There comes a point in starting over when you simply need to let go of all that you once were. Let go of the story of what was or who you were or what was lost or what could have been. Let go of the weight of the grief and the guilt over wanting to be free of it. Guilt and grief are weighty anchors that want to hold you in place even as the wind fills your sails and urges you forward.
Part of healing is wanting to shrug off the past while fighting to create a new present that's all your own. The problem is that the story is there no matter what. It is the history that created present day. But the story is just that: a story. It gets embellished with emotion as time passes. What begins as non-fiction becomes distorted with the retelling and reliving until it has more power over the present than it deserves.
The good news is that we have the ability to strip away the embellishments to get it down to 'just the facts.' Yes, my husband died five years ago. Period. Yes, the kids have had a challenging time with it. Period. Stripping that story of its power has been damn difficult, but I have done it.
I haven't blogged much in the past few months for a few reasons. One reason is that I have had other writing projects that simply absorbed my creativity. The other reason is that the blog had come to represent all that I wanted to release. The idea of writing a blog post contradicted what I wanted to do, which was to abandon the story of what my life had been like pre-widow and what it's been like during the past five years of rebuilding. I felt like the story had wrapped itself around me like a net and the more I struggled to break free, the more tangled I became.
So I stopped struggling.
As a writer, it may seem self-sabotaging to reject the history I often mine for story-lines. To find peace with that, I decided that the past can be used but not abused. I don't need my story on a day-to-day basis. Widow is who I am when asked my marital status, but that is all. I am not draped in black and hiding myself from the world. My story has no power to hold me back. By releasing my attachment to it, I am free to be who I choose to be. It is such a freeing feeling to let it all go, to create every day, to stop looking over my shoulder, to stop comparing what-if with what-is.
As for the future of this blog, I hope it has more 'adventures in dating' scenarios, 'book signing glories', 'ranting about the publishing world' and 'traveling with kids' stories than anything else. I am sure the words widow, Sean, suicide or starting over will creep in from time to time, but my heart isn't filled with that story anymore. No, my heart is filled with such joy for this moment, such hope for all that is and compassion for what has been that I can't imagine going backward. Sure, I might stumble, but I don't foresee losing my balance completely.
I am free. I have released that old tale. It feels beyond good. I recommend letting the story of who you were go. It doesn't matter. Not really. Today matters. Only today. And this moment will eventually be the past, so let this go, too.
Peace to you during this end of the year wrap up. I hope that the new year is filled with spectacular opportunities for happiness for all of us.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com