These days I wonder what is waiting beyond the next corner. Like a soldier weary of ambush, or a child anticipating another hidden treasure, I feel both fear and hope. In five days it’ll be two years since Dave died. Two years. I want to say, where has the time gone? Yet I scour my brain and it feels far longer than two years, and then it feels like last week.
I often ask myself if I think I’m doing okay. Am I getting better? Have I let go of the ghost? I wonder if I have progressed reasonably for this amount of time and if there’s anything else I can do to be happy and feel full of life again. It’s a strange conversation, and yet I kind of delight in the strange of it. But lately I’ve found these questions teeter with intent and loopholes abound. Sometimes I ignore myself and refuse to answer. Sometimes I get philosophical and debate the whole grief process as a means to adjust my present level of happiness against the grade. Sometimes I don’t think I should be asking myself these questions, as I’m often not too sure who I am anymore. But then, I guess in that case it’s okay, seeing as a stranger is asking me.
I’m not sure if I like my life right now, but I try to picture if I were anywhere else if I would still feel the same way and I feel that it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’d be doing, my life is still kind of difficult at the moment. That too, however, is something I’m beginning to learn will never cease. I don’t have children in order to keep my life easy. I don’t have debt (apart from my student loan) to keep my life easy. I do a lot of things pre-emptively to keep my life easy. So when my life gets hard due to something I did not choose for myself, I get miffed – just like everyone. These days I know my life will never be the form of easy I used to know and love. I had a good run. And now I need to adjust my yardstick or I will always wonder if I’m happy. It’s unsettling, really.
This realization, I have come to learn, is why we eventually envy the innocence of children. They don’t know the difficulty. They don’t know the struggle or the pain. They don’t know loss and hardship. And it’s this realization that makes me shudder at how these things shape us. How some of us don’t make it out of the rabbit hole. How some of us become stone statues never to move or dare again. How some of us become vile beasts that roam and terrorize from the underbelly of existence. I remember my childhood. I have come so far from that strange little girl who preferred to just hum and dance my days away. I still hum and dance, and it’s to a song only I know, but these days I’ve come to learn it’s only getting harder to keep dancing because I stopped growing so quickly.
Someone told me the other day – you need to keep improving yourself – and while I’ve heard this a million times before, I think I got lazy along the way, or distracted. Or maybe I am doing something all this time and I don’t know it, but I do know that I’ve gotten lazy and I don’t try or work nearly as hard as I did when I was a teenager at bettering myself. I know it’s subjective. I know this pursuit only matters to me. And I know it’s not necessary and I can plant my ass on my sofa and watch tv until I turn into dust. But that’s not who I am. And while I know I give myself a lot of leeway these days, I know that I’ve got so much more in me to give and yet I continue to sit on my hands. I’m not afraid, but I am. I just need a reason to care and a reason to stop caring so much.
Two years. And I miss Dave’s love more than I miss myself. Now to stop being afraid of what’s around the corner and just go there. That’s the next step.