Saturday, June 2, 2012
What's the big deal about fitting in, anyway?
Fitting in smacks of rooting oneself, and I prefer wings to roots. I don't want to fit in and be stuck. I want to leave my own trail. And connect with others who leave their own trail.
I'm especially uncomfortable fitting in to widowhood. Maybe it's the age I was when he died. 52. Maybe it's the brevity of time we had together. 23 years. Why not make this my opportunity for reinvention? Take those paths not taken while married? Create and enjoy my own bucket list before my own end? I'm here, outside coupledom, outside family life, looking in, yes, and also looking on. Outside the most substantive and fulfilling relationship I've ever known. Not living a life I thought I'd have. No male cheer leader, no live in helpmate, no seat mate. But... I have lust, for life.
That lust came back. Still, I have felt rather insubstantial without him, like a 'better half' marking time. Insubstantial unless I fit in to coupledom. Then yesterday, like a bolt of lightning, I sensed the words: I am substantive. I am substantial without him. And without another him.
Tomorrow morning I ride my bicycle 53 miles to raise funds for the local cancer center. This nearby facility provided my late husband the nuts and bolts care his distant treatment centers couldn't. I'll likely see familiar faces. I'll see a lot of determined people. I made my first ride on its behalf two years ago. It's long and it's grueling. That first time, I rode it in memory of him. This time I'm cycling for all of us. I'm riding for all of us who feel crippled and scared. I'm riding for all of us who want our strength and our lust for life. We are substantial.
Make our own trail!