jane can't figure out how to move forward
My brother left.
For the first time since May, 2004, I have my own place.
It’s awfully quiet. Much quieter than any of the times my brother (blessedly) left the apartment while we lived together, or, before that, any of the times I was alone in my New Jersey or Philly or Indiana or New York apartments, with Roberto momentarily out of the picture.
This is a whole other kind of quiet – a kind I haven’t heard since 2004.
My brother said, “I’ll see you in a few days,” when he left. After he shut the door, unexpectedly, I felt my face start to tremble. That was a surprise.
The funny thing about this is, my brother moved in with me as a sort of a stop-gap, a make-the-best-of-it-solution for us both, when my relationship with Rob fell apart (exploded apart for the Nth time) and my brother needed to save living expenses, too. That stop-gap just happened to last 2 years 8 months. As he closes the door behind him, and I catch my breath, it’s suddenly clear to me that this is actually the end (for me) of the chapter with Rob – the departure from myself that happened when I met Rob.
The last time I remember being a person with my OWN objectives (however badly I was meeting them) was when I was living alone, before I met Rob. I had my little place in New York. I was going for my Masters (a different one). And then I met him, and then the next many years passed by, in part clouded by him, and then in part clouded by my family.
Today, September 4, 2011, I am sitting on the floor in a nearly bare apartment, feeling like I’ve just emerged from a very long tunnel, and my life is my own again.
It shouldn’t be necessary – to have ones own apartment, to feel this way. I’m sure it’s not necessary. But, for me, living with people who hold strong sway… I’m not great at defining myself in the midst of it. It’s like trying to develop good posture in the middle of a typhoon.
It’s emotionally taxing. I feel very tired today. Emerging from that tunnel, at age nearly 38, remembering the sorts of things that were important to me at 30, wondering how I’ll pick up the threads of myself, from here, and go forward.
I am really not very sure who I am. I have tended to put other people’s definitions first. Without those definitions, I’m feeling a little unmoored and a little sad and scared.
I kind of wonder who I am, and whether I have it in me to do the work of becoming. After all, it’s no small job – becoming a person. It’s a lot of work.
But, at least I have a place to do it. A little apartment of my own. A place I live, where I don’t have to sneak out to go to a meeting or to avoid a fight, where I can make a priority of putting some flowers in a vase, if that’s what I think is important for the day.
There’s a new sheriff in town.