I’ve had several ideas for this weeks blog ranging from deeply personal to shallowly impersonal. I can’t decide which way to go. On one hand we have the personal entry that deals with a lot of what I’ve been thinking about this week, which has been a ton, I tell you what! On the other hand I just finished the latest book in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and thought I could review that. At two separate points during this week I was excited about both, now I’m feeling mediocre towards each idea. So what to do? Maybe a little of both? I’ll give it a shot.
Lately one of the things that has been pressing my mind is how to be myself. When Jordan died I completely shut down for awhile. I didn’t really do anything except feel sorry for myself and for my son. I took care of Jack on a day to day basis and was generally ok at keeping him and me alive and generally entertained, but I didn’t do anything. I barely wrote, I didn’t touch my knitting needles and the books on my shelves simply looked intimidating. I just stopped being who I was because I think, who I was had become so entangled with Jordan. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. We were deeply in love and wanted to share each others lives. We wanted to be around each other all the time. The problem with that set up is that if one of us is gone permanently it sort of throws things off. So I went crazy for awhile as I’ve talked about before in this blog. Sadly, while I traipsed along the crazy path I hurt people and used them and ended friendships. I do have a few regrets, but I try not to dwell on them. The important thing is that I’m past that now. Each day I get a little piece of who I was back again.
One thing I’ve rediscovered that I’m totally loving is “The Men’s Room” on KISW 99.9. Jordan and I used to listen to these guys on our way home from work. If I was working a closing shift at Starbucks I would walk uphill to his office and ride home with him. We’d listen to the guys on “The Men’s Room” and laugh, disagree and argue (sometimes with the guys, sometimes with each other) or just shake our heads. It’s one of my favorite memories of my hubby. But at first it was too much. When I got my new car I didn’t even bother to make 99.9 one of the presets on my radio because listening to those guys would be too devastating. I wouldn’t have anyone to share the jokes and stories with. So I avoided it for a long time. The other day I was scanning the radio dial and heard the guys familiar voices and it made me smile. It didn’t make me sad, it made me happy. So I set it as a preset on the radio and haven’t changed it in two days, because there’s usually good music on 99.9 as well.
The second thing I’ve rediscovered is reading. Oh my word how I’ve missed this! Staying up till all hours finishing a book that you just can’t put down! I used to read like mad. It would get to the point where I would read five books at one time. I’d have a book for each time of day; a bus book, an after work book, a while I eat meals alone book, a right before bed book, it was out of control. The day Jordan died I put down the book I was reading and didn’t pick one up again until February. That would probably be because I was so busy, but also because I just didn’t want to read anything. If you’re curious, the first thing I read again was “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. I loved that book. It was very honest and forthcoming. It made me feel less guilty about being so, so angry at God and even questioning my beliefs. The strange thing about me quitting reading is I’ve always been a reader. It’s not as if I became an avid reader when I met Jordan, I majored in English Literature! I’ve been reading since I was a child. I think the gravity of the whole thing was too much and I didn’t want to read anything. I didn’t want anyone to understand, or relate to how I felt because it was too personal. It was so very much mine that I didn’t want to think anyone could understand how I felt. I think that’s why I avoided books for so long. Because even after I started picking up books again I wasn’t reading them quickly and honestly it was difficult for me to stay interested. Books for me have always been a retreat. A place where I can let my guard down and just be in the story and I think I wasn’t ready to let my guard down again. I told myself I wanted an escape, but I think I was lying. I wanted to be drenched in my agony because I felt it was my right. Which is weird to think of now. I didn’t want to escape, I just wanted to be sad for awhile.
But now I am happy to report that I’ve moved past that. The reading really started up again for me when I started re-reading the Harry Potter series one right after the other, which I’ve never done. It was epic! Then I read “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, followed by “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen, then “Me and Orson Welles” by Robert Kaplow and last night I finished “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris. Last night I started “The Magicians,” by Lev Grossman and continued with “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, which I started in May. I started it on my trip to Arizona, because I didn’t want to lug around my ridiculously huge “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” hardback. Then when I got home I put “The Hunger Games” on the shelf to dive back into Harry Potter. But I’ll finish it soon I think. So many people are raving about it.
I’m really glad that I’m getting these little bits of myself back. I’m feeling more confident than I have before, possibly ever in my life. I’m trying to live without regrets. I only have one life, why spend it worrying when I could be enjoying the party?