It has snowed in my neighborhood all day. Sleet, wind, snow. And now the snowblowers are growling, eating away the white, churning it into cragged piles of chunked snow. I hear them move forward and backward, erasing the snow from driveways and sidewalks.
You might not have noticed, but my digs have changed. Somehow in the tumult of the last two months (work travel 14 nights in 12 hotel rooms, packing and moving 5 people in about 2.5 weeks, huge projects due at work, brain MRI for Juliet — whose brain is fine), I neglected to renew my blog hosting and *poof* ALL. GONE. Oh, I have printed copies of the first few years of my writing because I printed hard copies for my grandmother and my father, neither of whom liked to read online.
But I didn’t print 2013. Or 2014. And I didn’t write in 2015 until now.
The entries from these years, my phoenix years, were not printed. Those entries were my ritual, my mental and emotional unknotting of the life I thought I was living. They were metaphors of the losses I was feeling, staggering losses: my father-in-law, my husband/best friend, the expectations I had for myself and my family, the future I’d been planning.
Then the pain started to fade, the unfamiliar became familiar and I started to feel whole again. To feel that, despite some serrated words, I am lovable. That all of the energy I had previously used to support the dreams of another is used to propel my dreams now. That every step forward is mine and mine alone.
The cynical would say, “Climb every mountain, blah blah blah. It’s the refrain of every divorcee ever.”
And maybe it is. And maybe I thought that, too.
Maybe I thought that until I started to question every decision I’d ever made in my life. Until I felt like the biggest failure ever created because I was such a terrible wife, which meant that I was a terrible mother for not being able to keep my family together. Until I let the harshest words sink in and become a part of my cells, carrying them with me in my every action.
The weight was crushing. Until the day I realized it felt lighter. Until I realized that weight had begun to forge the person I am now, the one who can look at the blank space of this new blog and see only possibility. Not every step has been forward, but nearly all of them are these days. My footprints crunch this new territory like brittle snow.
So this is my new space. While my neighbors work so valiantly to keep the snow off of their places, I revel in the blankness and the words yet to be written.