It is an odd thing, this life. Just when you think things are settled and you feel as if you have a sense of knowing where it is all going, BAM it changes. And even stranger, just when you feel as if you know who you are, BAM, you are shedding your behaviors, people and places like a snake shedding its skin.
I think being part of a couple gives you this odd sense of safety, of invisibility and of belonging. No matter how difficult your relationship may be, you are not “single” in a world of doubles. So what to do? Shed my “double” skin and set about discovering where I am in the world, in my life.
I was listening to public radio and heard a story about an amazing exhibit of Matisse and his various contemporaries, essentially his career, being brought to the art museum in Oklahoma City from Paris. Without stopping to think about how odd that might sound, I made a reservation to go to Oklahoma City for the weekend. I am, after all, single. My son is a grown, sort of, man. I can do whatever I want and could afford to do it.
And before I could get too scared, I went. And I went all over, did many things, ate, listened to music, visited art, gardens and memorials, talked to strangers and had a great time. People are curious about you when you go places by yourself, especially as a woman of a certain age, and that makes it easy to talk.
I have a most dear friend who, when I say I am afraid to do something, or can’t do something, says “remember who you are, you can do anything”. What a wonderful thing to be reminded with love and admiration. So it isn’t really about “becoming” it’s about “getting back” to the self you lost, suppressed, ignored, forgot about. It is about doing the things you love, the things that bring you joy; it’s about rediscovering those things and the pleasure they bring. Or as my brothers would say, it’s about getting your groove back.