Om Namah Shivaya: the chant at the begining of the new yoga class I got myself to this morning. "I bow to what I am becoming. I know that I have all I need." That was the teacher's translation of the chant. Needless to say, I cried through the begining of class but it was a good way to start the day.
I went back to work for the first time since the middle of December. I only have one student because I found new tutors for all the others, so work is a relative term. But I went back to the school where I see most of my students, a school I love and believe in. These folks welcomed me home.
Many of them told me how much my writing has meant to them. And they told me I was brave and strong and amazing. I don't feel brave and strong, mostly I feel scared and overwhelmed and sad. But I have read somewhere that bravery is not about not feeling afraid, it is about feeling afraid and doing it anyway. So maybe I am. I remember my therapist saying to me years ago that I could just not. Not take care of my kid, not keep going, not fight for my sanity. I looked at her like she was crazy. Not, was not an option. So maybe I am brave. I can't imagine not...I can't imagine giving up, letting go, not taking the next step. And I am so happy that what I had to say meant something to someone else. That what I did to save my life had meaning for someone. That's a good thing.
I also met a woman whose husband of 25 years died of pancreatic cancer in December. We started sharing stories and were finishing each other's sentences. It felt so good to talk to someone who knew exactly what it was like. And knew it fresh, like me. We knew exactly what the other one was saying and feeling and yet her story is so very different from mine. We are all of us, living the same story but it feels so individual because of our own little quirks and styles. If I could just always remember that. I'd be a much better person.
And tonight, I went dancing. I almost didn't go, but two friends agreed to meet me there and I couldn't back down. I used to contra dance two times a week. It was a big part of my life, but I gave it up when I met David. He wanted to dance, he loved dancing, and he simply could not do it. We tried. A lot. It just didn't seem fair for me to go dancing when he wanted to so badly and couldn't. So I stopped. But I went back tonight and saw folks I haven't seen in five years and I danced and lost myself in the music and the movement. There is a gift in this widowhood too. Contra dancing can be a hard place to maintain boundaries, but it is effortless as a widow. There is no question that I am not available. I don't even have to think about it. I can just dance.
I found myself thinking about that as I drove home. Will I ever be available again? I would hope so. I learnd how to love with David and I learned what a good relationship is. It seems like a waste to never love again. But to be honest, I don't ever want to have to go through this again. And even harder, I would never want to put someone in the position I am in now. But the reality is, if you love you are going to lose. There is no escaping it. Right now I just can't see that far ahead.
I am twelve years younger now than David was when we first met. That's hard to wrap my head around. I have a lot of life ahead of me and I have no idea what it will look like. I have no idea what I want it to look like. I dont' think I've ever been in a place like this before. I always had hopes and dreams and ideas. Now, I simply live one day at a time...one hour, one minute. There is still simply no way to think ahead.
I have no idea what all this rambling means tonight. I felt another day of being "me" again...and that was a welcome relief. That's all I know right now.