On the other hand, when given a helium-filled balloon, one holds tightly to the string. Sometimes, the string is circled around, and around something, before being tied securely, and anchored down. Time and again, strings for balloons work their way lose. They either aren't secured properly, or they slip through fingers, whose owner was sure they had a tight grip. Once untethered, helium-filled balloons drift, higher and higher. It is believed they reach a certain height and then explode, shattering into many tiny shards, before returning to Earth.
Lately, I have felt untethered. When my marriage ended, I was left with most of the responsibilities we had shared together. A major part included the family pets. One was a diabetic and needed shots twice a day. Never mind the cost of her medicine and needles, she required a lot of time management. I was tied to her by time constraints. The other responsibility was the family dog who was 14-years old. The typical lifespan of his breed is 10-12 years, which makes me realize he had a purpose for coming into our family. Dogs can't be left for days without human interaction. He needed companionship, food, fresh water, and walking. So did I. I was tied to being home for him each night. New, to the full-time work force, and as a first year teacher, I couldn't spend as many long hours as I would have liked working in my classroom. I'm sure that was a blessing in disguise. The end of my family pet responsibilities happened when both had their lives come to an end, within three months of one another. The emotional fallout from their loss is still with me. It's only been a few months. Sitting near Lily as she took her last breath in September has seared a spot in my brain, and on my heart. I had no partner to be by my side. For better or worse... I had to do that night alone. I am capable. I can do alone, and I did. In early December, Winston started having troubles. He was a large dog, and Lily's passing was so fresh in my brain...I knew I couldn't handle him dying at home. Again, I had no partner to help make that decision. I had to do that night alone too. I am capable. I can do alone, and I did, again. But something broke in me that night. The ties to my past life were suddenly gone. I was set free. I am untethered. I am drifting. I wonder if balloons can look down and see the beauty beneath them? Actually, I wonder if there is beauty below? I search the Internet, I see pictures from satellites of planet Earth...Is that beauty an illusion? I am not seeing the beauty yet beneath my untethered self.
When a person is married, there are constraints. Expectations. Roles to be filled. Different people perform different roles. As I grew up, I believed the roles to be more defined. Nowadays, the roles are neither defined nor are they gender specific. I believe marriages today need to be more like partnerships. I don't believe my ex and I were very good examples of a true partnership. There was give, and there was take. But there was not real give-and-take. Narcissists are incapable of giving without taking. I look at my adult children and know they will find someone to share their lives. They will likely grow with that person. At least that is my hope. I hope they form wonderful partnerships. I know, that won't happen for me at this stage. I think at my age, I'm not sure I can grow with anyone. I am fairly well defined as a person. I am more than capable. I can do alone. I am responsible. I can take care of myself. I can pay my mortgage and bills. I can cook for one, although I have experience cooking for many. I can manage my yard. I can work full time. I can go wherever I want: traveling, the movies... whenever I want... and I can do it by myself. I don't need to be taken care of. I can solve my own problems, although I am grateful that I have friends I can call when I need. Calling on others for help is not something I am used to doing. For 27 years, when I showed weakness...and needing help was weakness...I was made to feel there was something pathetic about me. So, my being able to ask for help...that's a big deal.
Untethered. Will I drift higher and higher until I shatter into a million little pieces? What will happen after that? Is this the time when I need to embrace myself for whom I am? Learn to love myself? Give myself a break? Oh, my heart is so broken. Maybe it's all ready shattered. I want to be brave and let someone else in to help me piece my heart back together. I need someone who is farther along on this journey. I need someone to enter my life who has what I have, but maybe he has even more. I need someone who has more to give; someone who enjoys the things I enjoy, and can offer me new experiences. I need that person to not only help me see the beauty, but want to experience that beauty with me by his side. Yes, I want to be swept off my feet. I want to be romanced. I want to be wowed, and wooed. I am drifting. I am not ready to shatter. I've done old married couple, and I don't want to repeat my past. I'm not saying I don't ever want to be married again. I just know I need more now. Looking back, I feel I let myself be made to play a certain role in my marriage, I was being put into a well-defined box. I no longer see myself as fitting into any box. As Laura Petrie found out when she opened a box delivered to her house, once out, it's hard to stuff something back into a container that is so confining. (view video from 20:35, for fun. From: The Curious Thing about Women episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Air date: January 10, 1962)
If asked, my defense mechanism is to say that I've had my chance at love. My heart doesn't really believe that, but I am so scared of being hurt again. Maybe, I'm just not healed enough yet. Time...please work your magic. I do feel very untethered right now, in this place and in this time.
untethered, wanderer, animal and nature loving, romantic, adventure seeking soul, who cannot be contained...still eating, praying and loving, but working on loving me these days as I continue to find my voice.