Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 1 of being on my own

"And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?" (Cast Away)

This is how I feel today. I heard this quote before I cried myself to sleep last night. I'm a big girl. I can do this. I realize I have been way too dependent on my children. It's time for me to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.

As a kid and teenager, I always felt lost. There was this empty space inside of me that longed for something. I tried to fill it with activities and friends and then booze and other unhealthy stuff. Nothing filled that void I felt. I graduated from high school at 17 and had no direction, no goals, no aim. I took the path that I was told I should. I got a job, signed up for a full schedule at the Jr. college and started my life. I still didn't have a purpose. For the next few years, I bounced in and out of school, jobs, and relationships. I grew moody, angry, and volatile. The emptiness grew. I still felt lost and lonely. I still had no purpose. Then, at 20, I got pregnant. That was the pivotal point in my life. The stability I needed. And even though I still have been in and out of relationships throughout my life, I have always had my kids. For the past 22 years I have had a reason to get up in the morning. I had a purpose for working. After I had my children, the empty space disappeared.

Now I have to find a new purpose.

8:20 PM

Just got back from the grocery store. I ambled up and down the grocery aisles feeling sorry for myself. I kept passing by the things that I would normally buy for the boys, snacks and stuff, that otherwise I won't buy for myself. I strained to think of what to buy and how to cook for one. I've never had to do that. Ever. I went from cooking for my mom and I to cooking for a husband and then children. This will be a new concept and experience. This morning I threw out all the junk food in the house. I'm eliminating temptation and concentrating on getting back in shape. I've never been this out of shape in my life. Anyways, back to shopping. It was depressing. I struggled and then it hit me. My children didn't die, they moved away from home. I can still do things for them. I have lots to do right now. Daredevil will need care packages and cards and letters. His birthday is the 21st and it is bad enough that he has to spend it in Iraq or where ever he will be at that time but to not get anything from mom would be heart breaking. I can't do that to my son. The first care package for Daredevil is packed and ready to send out tomorrow. It should arrive at his post in Iraq about the same time he does. Birthday cards are signed and sealed and will be going out as well.

The scripted call from Parris Island just came in a few minutes ago. Chowhound will have an address sent to me in a few days. I have three months of letter writing to him. And then in a couple of weeks, I will be writing to Improviser.

Oh my. Suddenly, I feel really busy. It feels good.

"When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States." (Erma Bombeck)
**Shhhhh. Don't send that quote to Sarah Palin.