In the nearly two years since I have been on my own, I've learned a lot of things about myself. But the primary lesson of the last two years is the necessity of being careful to navigate away from the prospect of pain. I've become adept at the process of avoidance.
A song comes on the ipod and reminds me of my former life. So I fast-forward through that tune. I pull out my collection of carved wooden bunnies and I remember past happy memories. Can I set those bunnies on the shelf without a daily reminder of how much things have changed? Mail addressed to her arrives in my mailbox and I remember when this was our home; a place where we once planned to grow old together. JT says or does something funny, and I want to share it with her but I know that I can't. Decisions --- small or large --- have to be made and I must do so on my own.
I try as much as possible to avoid anything that will cause me to recall past happiness. But I've grown weary of navigating life so as to avoid pain. Sometimes I wonder if the fear of an unexpected hurt is almost worse than the hurt itself. Hours in the day will pass by and I'm okay and then suddenly I am reminded of how my life has changed, and I'm not okay. I miss having a life complete with a past and a future. I miss loving and being loved in return. I wonder if I will ever achieve that again. Then I remind myself not to go down that path; because there are no answers and there are no guarantees.
And so I navigate away. I think I know where I've been. But I have no idea where I am headed.