It was just over four months ago that everything came crashing down on me and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I really didn’t know how I was going to get through it and all I could think about was trying to figure out a way to turn back the clock so I could do something that would change the course of events that led us to that moment. But there was no Doc Brown and no DeLorean to transport us back in time.
Everyone kept telling me to breathe. It’s going to be okay, they reassured me. You can do this. I can do this, I told myself when I was feeling brave. I didn’t really believe it. To be honest, I fought it. I didn’t want to be OK by myself.
And now here I am in Greenville, South Carolina four months later, living on my own, and I’m OK. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here a month already. This week I get my driver’s license and get my car registered, having already paid my property taxes (not as bad as Virginia, but still painful). I even have a library card!
Today my daughter gave me a “Welcome to the South/Greenville” basket that she’d been putting together for me. It’s full of local specialties and even includes a local guide to the area personally curated and assembled by her.
I’ve stopped worrying about whether I’ll be OK or about what comes next. I’ve started that “next” phase of my life and don’t know how long this phase will last, but can’t spend too much time thinking about that. I do worry though about how he’s doing, only because I don’t hear from him. I know I shouldn’t, specially since he did warn me he would be a poor correspondent while he’s on the road and “off the grid,” but I can’t help it. Still miss talking to him.
I had started to think about the idea of dating again, and what kind of man I would want to date, even though I knew I wasn’t ready. For some reason I thought that’s what I needed to do to move on. But then I read something about being “intentionally single” in a book a friend gave me and I wondered if I have ever been single by choice. I didn’t date in high school, and when I started dating in college I ended up marrying the second guy I ever went out with and the first guy I kissed. We were together for almost 20 years. When that ended I was technically single for almost a year before I started dating my second husband, but I wasn’t alone. I lived with my kids and three dogs, and for most of that year, with my first husband until he was able to move out. (That was a very rough 10 months or so.) So now I’m living alone for the first time in my life, and while there is nothing “intentional” about this single life, I need to experience it on my own for a while.
Today I went downtown by myself and took my laptop with me in case I found a good place to sit and write for a while. Downtown Greenville was busy and people were out on bikes, eating at the sidewalk cafes, and walking their dogs (lots of dogs). Most people were wearing masks and maintaining some distance, so I felt pretty safe. I stopped at Papi’s Tacos for a bite and did a little people watching. I didn’t get much writing done but I did write down a few ideas for this post while I was there. It’s a start.
My apartment is not completely put together yet and I still don’t have a table, but I’m fine with using the coffee table and sitting on the couch to eat for a while longer while I save up and look for something I like that suits the space. I’m breathing and settling and finding ways to enjoy what’s next.