Friday, September 12, 2008

Talk Thursday: The Spaces In Between

Talk Thursday: The Spaces In Between

I must have been listening to Dave Matthews when this topic came to mind. I had no clue where I was going, what I might do, and to me that is the best topic type—challenging. No clue at all…

Until…well sort of, yesterday afternoon when I read Tewkes’ post on community leaders, and I asked myself, “Self, what happened during the space in between the teens and the moment of discovery that I’d become a political, social, and spiritual slug?”

Once I cared enough about the issues to speak out. I argued the finer points of society with my father (my mother wisely ran in the opposite direction – we were loud and unbending.) I miss my arguments with him they made me see the difference in philosophies, tenets, and generations. My spare time was spent volunteering in a rehabilitation / convelescent center, I took classes to learn about other religions, cultures, and the historical positions of mankind’s civilizations. I volunteered at the local family planning center making sure girls and women understood their right to choose, and their responsiblities. I sat with users while they came down from their bad highs and stupid indulgences. I cared enough to do.

Then I got married. I believe in marriage, wholeheartedly, as a working partnership between two people who love, respect, and value each other. I believed in marriage three times. My first husband and I were spiritually, ethically, and recreationally different as a couple could be. We made a great child and a crappy marriage. What happened in the space between I do’s and don’ts? Life with eyes wide open, no hue of rosy colour love could tint the vast difference of characters.

I went back to nursing, focused my attention on my daughter and tried to build a life for us with the help of my parents. Life was good. And then I jumped in over my head and went into private care. Three months later any notion of a career in nursing and my reputation was destroyed, because I bought into a dream I couldn’t carry by myself-- one hundred percent, hook, line, and sinker. Yes, I guess I am still making excuses. I loved nursing (and no that isn’t to say I was a nurse.) In between the “I cans” and “I can’ts” I learned reality and limitations-- mine and others.

This should have been apparent lesson that I could apply to others in my life…like my second husband. A nice guy, I still like him, hell, I still love him. We were politically a like, spiritually opposed, and only one of us was in love. In the space between him and the last I realized that too many people (mostly women, but there must be men too) lose who they are in a vain attempt to make themselves into what they think their mate wants them to be. Suddenly I was in the knowledge that I was without his love-- suddenly I was nobody.

In the space in between the I do’s and the I don’ts I lost who I was. I lost my ideals, my goals, the vision of who I wanted to be, and who I could be. I had made myself into who I thought he wanted and had no clue how to find myself in between the layers of veneer I’d accumulated to be his mate.

What do you do when you’ve lost who you are? You sit on a sand dune and cry. You mourn the past and what never was. You cry in horror at what has become, and as a mother you shove it deep into a box within and realize you have a child who needs you, who you owe everything. And you go on. Just like the countless broken hearts that have gone before and will go on afterwards. You go on with new insights, new respects, new determination. In the space in between heartbreak and success I found determination to be the best I could be, without excuse.

Do I harbor anger? No, that would be self defeating. Do I harbor resentment? No, life is far too long to be disillusioned and distrustful forever. A person does what they have to do, and in the long run it is plain and simple, I believe in love, I believe I am good at marriage, I just wasn’t good at finding partners. I have a list of what could have beens that weren’t even close.

Ducky and I are politically a like. But now I accept that he’s not the social activist that I am. He’s not the social doer that I want to be. But what he is, plain and simple, is the man who accepts that I have those needs and supports me.

I’m a homebody, Ducky is a homebody. We love to work in our yard, build on to our home, plant more flowers, build more fences, and share time with one another. He doesn’t understand some of my view points, and I don’t understand some of his anger, but we deal, we accept, we value.

In the space in between, who I was and who I am, I learned to accept, to survive, to give, to feel, to share, to hoard all the memories and moments, and give them back again, to value to cherish, to serve, and take. To learn the lessons and deliver them back again when the moment comes. To listen, to hear, to give and take. In the spaces in between I learned to be me.



Anonymous said...

You've made me realize I've got a lot of growing up to do. Great post Cele!

Cele said...

Steve, I think we all grow up at our own pace and sometimes we have a hard time owning that or knowing that. Having met you I know you are there are there, just the parts of grown up that we own and how we own them are our own flare.

Personally I like you just the way you are.