In the past seven months and one week, I have been on my own. It’s a place and time I didn’t think I would be when I said “I do” at the alter. I’ve already talked about how I thought I was going to die before Peter, and how I wanted him to promise he wouldn’t die before me. And yes, this was based on my hard love for the guy, but selfishly it was also because I didn’t know how to take care of myself…not like I should. My bad. Of course, Peter, the ever logical one, told me he couldn’t promise that and well, to his credit, he didn’t brake any promises to me. So, here I am, on my own and it’s weird, and odd, and scary, and sudden, and unexpected and absolutely no preparation. None.
I have made decisions since Peter died. I used to think some of them were wrong, but now I look at them as lessons, or uncomfortable fits. A decision is not a wrong one just because it failed or changed directions. I have come to believe those decisions serve as what I can’t do, what I shouldn’t do, what I don’t want to do. And in showing me that, I am growing comfortable in all my parts. Plus, with each decision, failed or otherwise, I learn more about myself and take away something.
For instance, I adopted a dog for a hot minute when Peter first died. Hives exploded on my body a few hours after I adopted this dog. At the time of adoption, I was in a saddened, zombie-like state of severe, new grief. I was looking for a companion because mine had died. The hives were perhaps signs of my ill preparedness. Sure, it could have been an allergic reaction to the dog, most likely though, I think it was my subconscious telling me ‘not now’, ‘not yet’, ‘too much’. And so, I have pulled back on getting a dog. Yes, I still look, and I even wanted a particular one recently. However, another applicant beat me to the punch, and I thought, okay, I’ll wait some more.
I made a decision recently, and for a number of reasons, I changed course. What I didn’t realize was the ripple effect it was having on another, important person in my life. I did not foresee those ripples. I don’t think I would have ever seen them if I didn’t decide on a particular course. Those are the best decisions, maybe teach me the most…the ones I don’t know until I do.
With the outcome of each decision, I’m starting to believe in letting go of control. I’m starting to have patience with the outcome. I no longer get worked up and ask my all, once-important question of why when thing don’t happen. Nor do I beat myself up when a decision doesn’t work out like I thought it once would. Because see, since Peter, I have realized there are no answers to why. Some things just happens. They just do. They just are. Since Peter died, I realize I’m still learning from everything on this unexpected journey. Sometimes, I feel like I was thrown into a PhD program without any education. I know I skipped Decision Making 101.
Today, I face another decision. I’ve taken steps toward it, yet I still feel wobbly, uncertain whether to keep going. I’ve weighed the pros and cons, discussed it with some important people, and felt my gut. I’ve come to the conclusion nothing makes me really certain, really excited, about anything anymore. I know that’ll come back, but this early in life without Peter, I’m not excited like I once was nor do I expect to me for awhile. Yet, my life has to go on. So, I’ll take this borderline apathy and embrace what I can. I’ll try to be brave and confident. And I know decisions can fail, can change, can be the right ones and I will be okay with all of it. I mean, I kind of have to.