The other day when telling one of my dear friends about my engagement, she asked with excitement in her voice but slight concern in her eye,
"So, you can't live without him?"
Of course this friend of mine adores Seth... but, being that she's been right next to me on this roller-coaster, knowing first hand what I have endured, she wants to ensure that I am ready for such a mammoth commitment- especially one as life-altering as marriage- and rightly so... I totally would do the same for her.
When she asked the question, my mind began to wonder what so say. You'd think there would be no question whatsoever. You'd think a soon-to-be-married and totally in-love woman would shout out from the roof tops,
"NO! I can't live without him!"
Even though I would have loved nothing more than to calm her nerves and answer her question with the most persuasive reply, I didn't. And not because I don't really love Seth or that I want to live my life without him; I didn't answer it that way because I CAN in fact live without him.
Let me explain.
Something very profound has permeated the oxygen and I am breathing more and more of its goodness in on a daily basis. It's a little word called independence. It's something that I've never really had before... but have grown to appreciate it's benefits in numerous ways over the last 2 1/2 years.
You see, when I found out everything... from my old life... it was literally as if my husband died that day. Really. Everything I knew, gone. Everything I thought, dissipated. In just ONE day, everything changed. My husband, as I knew him, never came back to me. I've never experienced the death of a close loved one before, but I imagine that this is what it feels like to become a widow. Except, I was the widow that no one knew about- only a select few knew of my despair. And while I would have loved meals brought in, or help with raking leaves and shoveling snow, or gorgeous flowers on my doorstep with deepest condolences, I suffered my loss, grieving and overwhelmed, for the most part alone.
After spending countless minutes, hours, days, and weeks without him, the very person I never thought I could live without, I suddenly realized that I WAS living without him. I WAS finding happiness without him. I WAS fulfilling magnitudes of personal joy as a single woman, without him. I WAS learning to depend on me, myself and I- for the very first time ever.
Slowly but surely, I became a new and improved person. I had to be because there was no other choice, really.
Because of all of this, my new relationship is almost a complete contrast to my previous one. And sure, I think a lot of it has to do with the man I'm engaged to... but I think an equal part has to do with ME, also. I'm not the same needy and dependent and insecure girl that I was just 3 years ago. I still have my weaknesses for sure... but, gone are the days of feeling that my happiness is dependent on someone else.
I love Seth and I can't wait to start a life with him... but I will forever hold a new level of confidence and pride in that if something tragic happens, or if certain choices are made, or if something out of my control takes place and I'm not able to be with him any longer, I am certain that I CAN live without him. I've done it once... I can do it again. And although I hate the idea of thinking that something bad may happen (because I really don't think that it will), what a striking conviction a strong faith in oneself can be- knowing that I will be okay... regardless of what life pitches me (and I know that Seth feels the same exact way considering what he has conquered and overcome, as well).
Whatever is in the air at my household, I really like breathing it in! This is a really good place for me to be. I'm in love with a man who adds so much joy to my life, but I'm also creating my OWN joy!