Who Am I Now?

Being widowed in your forties puts you in a unique position. Granted, this is definitely not the first time that I have had to pick myself up, dust myself off and begin again, but it is the first time that I have seriously struggled to define my place in the world and determine what my future will look like. I have no children, so I don’t identify as a mother, I no longer work outside the house, so I am not a laborer and now that my husband is dead, I am not a wife. So, Who am I now?

I am in a situation where I get to decide that for myself, but it’s not as fun or easy as it sounds. I have a difficult time relating to a lot of people my own age because unlike them, I am unsettled. I am stirred. I am anxious. I am ready to live again, but not sure where to begin. Some days I take steps forward, but others I just sit and stew.

There are so many differing parts of me at any given time, it’s almost impossible to bring them all into alignment, but I am trying my hardest. Time in nature, writing and photography have brought me so much clarity that I always try to incorporate these elements into each day.

But the nights are typically full of depression, loneliness and anxiety about the future. A part of me wants so badly to find love again, but at the same time, I want to be content alone. I don’t know if I will ever be fully ready for all the hassle and heartbreak of dating again. Even though I go back and forth on this issue a lot, I know the absolute best thing I can do is to determine my own path, stay on it and if I happen to meet someone along the way, so be it. Nothing good ever comes from attempting to force things to happen, and I have seen enough of the online dating scene to know that it’s not really for me.

So where do I go from here? The choices are limitless, but I have to choose, which is the tricky part. Just pondering that question while I go on existing isn’t going to take me anywhere, and I do want to go. Release all these self-imposed constraints and cut loose. Live like there is no tomorrow because we never know when that statement will prove to be true.

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