Breckenridge, Colorado: my second home town, I always say. I love the energy of the place. When I look at the slopes, I remember learning to ski here. My instructor would yell at me, "Stand up! You're going to the party, not the potty."
Loved that saying. It's amazing how one comment over a decade ago comes back to me so often. "Stand up! You're going to the party, not the potty."
Since my husband died, I have been avoiding the party of life. Instead of going to the party, I have been dealing with the business of death, the brutality of grief, the shocking lack of compassion from people, the uncertainty of running my own business in a challenging economy and...hiding from love.
Being in Breckenridge reminds me of what it was like to be in love with my late husband. We met here, had our first date here. He used to tell me stories about his teenage misadventures skiing the trees, hiking above treeline and getting lost for days. He taught me a lot about nature, about life, about slowing down the pace, about sneaking into a local resort to use their amenities, about opening my heart and about romance.
I tend to forget those lessons. Worse...I took them all for granted when he lived.
He was a romantic.
I was lucky.
Every year on our wedding anniversary, he duplicated my wedding bouquet and had it waiting wherever we happened to be going that night. He told me every day of our marriage how much he loved me...even on his last day on this earth. He also left me love notes stuffed into favorite books, writing work and drawers that I found up to 6 months following his death. He loved me. He made a big deal about letting people close to him know how much he cared. His suicide shocked everyone. If only he had loved himself half as much as he loved the rest of us.
I regret taking that kind of love for granted. It was just how it was...it was just Sean being Sean. He set the bar high for any other guy I meet in my life. I'm not saying I will compare personalities...I won't...but I know how I need to be respected and treated and won't settle for less.
Settling for less...I've done that a lot since Sean's death. Not with men, per se, since I live like a hermit; but with myself. I lost myself for awhile...gained weight...now am losing the weight...got depressed...then got happy...had money...lost money...self-sabotaged some opportunities...it's been quite the ride. And I hear a gentle voice nudging me to love myself as much as I love everyone else. (I hear ya, babe.)
I am a little scared of loving again. I know what it's like to lose...and it hurts like hell. Beyond hell, really. It's hard to open up again. It scares me to think of meeting a new guy...especially one I really like. It's frightening to date again. I feel like a newborn colt learning to stand...at the same time I feel like an elderly woman who has experienced the fullness of life's emotional spectrum. Not exactly like dating when I was a 20-something. So it scares me. And I fight the urge to hide. (Hiding is so easy to do.)
I have great moments of confidence...and then I run like hell.
But I know if Sean could speak to me, he would urge me to love again. He would encourage me to stand up and get my ass back to the party.
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