This popped up on Twitter today. "change is amazing. change motivates. scares. inspires. forces growth. requires thought. what other concept rules lives so completely?"
I once heard a fashion-minded psychologist say that people who liked wearing stripes enjoyed change. I loved stripes. What girl in the 80s didn't? And when I was a Power Mama, I loved wearing my pin-striped suits. Always felt in charge! I still enjoy a subtle tone-on-tone stripe for fun. But I do not like change.
Well... maybe I do... I don't know... let me think here...
Okay wait... I changed my mind. I do like change. I don't like radical scary change. Like aliens coming down and rearranging my life so that it no longer resembles the one I was dreaming about before waking up. I don't like when good friends move too far away because their husband changes jobs. I don't like when control freaks change the rules by which the rest of us were just playing nicely. Those are jolting changes. Those are uncomfortable and don't inspire anything.
What about the change that motivates us to grow? That can be scary, too.
Late last year, my husband, The Pilot and I separated. It was ugly. But it was good. Now, we are changing again. Not changing back... but hopefully changing for the better. We are slowly reforming our relationship, setting new rules and standards by which we plan to live. That change is also good. There are some old habits that we are both clinging to. That's where we are going to need outside help. Agreeing to the when and how is our current challenge. The fact that it is being discussed shows that we are changing forward... but that we still need to tread lightly...
You know what? Do you want to hear my Dirty Little Secret? The one I think The Pilot is pretty aware of? I really got used to being alone. I mean, yes, it's hard being a single mom. It's just one challenge after another. And answering questions about the husband is only part of the agony. (Ask my good friend, Naomi about those annoying questions... I'm the Little Voice In Her Head, or something like that...) But in the midst of difficult questions and all the confusion, there were things that I really began to enjoy. Not checking in with someone about a possible schedule conflict. Picking out girly colors for the room. Wearing something pretty just for me. These are all things I'm going to hang on to, regardless of the outcome. I guess being apart reminded me about who this girl named Sugar was. And I began to miss her. And there's a lot of stuff that I'm not willing to lose again.
Being alone also meant that I didn't have to worry about rejection, real or imagined.
The Pilot wasn't always wanting to join me for stuff. I always wondered if... if he would go on a hike with me... if he would schedule time off for special days of the year... if he would want to sit quietly with me as we sipped a cup of coffee read the morning news. I used to get so depressed when my invitations were met with indifference. This time alone made me really look at that unnatural reliance on another person... looking to someone to "complete" me. It hit me hard one day. I remember being up on the most thought clearing hike, thinking, "Now, why is it that I always begged him to come out with me?" I was thoroughly enjoying the quiet time alone. It didn't even bother me when a couple walked past me in the opposite direction. It would have last year. But I realized that although they may have been enjoying the hike together, I was enjoying the solitude... a lot! Then I thought, The Pilot likes fishing... he doesn't think I don't care about him if I don't go with him. Every now and then, we do go out on a boat together and we enjoy it. Most of the time, though, he's like Opey with a pole looking for a fishing hole. He doesn't need me to fish with him. Why did I need him to hike with me? That was a big epiphany for me. Silly, I know... but I can't tell you the relief I felt at that moment, right there on the trail.
So now we are semi-living together. He still keeps his Spare Room rented just in case I need to kick him to the curb. Just in case things don't change in the right direction. Eventually, I suppose he'll either move in and get rid of the Spare Room... or he won't. We'll have to take it... (do I need to say it)
... one day at a time.