different road

I wasn’t expecting a change in my status, but seems I’m a single woman again. Entirely shocked by my guy’s defection, but if I’m honest, not entirely surprised. A contradiction, yes. Depending on how I’m feeling, it’s either that I was employing willful blindness to things I didn’t want to accept, or that, well, things were going to work out. The truth is somewhere in the middle, that I was both deluding myself and that my trust was betrayed.

My hopes had certainly taken a hit in recent months, but my unwillingness to accept what I was feeling reminds me of how my mother used to suggest, “Do as I say, not as I do.” She would say it laughing, but acknowledging she didn’t often act the way she wanted us to act. Anyway, in the last, what, six months? I could hear one thing, but feel another. Turns out the feeling was the place to pay attention. Something for my brain to digest. You live and learn, as the cliché goes. Or listen and learn, that would be a place to go. Listen to my heart, because my head twists things. Or maybe it’s the other way around, my head knew but my heart didn’t want to. Difficult, these things.

view

A different view on things.

Anyway, having a door shut in front of me, I have to make up whatever story works for me (there’s no one around to contradict my version). And surprise, another door opens. I can re-assess my life, acknowledge that the road I’ve been on for the past six years has been rocky, but not without value. Learned lots about myself, always a good thing, and surprisingly still necessary at my age (61; slow but surely). Gained confidence and belief in my worth, which maybe also seems contradictory, being the dumpee in this story, but it’s true. I’m pissed off, that’s also true, and hurt, yes. But I’m okay, this is good for me to discover.

Being alone is a challenge, takes work, no question. But I’m not interested in being not-alone at any cost (anymore) so we’ll see what the future holds. There’s more time for writing, definitely, but I am becoming clear that I let that time go, all by myself, part of my own difficulty hanging onto myself when in a relationship.This is very interesting, because for quite some while I thought I wasn’t doing that, losing myself. Not his fault at all.

Another thing I’m trying to take away from this, is to trust my own judgment. I too easily give up my own authority, doubt my own thinking, believe that others’ views are the ‘right’ ones. Something to work on for sure. (It’s easy to sound all sure of oneself in a place like this, where the discussion is a monologue.) Also, being clear on what I want, that’s a major challenge for me as soon as I’m with someone else (I don’t think I’m particularly unique in this). Easier to do when I’m living alone, though not a slam-dunk as I seem to carry around inner voices that undermine me, something I do try and talk back to (don’t worry, not in a Sybil sense).

But it’s definitely in relationships that I am most challenged to hold onto me, keep any sense of my own worth. Goes back to childhood stuff, of course. Everything always goes back to childhood. Things we learn as kids come out unconsciously, and that’s my challenge now, is to keep myself conscious of what I’m doing. I have no intention of becoming a recluse, a way of ‘coping’ with this sort of thing (something I saw my father do). Doesn’t work. I do want to be stronger in my own self. That would be good.

So I’m on a different road now. The timing of this change in my situation turns out to be good (one door shuts, another opens), and so I leapt at the chance to shake off my usual stomping grounds in Vancouver, and temporarily relocate to Ontario, pretending for a couple months to live here. I’m escaping a large repair job at my apartment in Vancouver, skipping looking out my window at workmen and construction rubble, but my major mission is to play a support role for my daughter, who has now added another baby to her family, and the distraction puts a real focus on what’s important in life. Very healing, and at a good time for me.

new sweet babe

New sweet babe.
(Another takeaway; it’s not all about me.)

Another change, I’m now Grandma x2, a role I’m finding I don’t mind at all, even though the concept of being a Grandmother takes a bit of getting used to. It’s a peripheral kind of status, hard to not acknowledge, a later-in-life status. Time, you know. (My grandparents are all dead, as are my parents. Yikes.) Anyway, I can see I’m important but not essential. People outside the family congratulate me (again) when I haven’t done anything. Inside the family, we’re all just happy to have one more added to the mix.

I remember how much I loved the grandparents I knew (while they lasted). This is sobering; so while I do know that I matter, I’m not kidding myself that I’m in any way primary. I do want to be one of those Grandmas that kids are happy to see, though. No groaning when they ‘have’ to come see me. Gives me plenty of reason to live long and prosper (if I needed more reasons beyond life itself) and I look forward to knowing these two very interesting little people as they grow. I hope for uncomplicated relationships… well, yeah.

Right now I am happy to provide an extra set of arms for my daughter to make use of (they’re close in age, my two grandbabies, quite a handful) just to make it a bit easier for her as she gets into the routine of dealing with two sets of demands. I can see, and it is a joy to see, that she is entirely good at what she is doing, that both parents are good at what they are doing. It’s a nice family to hang around with, and I feel no worry or concern when I go ‘home.’ It’s a nice place to be.

And quite freeing, really. I slowly am learning that my life is up to me, and it’s the business that I really need to attend to, my own life, my own path. This holiday from my home in Vancouver is time for much reflection and repurposing in that sense. I intend not to waste it.

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