I used to work for a very sad, lonely, bitter woman. You could almost taste anger in the air around you when she walked into the building, and the days were always longer and more difficult when she hung around the office. She didn’t come around a lot, thank goodness, as she had more than one business she ran, & preferred to spend most of her time at the other place.
While I worked for her, I knew some of her story…how she’d lost her husband to cancer the year I graduated high school, and that this was the reason she was so isolated from others.
But, I could never really wrap my mind around how much his death had affected her, & how she’d let it change her so.
Not until this year’s changes in my own life started affecting me.
I finally figured out, that when M lost her husband, her whole life came to a screeching halt.
Because she couldn’t bear to let it move forward.
He was her everything. He was her balance, her other side to her life’s coin. She was the saver, the conservative, the grounded, down-to-earth realist…while he was the spender, the dreamer, the up-in-the-clouds risk-taker. He lifted her up from the doldrums, and she brought him back to reality. They worked together, really, really well, but apart, they spun out of control in opposite directions.
And once he was gone…she ground to a halt. And resented that the world around her kept spinning.
She took it as a personal attack, a total offensive affront, that life didn’t just stop out of respect for his death.
As the years kept flowing past, she refused to acknowledge the truth, & held fast. Hoarding things, trying to fill the hole he left behind with stuff, even though it never worked, she kept at it, & still tries to this day, clinging to the past. Bitter & angry, isolated from the people who would’ve helped her move through her loss.
But she didn’t want to.
Without her Balance, she lost her Passion, her Reason to move forward with the rest of the world.
And so, she moved into Bitterness, and remains there to this day.
My story is different than hers, in that I haven’t lost my life-partner to death.
But, I have lost some of the same Balance…some of my Passion…and my Reason to move forward every day.
My family, my children, have all scattered into the winds to live their own lives. Natural, and expected, true, and I knew this day was coming. My caretaking days have always been numbered. Children are not meant to live with their parents for their whole lives. They are, however, meant to grow up, become independent, move out, seek lives of their own, & leave their parents behind.
This, is right, and good, and natural.
However, this also means that I need to search for a new Balance. A new Passion. A new Reason to get out of bed, to move forward with the world…
Or I risk becoming like M…
I can feel the bitterness seeping into me, some days…
I can sense myself becoming short with others, isolating myself from the world, because I can’t bear to witness their happiness, as I sit outside it, alone, and chafed with the cold of that loneliness.
I’m not angry, yet, that they’re happy…truly, I’m not.
But I envy what I do not have, & I can envision a future where I could hate them for it…if I allowed myself to take that road.
This – terrifies me. That I could become such a hateful thing.
This is not who I am.
I am a woman who loves.
I am a woman who is a Caretaker.
It has always been one of the deepest purposes of my life. To help others. To take care of those I love.
And to contemplate the possibility that I could actually become so bitter towards others for simply being happy ?
I can’t let this happen.
This – is why I need to leave this place.
I need a fresh start.
All I have here anymore is my job.
And, even though I still love what I do…
It’s not enough.
It’s not enough to get me out of bed every morning, because my job is not my Passion. It’s not my Balance. And it’s not my Reason.
It’s not enough to keep me from the Bitterness…
And that’s frightening.
This is why I’m making my plan. My one-year plan is to save enough money so that I can move. I will sell the house in which I currently live, & I am going to move to another part of the country for that fresh start.
I know that it will be scary, starting over at my age. At 47, it’s not always easy to start afresh with the job market, but I have skills that I can take with me to, hopefully, help with that. I have worked in my market for 17 years, & have earned the respect of lenders & realtors alike for my work ethic & skills. And, if I have to start somewhere else at ground level, so be it. I’m humble enough to know that “dirt don’t hurt”.
I just have to get there…
And that means getting off the Road to Bitterness, and on to the Road of Acceptance.
I accept that this is where I am right now.
I accept that my life has changed.
And I accept that I will continue to change every day from here on out because I will it.
I do NOT accept bitterness.
I do NOT accept stagnation.
I have to continue to free myself from the things which are holding me down, or my wings will never lift me off the ground.