Friday, November 20, 2009

Different

I've been trying to figure out why, suddenly, everything is different.

After an intense conversation with someone whose response to everything that I said was "That's not true..." or "That's where you're wrong...", it just came to me clearly. It doesn't matter. The relationship is broken and beyond fixing. My normal response to the conversation would have been trying to say the right thing, to find the magic words. I would have been upset. I would have cried. I would have agonized over the why and tried to defend myself. This time, I was simply sad. I tried. I can't. I'm done.

When you 'don't fit,' you move from the spot that you have been placed in, the corner that you were backed into, and you begin to wonder where you do fit, or if you fit anywhere at all. And cautiously, tentatively, you try on a pair of apple green pointy toed shoes, and like them. Or you try on a plain gray suit with a leather lapel, and discover that it fits like a glove, and that the fit of it turns you into something elegant. You look at yourself in a mirror, and are shocked to find that what looks back at you is not what you've been seeing for the past 52 years.

Or perhaps, you look at recipes on the internet and think, "Hey! I can do this," and without one doubt, you head to the kitchen to do just that, feeling creative and clever and accomplished. Maybe you buy a couple of bottles of wine for the meal for your guests, but after that pleasant evening, rediscover that, really, you like a glass of wine at night, talking with your beloved husband, just the two of you. And even though your husband is a tee-totaller, you resolve to keep a bottle of wine in the house always, because you can never tell when there will be something to celebrate.

Perhaps you are talking to a person dear to you, and she is talking about a friendship, and in your heart of heart, think, longingly, 'that is the kind of life that I want' and almost immediately realize that you too are capable of relationships just like that, because you are not what you've been told you are for all these many years. You are simply what you are. No better, no worse than any other person on this planet.

The realizations have come rushing in, one after another, this week. It is a time of discovery, of looking at myself with new eyes. And with each new thing that I learn about myself, my view of myself changes. I can't describe it really. It is sort of like wandering around in a heavy winter coat, intent on other tasks. In an absent minded way you realize that you are too warm, sweaty and uncomfortable. You shuck the oppressive thing, amazed that spring could have arrived without you even noticing. 'In the depths of winter, I learned that within me there lie an invincible spring.' (Camas)

My children are coming home this week, and a guest from Michigan. We have plans for cooking a great feast for Thanksgiving. There will be new recipes, and wine, and laughter. Tim and I will head a table filled with some of the people we love best in this world. Each of us, every last one of us, will fit perfectly.

21 comments:

WhiteStone said...

It pleases me mightily to know you are experiencing this time of wonder and of rejoicing. You and I both know that you and I both may have difficult days ahead of us. May it be decades down the road for each of us and in the meantime may we never lose grasp of that Joy that is ours right now.

Sure glad I have met you, my friend.

steviewren said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post. I love that you are coming into your own. I went through a time like that myself when I was in my 40s...unfortunately, I lost much of that sense of self and accomplishment in the years since my divorce...I need to look for that person again.

Kelly said...

Good for you, Debby, as you make these realizations!!

As you've learned, you can't change others, but it's never too late to change yourself!

Kelly said...

Good for you, Debby, as you make these realizations!

As you've learned, you can't change others, but it's never too late to change yourself.

BUSH BABE said...

"It is sort of like wandering around in a heavy winter coat, intent on other tasks. In an absent minded way you realize that you are too warm, sweaty and uncomfortable. You shuck the oppressive thing, amazed that spring could have arrived without you even noticing."

That is one of the best pieces of writing I have seen in a LONG time. The scales are falling from your eyes. Most excellent. You are all these things and more.
:-)
BB

quid said...

What a spectacular post. You are a great writer.

Laura Jane said...

this is all such excellent news to hear Deb. Isn't becoming enlightened wonderful? Learning to live by your own rules and feel your own skin in the world instead of filling out the cookie cutter mould others placed you in and labelled you by.

Excellent.

x

Lori said...

Beautiful entry!

Alli said...

I read your post and while doing so I was nodding my head.. Yes I know what you are saying!! Felt that way myself!!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Allixx

Bill of Wasilla said...

All times should be times of discovery.

You sure do write well.

Lydia said...

Oh Debbie, I'm sitting here, in tears -- so HAPPY for you.

It is a wonderful thing to come into your own. To know who you are beyond a shadow of a doubt and like it. It is so wonderful that you are with a man that lets you be who you are, and be in a safe enough space that you can BE that person.

Enjoy your weekend and Thanksgiving.

Kayleigh said...

Stunning, beautiful, poignant -- so glad I read this,you really do have a way with words!

The Factory said...

I never cease to be amazed by how well you do this. Why aren't you published yet ?

Paula said...

Enjoy Thanksgiving - why isn't that one of the celebrations we have adopted?! - with your friends and family!! Paula xox

rhubarbwhine said...

Yep, yep, yep, yep and yep. And yep again.

jeanie said...

Great post Deb.

The thing is, sometimes people learn this and then forget and have to learn it over and over.

The best bit is that to get to this point, it means that those around you are more interested in loving you than eroding you.

Nancy said...

Do you remember sitting in the YHS library talking about Judith Viorst and Erma Bombeck and how we would like to have a column in which we could express ourselves? And by Gosh, yesterday, passing through Warren County, I picked up an Observer and there you were! Talking about our beloved Mr. Miller whom I still quote and Julius Ceasar which I am going to be teaching again in a little over a month! I loved it! So today I have spent a lot of time reading much of your blog and you are really there girl! You are such a fine writer! Oh, who am I? Nancy Reynolds ring any bells? Congrats on two counts, the column and the survival of cancer, with elan! You sound like you have become the woman you used to want to be. Get in touch when you feel the urge... spruger@gmail.com

Debby said...

Nancy - speechless. I'm absolutely speechless. Sorry that I missed you while you were in town. Yeah. I'm a pretty lucky woman. I'll be in touch.

Roland said...

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

'In the depths of winter, I learned that within me there lie an invincible spring.' -Camus

And

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~ Camus

DavidM

Debby said...

David M. ~ Welcome back. And, as always, you've got the perfect quote.