The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Tuesday.

When I imagine this day, I imagine sleeping in. Instead, my internal alarm wakes me at 6:30 in the morning, so I sit up in bed and write a chapter of the YA novel I’m drafting. The sound of the rain on the windows is so familiar. This is the house I grew up in and that distinct patter takes me back to afternoons spent alone in my room, writing in my diary and listening to the music that I loved. How many heartbreaks have I weathered in this place?

I signed up for a month at the local yoga studio and book a class for this morning. I want to sweat out my pain, and feel something other than the yawning emptiness that stretches out inside me. I keep up through the whole class, and only cry once. With all that sweat, and the dim lights, no one is the wiser.

Jeff Buckley for the drive home. The music is louder than my sobbing.

Lunch is perfectly healthy. I take my vitamins. I put on makeup and do my hair, and then chicken out from a meet up with an old friend. My gut tells me I’m not ready to see this person yet. I politely ask for a rain cheque for when I feel less fragile. It makes sense to listen to my gut.

I have one row of milk chocolate with a cup of tea. I try to work. This lasts a couple of solid hours and then the loneliness and grief starts to strangle me. I’m dreaming this, right? This isn’t actually my life, is it? He didn’t actually walk away, did he?

I post to my blog. This makes me feel connected to something. Keeps me from floating away, and I need to be rooted because I don’t know where this pain is going to lead me. I write and I write. I don’t even know why I’m writing. Is it so he can see how I’m hurting? Is it so I can get rid of some of this sorrow? If I spill it on the page, it might leave room in my heart for something else.

I miss my son so acutely I can’t breathe. The one day when I don’t get photo updates from his teachers…

How could I have lost both my time with my children and my love in one fell swoop? Stop crying, it could always be worse.

Tonight I will go for tacos with my brother. I will act like I’m okay, because he doesn’t have a lot of patience for the alternative. I can cry with my girlfriends next week. I hope that some other people will show up while we’re out. Maybe someone who will think I’m beautiful and interesting. For a moment, I wonder if anyone will think this about me again…

I’m already worried about tonight. The nighttime is so much worse. I worry about something happening to my child, and not getting there in time. I worry about getting cancer and having nobody to help me fight it. I worry about what my love is doing now that he’s not beholden to me. I worry about being able to trust myself enough to fall in love again. I worry and I worry and I worry.

One more night. One more sleep and I’m back with the kids. I can laugh with them and feel their love and breathe deeper because I’ve got them close. I’ve got them, and that will be enough.

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