This was written on Friday morning, 6/22/12…
It’s Friday. I’ve been working all week, writing, publishing, corresponding, connecting, reviewing… checking things off my list and feeling periodic bouts of real accomplishment. Now I’m a bit tired – weary, really.
I went to an amazing networking event last night where I got stoked up on woman power, reminded of why I like to hang out with my girlfriends so much, why we need each other to celebrate our victories and remind one another that we’re not shit, even when we feel like it. Got me thinking about how I’m on this journey that feels rather disconcerting at times… not quite sure where it’s headed, but oh, does it feel right to keep moving forward.
Do you know that every accomplished woman I heard from on last night’s panel said the same thing… you just keep going. Have a bad day? Keep going. Achieve international success and meet the President of the United States? Keep going. Not sure if what you’re doing is really working? Keep going. Lots of people telling you good things about yourself? Keep going.
And so I keep writing… I write to clear my heart of all the emotions that get clogged there, and I write to show what I know, share my ideas and see if anyone else is listening. I write to craft my visions, make my plans, organize my teams, launch my new projects, revisit the old ones, and just to give order to all the thoughts rolling around in my brain. And sometimes I wonder if anyone cares what I think, but it doesn’t matter, because I keep writing anyway.
So much of what I do is about structure and order. Deadlines and word counts and objectives and strategy and have I realized my goals for today? Have I kept to my schedule? Have I checked off enough items on my list? Sometimes I just want to stop and describe how I’ve been feeling floaty and unreal lately, as though I’m not sure my feet are actually on the ground. How the world is changing all around me, and I’m not sure how to even describe myself or my experience anymore.
I’m not sure what it means to be in love, to be in a relationship, to be committed to someone else besides myself. I no longer believe that there are “rules” beyond being honest and staying as present as possible. The rest, I think, is agreed upon as you go along. No two relationships are alike. Whether it’s a marriage, an exclusive partnership or a friendship with benefits, whether it’s straight or gay, monogamous or open, I still think there are discoveries and negotiations at every step along the way, and everyone has the option to do it the way they want.
I was in a marriage before, for over 20 years. My husband, who had been chronically ill but never self-pitying, worked his ass off to be the best partner and friend he could be to me, and the most amazing father ever to our son, and then, he died. He left me a widow, and my six and a half year old son without his Daddy. So now my boy and I are figuring out how to continue building our lives together, even though we are now only two.
One thing I do know, is that the love I feel for my son is so mindblowingly powerful, I sometimes wonder if I love him too much. It’s not that I think I’m inappropriate or anything – I understand the basic boundaries and all that. It’s just that sometimes we are so happy together, I wonder if I’m doing him a disservice. Because the reality is that someday I will leave him, too, when my life is over, and if he gets used to all this happiness, I can’t imagine how sad he will be without me. It hurts me to think of that.
So what’s the answer? Do we live half a life, in order to avoid the pain that so closely mirrors the intensity of whatever level of joy we experience? Although I’ve been tempted by this option more than a few times, I know in my heart that it’s not the right path to follow. It’s the intensity of our emotional landscape that gives our lives meaning. The need to feel passion justifies our willingness to take chances in order to pursue our dreams. At least that’s what I tell myself…
So I will be taking some more chances. I’ll be branching out in some new directions, taking on some projects that will cover territory that is unfamiliar to me. I just have this feeling I’m ready. And I also have the feeling that when I share them with you, you may get just as excited as I am about them. I just have this feeling…
Photo courtesy of Alex Bellink