Wednesday last week I said goodbye to my oldest child and her boyfriend as they were set to leave the next morning for their new home in Houston, TX.
All day at work I fought back tears over this inevitable parental milestone. I was quiet and distant. Both unlike me if you know me well. I was definitely sad about saying goodbye but there was more to it than that. I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time. There was something more but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Not until it hit me like a ton of bricks on the way home that night.
Our meal together was great and I was excited for both Alyssa and Jake. Jealous a little bit too because they are at the beginning of life. New job, new apartment, new adventures. It’s exciting! We ate, talked, laughed and eventually said goodbye.
Tears flowed as soon as I shut the car door. My baby, my first born, was moving a thousand miles away. There won’t be as many visits home, no chances to meet half way for lunch, or to hike together. And while that all hurt what hurt the most was the realization that when I got home that night all I wanted was to be able to crawl into bed and be held while I dumped all of my feelings out, and that wasn’t going to happen. I got ready for bed and went to sleep hoping my mood would be better the next day.
That’s a big fat NOPE. I tried. I kept telling myself “fake it till you make it.” Except I had reached the point of being pissed off. Just completely and totally mad about yet one more thing that I wasn’t supposed to have to experience alone.
Realizing, a little too late, that I should have spared my co-workers and stayed home, I decided to go for a walk. I spent that walk processing a lot of what I was feeling. Anger at how distant my ex is from his kid, frustration that there is nothing that I can do about that. I felt that he deserved to be the one to have to navigate this milestone alone given all of his shitty choices. Hurt that I’m navigating this without a significant other. Basically The flood gates holding back the grief of the loss of what “should have been” opened wide and I tried to run. FYI you typically can’t out run flood waters. This was my reckoning.
Friday was better. The flood waters had subsided but I was still running from the realization of everything. I was avoiding the rumble.
So this morning I stopped running and I picked up “Rising Strong”. I reread the chapter that I dislike the most and moved forward to write my shitty first draft about this experience. I’m not sure I’ll reach my revolution about this anytime soon. I just know that today I’m up off the arena floor because staying down is not an option.