Let me back up, we've been mostly coming through our little storm but not without repercussions. For me, there are several biggies:
- Loss of trust that Vince means what he's telling me; after all, he told me he was "fine" and wanted a more "progressive life" before.
- The retreat into "inauthentic Ivey;" one of the great joys I had leading into this mess was the feeling that I was finally being "me," -- integrated, whole. The other night we had a dinner party and I felt "her" return; the fake front that masks the real me. I was, of course, the hostess with the most-ess! Charming, witty, a great cook. But before this reset, I had come to see my Ivey persona as more like a hidden super-hero. Suddenly, that part of me was gone and my "shameful inner voice," was lurking behind my eyes; the person who NO ONE can ever see, that I must hide and repress, because if they do people, important people, won't like or love me. I've come to believe that difference was a major part of the isolation I've always felt in groups of people.
- The idea that possibilities for experiences THAT HARM NO ONE were actually possible, and not fantasy or wishful thinking or delusions. That suddenly the doors of life had been thrown wide and that my Beloved and I were going to embrace them together.
- I'm struggling with the idea that it may be that I have to come to terms and simply accept that my life (our life) is forever to be defined by limits, obstacles, fears, frustrations, distance. Just as I struggle to accept/fight the idea that I will always be over-weight; surrender is so much easier than being at constant war with your inner self.
- Maybe all the last 2 - 3 years really has been is nothing more than a mid-life crisis. I mean, really. A tattoo? Isn't the idea of swinging just another version of yearning for sexual variety? I haven't bought the little red sports car but my minivan is red and does have a sunroof.
These are just a few of the biggies that have been plaguing my brain off and on. I vacillate between security in my love for Vince and fear that I'm truly not lovable if I pursue my desire for a fuller, richer life. I'm mourning for what feels like the short life of the slowly awakening inner me.
And then the article shows up today on Huffington Post and in addition to other very on-point paragraphs, this one lept off the page:
"I suggest thinking of so-called midlife as a positive transition zone into
full adulthood. A period for creative solutions and better trade-offs regarding
your current commitments.  And a time for restructuring your choices,
values and goals; making them support an integrated, healthy and authentic life,
through which you can continue to grow and develop in all realms of your life.
That's positive aging."
That's it right there folks -- an authentic life. Up to this point, I've had a good life; one that I enjoy and am proud of, one that I want to continue with my Beloved Vince, one that we've worked fucking hard to achieve. I don't want to jettison all that we've built, the best of who we are. But what I've done hasn't always been authentic, and it sure as hell hasn't been my best. I want to grow. I want to help others (especially Vince, if that's what he wants) live the fullest, richest, most experiential life possible in this short time we have on earth. I don't know if there's an afterlife, but I know for sure there is this life.
The article's last lines also hit me between the eyes:
"The upshot here is that most people are capable of self-directing their
lives during the adult years. What you experience isn't some inexorable process
that simply happens to you. It's the product of how you manage the changes
within your mind/body/spirit; how you deal with the new possibilities that lie
"And keep in mind what the novelist George Eliot wrote, 'It is never too
late to be what you might have become.'"
The best years, if we can manage it, lie ahead.