I’ve heard that when you feel you are struggling with your writing it is because you are writing what you think you should write instead of what you truly feel. I can’t find the actual quote right now (it was much more eloquent than that) but that idea has been on my mind for a while. Since I saw it really. I’ve wanted to write and share about something but I’ve been nervous. Anxious for a whole bunch of reasons. Nervous that it’s too easy and good to be true. That it’ll soon disappear. Anxious because I’m less cautious than I use to be and although I like it I’m still getting used to myself. Nervous because with change comes emotions and more changes and I’m adjusting.
But at the same time, I want to share. It’s what is on my mind a lot and it’s hard to write about other things when it’s not really what I’m thinking about. I’ve mentioned here and there about it but not really fully shared.
I’ve met someone. And he is someone really amazing. He’s caring and kind. He’s determined and passionate about what he cares about. He’s adventurous and active. He’s easy-going and understanding yet forward and open. He talks in a smooth, calm way that makes me feel instantly at ease but has this loud, bold laugh that makes me smile. He would want me to add too that although he is nice that he’s not just nice and that’s true as well. He makes me laugh and my weirdness matches his. Talking to him and being around him is just so easy and natural. We have lots in common. He makes the most of living and seizes opportunities that make him happy. He’s someone I want to do everything with but also do nothing with together.
On maybe our third date I was explaining how I’m cautious and I’m not in a rush for anything. He acknowledged my thought but countered it by saying if you want something then you should go after it. It kind of took me aback that he said that but I know he meant it and that’s how he’s been. That’s how I’ve been too actually. It wasn’t my typical behaviour but I can’t really help it and I don’t want to. I want to see him and be around him as much as I can. I’m enjoying it all.
Two years ago I never would have imagined I would be here. That part of it is still surreal. When Mike died I thought I would be alone forever because I knew that I would never not love Mike. To me at that time, that space was already filled. I know now that I had a very closed view. What I’ve learned and what I’m continuing to learn is that there is room for more. Much more. Mike still continues to take up his space in my heart but my heart has also expanded. David fits that space and he continues to push it bigger. I’m realizing that the heart isn’t limited like I once thought. It didn’t have an end point of being full.
I’ve heard of it related to parents’ love for their children. Although I don’t have this experience it does make sense: you don’t stop loving the first child because you have another one. Less significant but more relatable to me, the fact that I enjoy one activity, going for hikes for instance, does not take away from the fact that I also like other activities, for example going biking. You might be thinking those two things are not the same and you are right. They are different and not comparable. But I enjoy both nonetheless. One does not take away from the other. In fact, I think it adds to it and makes it better. I’m a better biker because I hike. I’m better in a relationship now because I know what it’s like to be in a really good one. I love what was but I also love what is and what is becoming. I saw a great clip by a widow, Nora McInerny, and in it she says, “what is more affirming to the love you have for somebody than saying, ‘I’m going to try that again.’” Feeling grows more feeling. It does not lessen or negate either. Both coexist.
That being said, it doesn’t mean this new relationship is always easy for me to integrate with my past. I’ve always been fairly certain in how I want to be about honouring Mike and I’ve had no problem voicing that. However, to now voice it to someone new, someone I care about and want to like me, can be difficult. I find myself stuttering over my words because I don’t know what I’ll do if he can’t accept or dislikes what I’m doing. However, I think sometimes I need to get out of my own way because although I may make it hard, he makes it easy.
For example, in the winter I was going with Mike’s family to the cottage and I mentioned to David that I was going and also invited him to come. I’m rambling on about it’s Mike’s family, what do you think, etc. and he interrupts to say of course he’d love to come. I think maybe he doesn’t understand. I tell him it might be awkward for him and he says, “No, not at all. If anything, I know it must be difficult for you and so thank you for including me.” Thank you for including you?? Shouldn’t I be thanking you? That was not the response I was expecting.
Yet he continues to be very supportive of what I choose to do. He’s happily coming with me to Mike’s cousin’s wedding next month. He came to Easter dinner and met Mike’s family. He talks positively about Mike when I share stories about him. He helped me prepare for Mike’s birthday party and held me and hugged me when I was having a difficult moment. At one point he’s handing out Mike’s birthday cake and I stop to think of where my life is now. Here I am throwing a birthday party for my dead husband and my new boyfriend is the one serving cake to family and friends. I can’t help but think, what is this weird but wonderful life? And who is this amazing person?
It’s not the typical expectations of someone in a relationship, particularly for a 29 year old guy. I know it’s not for everyone. It requires someone special. He definitely is. And the best part of that is he doesn’t make me feel like what he does is so extraordinary is anything out of the ordinary at all. I’m pretty damn lucky.