When Rod died, my world was turned upside down; I experienced a total upheaval of what normal means. Since that day, I've been figuring out a new normal (all the while hating that I have to ... and why); it has been a very introspective time. It’s kind of like when you’re sick, and the only thing you can focus on is not being sick and what needs to happen to bring that about.
No one expects you to do anything when you’re sick except to get better. So life gives you a reprieve, a little bit of time to be about the business of healing. Such had been those first couple of years. As I gained strength and began to reintegrate myself into the world, I found that things are not the same as when I ‘checked out.’ It’s different. Bigger. Scarier. Colder.
A number of years ago, Jim Carrey was in a movie, The Truman Show. Truman lived his whole life inside a dome, never knowing his world was contained, controlled by someone else. It was his world - his whole world - and he had no reason to question it.
At some point, he began to get an inkling that there could possibly, maybe, be something beyond his world. Those thoughts were fleeting and quickly dismissed in favor of his routine - his normal. He shrugged it off and continued laughing at the jokes, complaining about life’s little mishaps, and caring for those sharing life in his dome. He was perfectly content in his familiar world.
Those inklings became suspicions; he was no longer content. The jokes didn’t make him laugh. His trials seemed insignificant. He even questioned his relationships - who was part of the lie and who truly cared about him? He was no longer satisfied in his little world.
Everything was up for grabs; he challenged things that he had always accepted as true. He took risks he never would have taken before, all in an effort to confirm - or allay- his suspicions.
Now my dome is gone. There is nothing between me and the big bad world; I am vulnerable. Vulnerable to life's storms, to its lies, to its pain, to its coldness. Things I had always accepted as truth now seem up for grabs without a filter to give me perspective. I have been thrust from my dome - my world turned upside down - and the view is quite different.
Perhaps I have been waiting for my world to right itself, to flip itself back over. Though I have found a new routine, things have not righted themselves. Maybe they’re not going to. Maybe this upside down, unfiltered, unshielded world is the real world, and I’m just now beginning to see it for myself. The bottom has become the top, and I’m coming out of my own self enough to look up through the bottom.
Writing about widow life, grief, and general random ramblings.
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