When you're younger and a relationship is ending, there is a cleanness to the break. No doubt it's painful, devastating even, but there is a clear divide between together and separate. Conversely, when you've built a life over 15 years with a person and introduced other, more vulnerable lives and shared responsibilities, no such clear distinction exists. Life feels messy and scary and relentless, sad, confusing and practical. We are a loving family but former lovers. We are cordial but not confidants. We are parents but not partners. Our past is a well-worn shoe but the path ahead is masked in mystery.
I took some time away this past weekend and had about 30+ hours to myself...a rare event for a mother of two young children. It was a mixed bag of emotions; a dichotomy of independence and loneliness, freedom and bondage. My entire adult life has been a shared experience. Personal space does not exist for a stay at home parent. Even if you lock the bathroom door, chances are a kid is waiting for you on the other side, ear to the tile floor, peering under the door. So this weekend was a lesson in solitude. I woke up alone, ran the beachside boardwalk alone, ate in a sushi bar alone, wandered the shops alone. It was...lonely. But it was also holy. You see, the years I've spent surrounded by other people have not necessarily been less lonely, just more occupied. I felt seen but unknown. Consumed but not satisfied.
I read a quote in one of the cute boutiques that line Main St. in Ventura. "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you." -Oscar Wilde (emphasis added) There has been a lot of loss in this season, but there has been so much gain. The loneliness I felt this weekend was a more pure form of loneliness than what I've felt in the past. It was a loneliness born out of a physical actuality of being alone, and not the more personal isolation that comes with feeling misunderstood or unknown. In the past year, I have discovered so very many infinitely precious things about myself that are very much worth the price that requires more physical alone-ness in a place where I am not as lonely.
What am I currently working on?
I've started working on a narrative piece that has more of a topical blog-post tone with supporting history thrown in. It's something between a narrative essay and a journal entry. It's not finished yet but I may post it when it's done.
Word Count: 853
How do I feel about the process?
Good, but I wish I was dedicating more time to it. I really want to get back to my narrative story now that I've received feedback, but haven't found the time or made it a huge priority. Hopefully the break from classes next week will allow for that.
What am I currently reading?
I am feverishly trying to catch up on On Writing, while squirreling away as many of King's helpful writing hints as possible.
I also spent most of the weekend reading this great blog series called Blue Babies Pink. It is a personal narrative by a Christian man named Brett Trapp and his journey as a gay man in a life that doesn't allow for the truth of who he is. I am a HUGE fan of when people share their personal journeys openly. Brett has a unique perspective because he bridges the gap between two often opposing subcultures. He does not speak with an agenda in mind, but merely shares his journey. It's a powerful testimony that I think does a lot to silence those who are stuck in the way they believe things should be rather than the way that they actually are. It wasn't a short read...44 installments...but if you are into that kind of transparency, I'd highly recommend it.