Last Sunday was supposed to be my wedding day, but instead it was just a normal, hot August day. No wedding. I spent the day doing normal Sunday things like going to church, going to the grocery store and going into Target for something very specific and coming out with a mirror, a tank top, 2 rolls of paper towels, a bike pump, blue nail polish and gum. No one at church, Trader Joe’s or Target knew that I was supposed to be a bride that day. All day I carried it around, like one of those zits you feel but no one can see, it hurts and it’s all you can think about but there is nothing you can do to make it go away.
It’s still surreal; the whole thing. I never thought it would happen to me, the whole broken engagement thing, but it did. I always thought it happened to people who should have seen it coming. Or people who were sloppy in relationships and reckless with hearts. Or people who didn’t listen to their gut. But come to find out, sometimes it’s not about any of those things and there may never be a good logical reason for “the why”. All I know is that my life is in a very different place today, than I thought it would be in late August. I’m somewhere in between my old normal and my new normal, and nothing feels normal.
I’m in the middle of things. It’s the space between what went really, really wrong and whatever is next. For the record, I don’t like being in the middle. People always talk about it like it’s this great place where you learn so much about life and yourself and you grow, but I think the people who say that are not in the middle of anything. They’re on the other side of whatever “it” was or they just haven’t been in the space between. I don’t know if I am growing or learning much of anything – I’m mostly just bearing it.
There’s really no preparing for the middle, it just happens so suddenly. Someone dies, or a precious relationship ends, a diagnosis happens, a dream falls apart – old normal can change in an instant and even the biggest pair of Big Girl Panties don’t seem to be big enough. I wish I could just say I’ve been “puttin’ em on and pullin’ em up” and that I have been marching through this middle with sass and vigor and resolve, but the truth is, more days than not I have been going commando.
Some days my heart hurts so badly that my only relief is to get in my car and turn on the radio as loud as I can so that I can’t hear my sadness for a few songs. I have belted out everything from Rhianna’s “We Found Love”, to Green Day’s “Time of your Life” to more recently the pop hit of the summer Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” (I’ve almost got the entire thing memorized). Other days, I just need to talk about it (again) to the people who will listen (God bless ‘em, every one). There are lots of days when I would give anything to hear his voice again, to get back to normal, to talk about that thing we talked about, to be the me I was with him. Those days are worst. Then there are those days when I laugh easily and my head feels clear and my chest light – I love those days.
There is no telling when I am going to get to the other side. I don’t even know what it looks like or where it is or how much longer I have to go to get there. I know I am in a different place than I was because I can talk about the middle. It’s an identified place and no longer a free fall. I don’t want be here, its not what I had planned and yet, as the days go by and the wedding day has now come and gone and the phone calls have stopped and the expectation of an explanation wanes, I find myself starting to get acquainted with a different me. Maybe that’s all I can do right now, just get acquainted with these surroundings, with this me, and with these circumstances. I don’t know, I’ve never been here before.
So, I’ll keep you posted. I’ve got my Big Girl Panties dangling around my ankles and maybe, just maybe I’ll start working them up, because something tells me I am going to need them if I am going to make it through the middle.
~ LB - A BGP Friend