jeudi, novembre 24, 2011

A "woman for others" tries to find herself

Last night I told a perfectly decent potential date that if I said I was available, I'd be doing him a disservice.

He lives an hour from me, you see. He wasn't put off by that comment. So I wrote him back and put it in black and white on the screen. I'm free Friday and Saturday, I told him (I didn't mention that right now, due to my ex's weakness following his treatment, I'm not sure I could promise him that).

I haven't heard from him again.

I don't go to conferences. I don't belong to the RNA, where I'd see colleagues. When I go somewhere, it's normally because one of my children has to be there.

This past four months or so, I haven't even seen my friends.

It's time to grow up, I think.

I'm not sure that my monastic life is entirely a product of all of the outside strain this past six months, though that hasn't made it simpler.

With my ex being sick, it's been the perfect excuse to hide out, turning down the invitations I get because the kids need me.

And, I confess, I'm afraid. What if something happens when I'm in another city at a meeting? What if something happens to a child and I'm on a date in another town, the woman who never abandons her kids?

What if I turn into someone incredibly self-centered?

I torment myself with the "what-ifs, " building a cage around me that is both tight -- and feels safe.

But life is too short to sit at home and wait for outside circumstances to change.

There are moments when not to change is to paddle backwards.

I think I may be at one of those points.

To trust that I can move outside the campfire is not solely to trust my own abilities -- but to trust those of my children, and my ex-husband.

In family, in work, and in matters of the heart, there are times to be bold and determined.

I'm looking for my life as a writer, as a colleague, as a friend, and as a lover -- I know it's here, somewhere. I may not be totally free, but I am freer than perhaps, most days, I dare to wonder.

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