Friday, June 24, 2011

Seven Year Itch

Last Sunday was Father's Day.  It also would have been Brian and I's seven-year wedding anniversary.  The strange thing is, my life has changed so much that that seems weird.  In Iowa, we were surrounded by friends who had married young, started careers, and were having children.  Here in Austin, I am surrounded by mostly single twenty- and thirty-somethings as my friends.  Many of them are still carving their career paths, going to school, tossing around the idea of grad school, or trying their hands at various forms of self-employment and entrepreneurship.  A few are married or partnered up, and even fewer have children.  I don't know if it's a regional difference, or just that I've surrounded myself with others who are more like me.   

In my "old life," being married for seven years at age 30 would have been par for the course.  I have to wonder if we would have had children by now, or if we would have been trying.  Perhaps if things had gone differently I would be with child now, and our little one would be able to grow up with the seemingly dozens of children our Iowa friends have had or will be having within the next nine months (there are at least a half dozen friends our ours in the Midwest who have had, or will have, a baby in 2011).

In my "new life," I'm just starting anew.  I have very little figured out, other than that I need to write this book I'm working on, and that I'm in love with my boyfriend (who is often referred to by his fictional name, "Antonio," on this blog, because he lives in San Antonio - clever, huh?).  Now, having adapted to this "starting anew" phase of my life, it seems strange to imagine "What if...?"  I'm normally pretty good at not doing that, knowing it gets me nowhere and that my focus should be on what is, not what might have been.  Our anniversary was different though.  I mostly lived in the present, in San Antonio with my man, but I did think a bit about what could have been, and I did cry.

Mittons and I waiting for our order at the drive-thru
Last weekend, Mittons (my little travel companion kitty) and I headed to San Antonio on Saturday morning. We stopped off at my friends' apartment first so I could borrow some golf clubs that were made for a 5'3" woman - it's great to have other short friends!  Mittons got a chance to see downtown Austin through the car window, and also to meet my friends' cat while we were picking up the clubs.  From there, we headed south for the hour-plus drive.  She cuddled up on my lap the whole way.

On Saturday, I went golfing with "Antonio" and three of his friends - it was only my second time golfing ever, so we played 9 holes at a Par-3 course.  From there, we all went for a tour of Antonio's new house.  At 29 years old, he's just made the leap from apartment-renter to homeowner.  I couldn't be more excited for him!  His house is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, and a great backyard.  It's a great house in a nice neighborhood in San Antonio.  I had seen this house while he was househunting, but it was nice to see it again and know it would be his (he moves in next month).  From the house, we went and had dinner and a drinks at a couple nearby establishments to try to get the feel for his soon-to-be new neighborhood.  That night, the guys and I went to the pool at Antonio's apartment -- probably the last time I will spend time there -- and played Nerf football like a bunch of 12-year-olds.  It was great.

Then Sunday came around -- the big day.  Antonio and I didn't specifically talk about it on that day, though we had in advance, and he knew I wanted to be with him all day.  We went to brunch at a great place near his apartment, where I cried tears of sadness and of joy over the custom-made omelette we were sharing -- all within a two-minute span.  I confessed to him that I was worried about how hard it would be for me to write the book, that I knew it would be a difficult thing for me emotionally and that he'd have to put up with a sad girlfriend who is fixated on her deceased husband and widowhood for a while.  I swear, there is nothing I can say to this man that he can't handle.  He said he didn't want to see me sad, but he understood why I was doing this and that he would do his best to cheer me up.  Holding true to his promise, I was smiling in no time.  From brunch, we went back to Antonio's place and started packing some boxes for the big move.  That night, I went with him to his weekly bowling league. 

In short, Sunday came and went like any other day.  I thought about Brian, and I cried, but I was able to enjoy the things that happened in real time in the life I am living now.  I had some sadness, yes, but that has been at the edges of my psyche for the past few weeks anyway as I write my way through widowhood.  This sadness, the longing for what could have been, the feeling of yearning for Brian again -- those are all things that I can feel while still being happy overall.    

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