Something is changing. I'm constantly experiencing small shifts in consciousness. Seeing life differently and feeling the evolution of grief. Over the past few months, during my first trimester in school, the changes were more swift and more severe. It has definitely been a good experience.
The newest development, however, is terrifying. Over the past month I have caught myself, almost daily, imagining my life with a partner. I don't have anyone in particular in mind; I'm daydreaming of what my life will look like as one of the two in a partnership. I was folding my laundry and putting it away this afternoon. As I gently smoothed out the beautiful white and lavender fabric of a night gown, I thought about what it would look like to be wearing that in a new home. I imagined myself floating out of the bedroom I share with my partner to make the mornings meal. The fantasy is so much safer than reality (though I am stunned that I'm actually thinking this way at all, and so often, as of late). I so loved being a wife. I don't want to be alone forever.
All of these musings are quite harmless now. They don't leave me feeling devastated like they used to. My uneasiness comes from one simple question: Is this ability to imagine a life with a new partner any indication of being capable of accepting even an innocent date over coffee? I can't even begin to answer that. The thought of actually having to accept or decline an invitation from a man causes me to feel similar to experiencing the first huge plunge of a tall roller coaster; my breath gets caught in my chest and all of my organs feel like they're levitating.
It's pointless to get so worked up over something that hasn't happened. And yet, ever since TJ died, I'm attempting to prepare myself for the unknown. I'm finally learning that this is an impossible expectation. Writing all of this down feels helpful. It makes my thoughts more tangible so I can move them over, allowing for more space. For the first time I believe I am able to embrace uncertainty. And I have to remind myself constantly to be easy with myself. I've never done this before. I cannot expect to know how to do any of this. Everything is fine. I am exactly where I am supposed to be now.