For days I’ve tried unsuccessfully to come up with a title for this post. But tomorrow’s the big day, and I want to get this written before then, so “Untitled” it is.
Have you ever had a safety symbol? Something that you touch or look at or think about when you need to remind yourself who you are? Here’s mine:
Yep. It’s a mole. A large mole right on my collar bone. It’s been there as long as I can remember. A lot of people have remarked “you should get that taken off” but I never did. I’ve had it checked – I’m not crazy – and it’s not cancerous. But I never had it removed. I needed it. It represented me – the real me.
When I left home, I stepped into the unfamiliar world of university. I didn’t last long. But while I was there, when I felt like I was losing myself, I could surreptitiously run my finger over my mole and know that I was still me. I’d be okay.
A few years later, I met Bill and fell in love. I was happy to marry him, but a little bit scared, too. Would I lose me? Relationships require compromise. There was a new exciting “we” but would there still be a “me”? If ever I was in doubt, touching my mole would ground me and remind me that “I” was indeed still there.
Then came the boys. Children consume your life, and rightly so. Again, I sometimes worried that I would get lost in being a mom and a wife. But as long as I had my mole, I knew I was still around.
YES, I KNOW HOW BIZARRE THIS SOUNDS.
Anyway – I’m now a 56 year old widow. No more compromises with Bill (but what I wouldn’t give to have him back to compromise with). My boys are adults who, although they still need me, I don’t feel I need to alter my life for them. They have their life paths and I have mine. Sometimes our paths cross, sometimes they run parallel, sometimes they aren’t even on the same planet.
So I’ve realized that really, there is just me now. All me. I no longer need to hang onto a bit of me to feel secure. My life is mine and I can do with it as I choose. Sometimes that frightens me, but I can talk myself down. Life is what you make it, and I’m going to make it mine.
Tomorrow morning, I’m having the mole removed. It’s a small change, but it’s also a very big change. And I’ll be fine.