How do I express that everything has changed, yet nothing at all? Accepting that life will never be what it was. With the New Year, I wanted to leave the sadness and grief of my mothers’ death behind, embarking on a new year with new expectations on myself and the future. But that doesn’t change me. All the intentions and determination in the world cannot change who I am in the moment. You cannot command the grieving process or feelings to act in a certain way. If only it were that easy.
I wanted to push the past behind me, move forward. And in many ways I have. I have accepted the past several months were difficult and painful: that some areas in my life were put on hold.
In a world where progress is measured in success and “moving on”, it’s difficult to honor the grieving process as work in itself. I may not have been as productive in certain areas as I could have been, but I was (and am) working my ass off in other ways: grieving (action word). If only you could put that on your resume.
In some ways I’m surprised that I went back to school/work so quickly. If only I could give myself more credit. But how is staying in school/working even a measure of success? Wouldn’t honoring my grief and loss and taking time off be just as respected? And why the heck do I even care? Still learning that caring too much about what others think and perceive of my decisions can hold me back if I let it. And who are these people whose opinions I care so much about? The “others” are mostly made up of my own critical inner-self than actual people. So what I need to do is respect my own process and decisions. I’m not going to get a gold star on my own death bed for working harder. I made the best decision for myself at the time, but it was an extremely challenging semester.
So today is a new day. I’m moving forward with some decisions that are best for me at this time, as difficult as they may be. But even more so, liberating.