Lately, my time is spent with a tool in my hand, sometimes it’s a hammer, other’s it’s a paint brush, today it was a two-wheeled dolly to haul damaged, rotted out wood from a front walk to a pile in the back yard. I have been working very hard to make my new home mine. Erasing memories that live within the walls, floors, and even the front walk. In the midst of all of the pounding, scraping, sweeping, sawing, and washing I have realized that moving on from divorce or loss requires more construction than I thought.
However, I’ve also concluded that these memories I’m ferociously trying to remove, I’ve never actually seen! They are images that I believed have happened in this home, scenes that I have created in my mind. So I’m working as hard as I can to make changes, that other than being cosmetic, I really won’t notice, or will I? The mind can play many tricks on us and recently mine is doing some very fuzzy thinking. My hope was that with each new renovation I would be able to feel some sort of release happening in my mind, heart and soul. Sometimes I even envisioned the memories being lifted from the area I was working on and floating off into the horizon.
This journey has brought many difficult changes my way, and every once in a while I get a little reminder of something I forgot to change. Like being called by your previous married name in the grocery store because you didn’t change your rewards card information. Then looking blankly into the eyes of the poor unaware cashier, seeing her puzzled look and just saying, yes that’s me. Yes that’s me?
This little reminder was a kick in the behind for this one. Why on earth did I slink down and hide in who I was in my marriage? Instead I should have stood tall (as tall as you can when your height challenged) pushed my shoulders back and said ” I’m sorry I need to update my information, I have been made new”. What was I missing? I was missing just one drop of courage, strength, and confidence to announce to that cashier, and the world, who I am. If that wasn’t enough I had run into an old mom from my kids preschool days and she so happily addressed me as Mrs. and asked how we all were. I stood there like a deer in the headlights trying to think of a quick escape. Maybe I could just drop what was in my hands and run out of the store and she wont’ notice? Maybe I could play it off like I didn’t recognize her? No, instead I politely told her things have changed and she glanced down at my ring finger, said I”m sorry and it was nice to see me then walked away.
With both of these occurrences is when I discerned that I am currently still under construction. I’m my eyes I am the new me, with my new-old last name, but to some I still may be the married woman who I was for so long. This is something that I need to work on, I need to be able to find the courage to stand up for who I am now. But I’m going to need help. This is going to sound a little silly but between the old me and the new me I feel like I can really take shape as to who I am supposed to me. There were some really good moments with the married me and lessons I have learned, if I can apply them to the new me, let them mold together, then quite possibly the two of us can do something spectacular.
This will require patience and perseverance, there will be days when I really don’t want the old me to put in her two cents, and the new me is going to have to keep a very open mind, but if we give it all we’ve got, it will only take one drop…..of courage….. belief….strength…and confidence to fully become who I am meant to be. Let the construction begin!
Divorce and loss can take a lot out of us, but I truly belive if we put the old with the new we can become complete again.
Have you been able to merge the old with the new? Please share..
A No-Brainer Going Back To My Maiden Name, Since My Divorce
Stay The Course, Welcome To My Walk
5 thoughts on “Caution…Work In Progress”
I can picture that awkward scene you describe so well. Yes, I’ve completely made the transition, living proof that you can go through hell and emerge smiling at the thought that you’ve escaped.
Thank you for sharing that comment. It is nice to know there are other’s out there who have made it through that rather large bump in our road. I’m actually pretty surprised that it took two years for something like that to happen, I would have expected it sooner. Unfortunately when it does happen after a significant amount of time it is a harsh reminder of what I went through. On the other hand it it also a wonderful reminder of what I have been able to survive and the strength I’ve gained from it all.
I heard this song today and thought it was appropriate for this topic. Enjoy.
I used to have things like your running into someone you hadn’t seen in a while happen to me a lot. Moving over 300 miles away – to a new city – has changed that.
I kept my married name. My Daughter encouraged me to change it – but I had had that name for 40 years. When I got married and took that name I often had difficulties when we moved. After getting married I remember how many things I had to change to my new name. I didn’t want or need the hassle of changing my name again. Luckily – few people called me Mrs. Instead I was called by my first name. That also makes it easier.
While I am lucky in that my new place holds no bad memories as far as its structure – I still have needed to make it my own. I am well on my way to doing that. I did however keep a few pieces of furniture that were “ours”. Sometimes – I see those things and memories arise. Often they are good memories – so I do try to hold those memories in my heart. I think it’s important for us to also remember the good times. Otherwise – I think we will become angry with ourselves. I have two beautiful people who resulted from my past – and a grandson who is the light of my life. Without my past – these people would not exist.
As much as we hate those times of pain – times when we see – hear – smell something that reminds us of the pain we experienced. We did experience it – I think we just need to concentrate on how far we have come.
Phyllis, you put that into very good perspective. Thank you.
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