I am still writing about support systems but I wanted to hold off on that next post a moment to reflect on today the 4th of July. Every 4th that I can recall was filled with friends and food. Smoker meat and grilling out. Pool time, sprinkler fun, fireworks, togetherness. I mentioned the other day that I had gone through all the firsts without my husband but this one snuck up on me.
I am of a couple of minds these days. One side of my brain is “faking it until I make it” while the other side is “keep being independent you got this down you are doing fine”. Maybe I am not sure which is true sometimes but I also do not think it matters. The goal of both sides of the brain is to keep living and keep moving forward.
I think the way you get through the firsts is to honor what came before but live for now in your new normal. Reflect on what you had and lost but do not spend your day wallowing there. I find that a lot of my time is alone and needs to be that way. I think some people surround themselves with loads of people during their worst grief days and I am probably the opposite. I push myself to be alone because in the end all we have is ourselves. Next year no one will even be around on those big days so rip off the Band-Aid now I say!
So I am getting my coffee on this morning. I am grabbing my dog C and we are going to go on a hike just her and I. In the past I would get worried doing things like this alone. I am afraid to get lost or that someone creepy will approach us or something. I am without fear anymore. I jump in more now. I saw the most horrifying thing and it gave me perspective. Even if someone approaches me negatively I won’t be as afraid and it won’t be as scary as what I already have lived. If I get lost I have a phone and there is a park ranger. So today I will embrace my new normal, my aloneness, enjoying the day and celebrating the 4th of July with fewer people than the past and that is ok.
I hope that someday I won’t have to go it all alone because the right person will see me as a fiercely independent, strong, self reliant, healthy woman (without being intimidated that I actually do not NEED anyone). The fact is though, I cannot make someone see what I am. I cannot control someone’s feelings towards me. I cannot continue to live for what may come in the future. I can control now and the present moment. This girl is up for hiking. She is ready to jump in the lake.
Happy 4th of July!
I hope you live and are free today. Thank you to all those who keep our country safe and allow us to enjoy this lovely day.