The state of things

It’s the end of the year and time for reflection and planning for the coming year, so of course I have been thinking about the past 12+ months since I moved to Spain and evaluating all that has happened. I think now is a good time to update you all on “how I am handling things”, mainly because I am getting this question a lot lately. It’s over a year and a half after JM’s death and I think people feel like they can ask me this question now, like maybe my answer will be different than a year ago. I think everyone knew what the answer was a year ago, just by looking at me. Nonetheless, I appreciate the question.

Psychologically, we expect to outlive our parents and grandparents, so really, our entire lives subconsciously we are preparing for their deaths in a way. Of course we are never “prepared” and it does not make the loss any easier, but I imagine you do not experience the shock of losing someone you are supposed to live the rest of your life with. It is still disturbing how many people who knew JM do not even acknowledge in any way that he was killed when they see me, and never have. I just want you all to know, for future reference, that this is something you NEED to do at some point if someone you know has experienced the death of someone as significant as a spouse or sibling or child or anyone you are not supposed to, by design, outlive.

So…to answer the question. I’m doing pretty good. 6 months ago, I was not. But 6 months ago I spent a lot of time looking at my life and at myself, and finally allowing myself to experience a lot of pain, and, well… it helped.  I am looking forward to a lot of things and I am happy.  I recently got some ink that honors JM – I felt positively compelled to do it – and I am very happy with it, extremely happy with it in fact.  Sure, a tattoo signifies internal pain, (and I would be lying if I said this did not subconsciously reflect the loss I feel), but the imagery is very much me and not entirely obvious to anyone who did not know JM well as to it’s meaning, so it’s quite personal. And for some reason, it is very satisfying to have it. Maybe I will figure this feeling out later.

Now to answer the question everyone is really asking when they want to know how I am doing: I think I am finally emotionally able to have a real relationship at this point, with someone appropriate – not twelve years my junior or someone I know is entirely wrong for me or that I am not very interested in (in other words, safe because I would never have an actual relationship with them).  That being said, I will put it out there that I started dating someone I really like. I have known him for a year, he is a friend of a friend and he is of course involved in racing.

I think I will leave it at that for now, but thanks for asking.

The V word (and it is definitely not what you are thinking)

So, I am at the gym the other day struggling with some weight machine and listening to my ipod to drown out the crap music the gym plays. The view from my arm tenderizer machine it essentially straight into one end of the pool. There is a glass wall with some frosted lines, but you can see one end of it clearly from my seat.  So I’m just doing my thing, looking at nothing really but directing my general gaze into the pool area. Someone within my view climbs out of the pool with their back to me, and I see they have the very same surgery scar that JM had. Suddenly I can see his scar so clearly, every part of the surrounding skin and, just, everything. I totally lose it in the gym. Good times. Fortunately I had a workout towel and could mash my face into it until this bullshit subsided.

Something like this happens about every other day. Mostly it surprises me in very public places, which is always very convenient.  But I realize I have not dealt with much the last 9 months except external goals and/or follies. And it is affecting other things in my life.  I know –  I am a little slow on the uptake, but that is what happens when you are trying not to pay attention. So here it is, all out on the table. Here is my catharsis:

More than one person has asked me lately what is up with me, whats with the anxiety and the self doubt and the stress over things that one probably shouldn’t be stressing about.  Those who knew JM should know that this is something that happens -I come off like a desperate, wishy-washy, clingy emotional rollercoaster, but the truth is, it is pretty standard.

And then there are those who have no idea what I am talking about.

It was to my surprise I learned that people who know me, and maybe kept up a bit with my racing, or this blog, still don’t know my situation. It’s true,  I don’t think I have spelled it out here.  I know that this may sound like, well, a lie,  but this is not my personal journal (I do it for you, Internet). I wrongly assumed my references would generate enough crayon marks to connect the dots and come up with a picture.  But someone asked today, after reading through this blog, if I split up with my husband. This is the last conclusion I want drawn, for many reasons, one being that I mention his name so he isn’t forgotten. Vanity would have me say it’s not my style to pine over someone who dumped me (publicly anyway, ’cause I can pine like a soap star).  So I think I need to spell it out for those who don’t know, and for myself, and for him. The word out here is viuda. Soy viuda.

And I miss him like crazy.