irish roots and my inner child who isn’t afraid to get creative.
The high school version of me represents my restless spirit that I will probably never outgrow and also reminds me that I love to run.
The college version of myself reminds me that I need to be more confident and not be afraid of my dreams like she was.
The 21 year old version of me was proud of herself that she went to England and got to visit London, Paris and Dublin. She got to see places she had dreamed about for years and she got to experience a different culture. Most importantly, she learned that “pants” don’t mean the same thing in the UK as they do in the US.
The 24 year old version of myself taught me that sometimes it is better to let go of something instead of chasing it. You can’t make anyone love you. It is best to wait for real love.
The 27 year old version of myself taught me ambition and how to get over my shyness. This girl also represents who I was before I learned how to love.
And I think about everything I learned from Bryon. He taught me how to love. He taught me to believe to in myself and that I was worth nice things. He taught me how to live like to the fullest. He taught be to not be afraid.
It was because of him I got to be a wife and a mother.
I know that he is a part of me now. But I still wish I could live in my memories with him and not in the present and future.