I woke up this morning as I had for the last several weeks in a, "I don't give a damn" mode of operation. So even though I had a meeting, I put on my favorite designer-tattered jeans. The ones with the strategically placed worn spots and a stylish ragged hole in the knee, and a sleeveless top. I never wear sleeveless tops alone, I hate my arms, but, as I said, I just don't care. I found out there's a lot of freedom and sometimes recognition to be had in just doing your own thing.
Because a weird thing happened. I got a compliment. Which I have to tell you, raised me out of myself long enough to appreciate the unexpected kindness. Honestly, I expected "looks", for being inappropriately dressed for this meeting. It didn't happen.
My day progressed with more surprises. I forgot my lunch, which I never do, so I left the office to get something. Just as I pulled onto the highway, the station played a 3-fer of Queen. I'm OBSESSED with Freddie Mercury and Queen. So much so that I played them every Saturday over our Echo Dots (which we have in every room) while cleaning the house. Mark introduced me to them when we first got married and he came to regret that tremendously. Every Saturday, I'd say to him, "guess what?!" "We're going to listen to Queen," he'd say with a flinchy smile. But I always got him, as he would sing along with me!
I turned it up as loud as it could go and found myself just cruising down the highway. I forgot about lunch. When a Hell's Angels wannabe pulled up beside me and blew me a kiss, I noticed I was driving 85 mph, I turned around and headed back to the office. I had become lost in the music, a sense of freedom, and wonderful memories of Mark. I had found my joy again. Maybe it was brief, but it was there!
I feel like I have been hiding under the covers, like a frightened child. Afraid to take a peek, because I know monsters are real. Life is full of monsters, but hiding doesn't scare them away. Hiding gives them strength, hiding doesn't kick their asses. I struck a blow while going 85 mph. I took a peek and found my life waiting for me. I found something else too. Although I've lost Mark, I take him with me everywhere I go. There's joy in that too! I've missed myself.
Maybe it's time to say, "hello stranger, where have you been?". I know that this life monster has changed me forever
, but it doesn't have to be for the worse. That's up to me, but it appears that my new self comes with sleeveless tops. Live and learn.