Losing Tim changed me. I think that’s a phrase we might take lightly, or maybe it’s a phrase I just used to take lightly. I am a changed person and I did not fully comprehend what exactly that meant before it actually happened.
Trauma shapes us on a molecular level. It changes our neurology. It changes our being, our perceptions of ourselves, and our world.
I held Tim as he died the night of his heart attack. I looked into his eyes as he struggled for breath and a I rubbed his chest and lovingly told him that he would be alright. It would be alright. It’s quite likely that the last words his mind as I knew it processed were “I love you”. I hope so.
Tim’s heart attack. The decisions I had to make in the hospital. My life since that point. It has changed me. I am not the person I was before 8:30pm on May 15th 2017. This is frightening and powerful.
I have always thought of myself as a positive person. I had a lot of faith in the Universe and my naive concept of Karma. I was a planner. I wasn’t especially spontaneous. I was generally happy, warm. I had a lot of positive energy. I trusted the process.
I’m mostly sad now. I get angry a lot. My temper is shorter. My sense of humor is dark.
I don’t take shit from anyone.
I’m also empowered. I have full confidence in myself and my ability to handle ANYTHING. I have a lot less fear. I recognize my power.
I’m still very kind. (I think. I hope.)
I’m still figuring out who I am.
I bought a car this past week. A new car. It was not my first time buying a car. I wasn’t even my first time buying a car alone, but it was my first time buying a car as who I am now. I felt confident and calm about the process as I never have before. When negotiating with the salesman, I didn’t get overwhelmed by his skilled persuasiveness. I didn’t feel influenced by his body language and power plays. I looked him in the eye, made my expectations known, and watched his eyes change as he realized that I realized I was the one in charge and a woman who would get what she wanted. It was a powerful experience. It opened my-self to recognizing the extent to which I have come to own my power.
It’s interesting to be in such an in-between space in life. To have such a wide open path forward even with the constraints of raising young children and committing to living in a rural area. My life is still in free fall in many ways, and I have accepted this space of being.
I recognize that there are factors that must come into place before I have a clearer idea of what this new life will be. Finding a permanent home for myself and my children is a first step. Transitioning into a professional position that supports my career and financial goals will be next. Neither of these things can be forced. I must be patient for the right opportunity to come into being while simultaneously working proactively towards creating these opportunities. It’s a lot to process. It’s life.
With the holidays, for the most part, behind us (thankfully) I have been reflecting on who I am in the world right now. What I put out into the world. I am not a positive person, but I strive to be a positive force. I am irreverent, but I deeply value respect. I am unbalanced and emotionally volatile, but I am focused on keeping myself afloat as best I can. I’m a mess. I totally have my shit together. I know what I want. I’m still figuring out who I am. I’m more honest and transparent then I ever have been. I don’t know how else to be.
I wonder what people think of me. The people who are meeting me for the first time. The ones who have heard my back story. The ones who only know me by their initial impressions. I wonder how the people who have known me forever see me now with my guts hanging out and my soul ripped open. I wonder how others perceive me.
I don’t care how others perceive me.
(but really, I do.)
Because I want to be a positive force. I want to bring joy and light into the world (even if I don’t necessarily feel it in myself right now). I want to do good. I want to BE goodness.
I don’t know who I am right now.
I know who I want to be.
“…may we create the best possible universe together…” – Timothy Bragdon