The realization of this power I created came when I was told,”You are 50-something and lost who you are somewhere. You forgot what you like or want.” This statement hit me like a punch to the face.”I know who I am!!!” Don’t I?
So I reflect:
I have been labeled wife, mother, friend, photographer, and writer amongst other fleeting titles. Lately, I have been labelled ‘tiring’ at best. None have gained me fame and/or fortune. However, they did allow me to learn from the duality inevitable in life. All the memories, people, and experiences continually give me the chance to learn happiness/sadness, love/longing, family/loss, birth/death, and gratefulness/criticism. I am like anyone else, resenting for a time when things go wrong or I have to suffer. However, if I am to be completely honest, I did learn, grow, and become stronger. And once I am through each situation good or bad I have no regrets about my life. Well except after such I statement…it caused me to reflect and maybe have some doubts about my acceptances in life.
Life lived in the shadows was never how I intended myself to be. Yet, from where I stand now my perception may be changing. I am not saying that I regret decisions of putting my family and friends’ needs above my own because I do not. I accepted and rather enjoyed taking care of others over the years. I do think maybe I should have had more balance between their care and self care.
But I question:
A person commented recently ‘how much more I did for so and so than I did for them at the same sort of event’…well are you not able to see that your event took place two months after my spouse’s death as opposed to the fourteenth month mark now upon me? Why must I always initiate contact to be noticed? Why is it so difficult for others to realize I may need a hand to hold as I venture into doing things whether they are new or old? I understand the discomfort my tears can cause. Doesn’t a true friend accept a little discomfort and cry with a friend? I may need patience but so do you. This is a strange new world I am standing in, regardless whether you think it is the same old one.
And the results:
Recent circumstances have me requiring the need for support and comfort from others. In fairness, I must stop here to explain, I remain forever grateful to those people who have been present in assisting me with basic needs, wandering arrangements, and financial assistance. At the present moment however, I require something more. More than “It will get better or you must get over it”.
Invisibility…Maybe it is a super power after all. It has taught me about balance and the need for self first. Who says you cannot teach an old dog new tricks? I am here to tell you to learn the importance of balancing others’ needs with those of your own early in life early because teaching that old dog requires a lot more effort than the young pup.