I’ve been looking back over my old blog. Revisiting who I was. Wanting to re-member those ways of seeing and engaging with my life into who I am and how I live, today.
I do this intermittently. Bask in the photos and snippets of texts of who I was. Recall the best parts of those times. I go even further back in my memories, before I had a blog, before Seattle, before Boston…back to the third-floor apartment on Cabot Street. But I’ve yet to successfully reintegrate that young woman’s ways and feelings into this middling woman’s life. Because I can’t go back. Because I need to imagine forward. I need to predict, and choose, and live forward into my days. Into my job. Into my relationships. Into my body. Into my creativity.
Recent years (4 - since the divorce? 7 - since I knew it was coming?) have been so hard with surviving. Work the day-job. Raise the child. Endure, collapse, resume and repeat. Taking care of me has been shortsighted and felt selfish. Mostly, it’s been stolen moments of treats. For a while, it included regular therapy sessions and naturopath appointments. Gradually, I started to stretch the sphere of my days. A new job. Meeting people online. Reconnecting with old acquaintances. Starting a relationship with J. Moving our lives into one house that we own together. Sharing chores, days, lives together.
My sphere has stretched so far that now it’s starting to contract into a new normal, a new routine. It’s settling into familiar. And I want it to. But I also want to choose what my normal routine familiar life is. I’ve already chosen the who (N and J, Miss G and Miss A, Mima and family) and the where (our new house). I’ve chosen the day-job and the school for N. And those are expressions of me but… there’s something else that I’ve been trying to get at.
I look into the past to reclaim my essential Jenni-ness. To re-member me into the life I’m living. The hard years left me feeling dried up and blown away. Parched. Grasping and gasping. So maybe I went into some kind of dormancy or hibernation of sorts. I held onto enough me to make decisions, to love my son, to persevere. I held onto enough me to choose and follow through on changes to my daily life. I held onto enough me to bring me here.
Here is a good place. Here I have a partner I love and appreciate. I have his companionship and support. I have a son who is thriving and loves me. I have a new job that I like and co-workers that I enjoy. I have a house that’s becoming a home. I have the time and the place to rejuvenate and revitalize the rest of me.
Those old photos and words on the blog point me toward how I want to feel. They illustrate some good habits of thought and behavior that I once practiced, which suggests that practice is something I can do. But I’m not going to repeat those feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. They are not the total and finite expression of my essence. I’m still here. Now begins the clumsy, awkward, phase of practicing new things in new ways to be the me that is here, today.