Every time I share my story I go through all the events, people, mistakes, decisions and risks in my mind that brought me to where I am today. Every time, I am amazed. I still can’t believe it sometimes that this is my life and this is my story.
When I first lost Tyler, the future was non existent to me. I think it is fair to say that I had lost hope, I had lost my dreams and I could not even imagine what my life would be a week from then. It was like staring into the dark. I didn’t know where I was going and I was afraid to step forward when I couldn’t see anything ahead of me.
As time went on, the darkness started to lighten up as I attended my college classes and spent time with friends. Eventually, I had transitioned into my “widow” identity. It wasn’t where I wanted to stay, but it was more of an in-between what was and what was to be. I still didn’t know what I wanted or where I was going, but I was starting feel stronger. I started to have an opinion again, I started to care. I was rebuilding my life and myself.
I remember when I started to really revolt against the idea of being a lonely widow for the rest of my life. Part of it was reading the stories of those that insisted on that path and I didn’t like what I was reading. It wasn’t appealing to me to feel terrible for the rest of my days. I knew what happiness was like and I decided that day that I would have it again. I wasn’t sure that it was possible, again it was like staring into the dark, but I was feeling more confident each day in my journey.
I adjusted to be alone and even started to like it. I went out to dinner by myself and people watched. Sometimes wondering if they were trying to figure out my story like I used to do when I saw people dining alone. I always felt sad before when I would see an older man eating breakfast alone, or a woman drinking a glass of wine by herself. It never occurred to me they may be content with their company.
I went to Barnes and Nobles to study and read alone. Again, I quite enjoyed myself. Occasionally, I would meet interesting people doing the same thing. We would have great conversations and then return to our coffee with a knowing look of contentment in our singularity. What an important life lesson this was. To learn to be okay with being alone.
This lesson was essential in gaining the confidence I required to take those steps into the darkness, to discover and follow my passions and to risk falling in love again. It is a firm foundation in life no matter your story, I think, and many people could benefit from learning how to be okay with being alone.
Here is a wonderful video that I came upon at that time that is titled “How To Be Alone”.