I have taken a fair bit of time to think about my future. After much thought and consideration, I have concluded that my life will be magical again – eventually. I know that my life will be everything I ever dreamed it could be. Life will be beautiful – again. Maybe even more lovely than I’ve ever imagined… And, the truth is, so will yours if you want it to be.
A year ago, if someone told me that my life would fall into place again I would have hoped what they were telling me was right. The problem is that hope does not provide a sense of contentment because hope can only take you so far. It is just a starting point. There is a big difference between hoping and knowing. Now, inside my heart, I know, without a doubt, that I will be okay. In truth, I know that I will be better than okay. And, let me be completely realistic, this peace of mind has been well earned. I have spent the better part of seventeen-and-a-half months (I originally wrote this in 2018) working hard to come to this place. The sense of peace I am feeling hasn’t come easy, but it is well deserved.
I have come to believe that everything in my life is going according to plan. A plan that is much bigger than me or Mike. I do not know exactly what the plan is; but, I know that I am being lead in the right direction. Recently, my mindset has become different and I am better for the change. I am more content since I’ve acknowledged that the plan itself is none of my business. Sure, it’s my life and I am obviously interested in the outcome; but, I mean it, what happens to me is really not for me to worry about. I am much more at peace now that I have loosened the reigns; and, I am confident that my future is in better hands than mine.
Since I have removed myself from the responsibility of leading me in the right direction, I no longer feel that it is necessary to plan every little detail about my life. I am so grateful that I am no longer endlessly strategizing and envisioning elaborate scenarios in my mind. Existing with this mindset was completely exhausting and unnecessary. It’s ironic, now, I do less; and, this has made all the difference. Less is really more.
I know that whatever will be, will be – in spite of what I do, or do not do. It seems so simple, but for the longest time this concept was beyond me. After Mike died I thought I had to “fix” my life and my broken self. Now, I understand that my life is going to be exactly as it is intended to be and the best thing I can do is move aside and let things unfold. I know this might sounds lofty, or naive, or over simplistic. I assure you, I am not trying to sugarcoat my thoughts. I am just sharing what I’ve come to know. I really believe that by relinquishing the control I was desperately clinging to I am now heading in the right direction, in spite of myself.
In the past, when I was trying to steer my life, I was holding the wheel so tight that I wasn’t enjoying the drive. I was missing the point. Now, I have stopped trying to control my destiny. I am no longer interfering in the direction of my life because I have faith that I am being lead towards the future I am intended to live. And, now, I am finally able to relax a bit. But, I am an overachiever so relaxing hasn’t lasted as long as I hoped…
In the past, I discussed my latest conundrum- passion, or lack thereof.
I wrote about being underwhelmed and not authentically feeling enthusiasm about anything. I discussed pottery, and painting, and pilgrimage walks and career changes. My thoughts were everywhere and nowhere all at once. (This is grief at it’s finest.)
In truth, my thoughts are still kind of sporadic and frenzied. And, I still don’t have all the answers I’m looking for; but, since last week I have remembered something noteworthy about passion. When I was writing about passion I overlooked the obvious in the blog Quiet . I passionately wrote about my “passionate” ideas. I suggested that I do not have the ability to action my big plans because I have children under my roof. I shared that my kids deserve security and stability. I mentioned that I worried that I could not provide my children with the routine they are accustom to if I drag them along on a loosely planned adventure to find myself. All of this remains accurate and true. However, in addition, I have to admit to myself that maybe I lack the courage to set out on an odyssey of my own making. Maybe it’s me, not only my kids who are holding me back. I’m not entirely sure, but it’s a question worth asking myself… Aside from this, nothing has drastically changed since I wrote to you last week, except that I now realize that I do not have to live without passion until I make a bold move. This is where I was completely wrong in my thinking.
I mistakenly thought I had to find passion. I thought passion was something I had to go looking for.
I was wrong. I can find zest in my life without travelling far from home.
When Mike was alive I was completely content at home in suburbia.
I didn’t look further than his eyes to feel passion.
And, even still, without him, passion is no further than than my eyes can see.
Passion is closer than I realized. It’s so close I didn’t see it.
Passion is inside me. It does not live outside of me.
Passion isn’t a trip to a country I’ve never been. Passion isn’t found in a bistro in some small unnamed town. It isn’t found swirling around in my americano in a quaint Italian village. And, further, passion isn’t a hobby. I do not need to paint my way to passion. I can’t sit at a pottery wheel and find myself and my enthusiasm for life. Passion does not live outside of me. Rather it is inside me. It didn’t go anywhere. It’s been with me all along.
True passion for life is found in the ordinary. It is simple, not necessarily grand in scale.
Passion is the way I speak.
The words I write.
The way I tilt my head when I ponder something.
Passion is how I stand firmly planted where I am.
Passion is how I carefully prepare a meal for my children.
How I serve them with LOVE.
Passion is my laugh. My smile. The twinkle in my eyes.
Passion at its core is not something big and bold. Passion in its purest form is found in the ordinary.
Mike taught me this. He showed me this. He modelled this for me in how he chose to live life. And, thankfully, I remember it now.
I intimately understand life because I was in love with a man who taught me about living. He loved life freely and fiercely and I am a better woman for being by his side. Mike showed me that passion is the small things that happen in an ordinary day to ordinary people.
Even though he is absent physically, Mike still works to give me everything I need. In some ways, he is more present in my life now than when he was alive. His love is all around me. I feel it. And, I am certain that he is leading me to exactly where I need to be. The way I am choosing to live my life has Mike’s signature written all over it, and this is how he lives on through me.
Passion, Mike had it. And, so do I, even now, without him.
* I originally wrote this when Mike had been dead for 532 days. However, this blog from nearly two years ago deserves another look and an update.
At three years and a handful of months, I am still seeking my passion, but I am closer to it than I was two years ago. Grief changes with time. We move forward because that is required of us. The grief changes. It gets different. It is easier to carry…
Passion. Passion is found when you go about living again. You slowly find your groove. Sure, this is not the live we imagined, but it is the one we have got. We need to live it. Life has been denied to our beloveds and now we live for both of us. We move forward because we can. Sure, it is not easy. Outliving Mike is the hardest thing I have even done, but I am doing it. And, you are doing this widowhood thing too. Day by day we will get to where we need to be. We will find our way. We will recreate an alternate life because we can. I am rooting for me and for you.
Life is short. I intend to live it fully. I will live a good life. I will live forward how Mike showed me. I will live boldly. I will live joyfully. I will live with wild abandon. The best man I love taught me this. And, this girl will do as he showed me. This is how I will slay my grief. It is the only way I know how to do life without him.
Go on. Live. Live life. What is the alternative?