So not in the, “Wow! I had the most bizarre dream about crocodiles eating ice cream cones last night!” way. More in the “Who am I again? What do I like?” kind of way.
While it doesn’t take a marital split to find your self in these shoes for certain – I know MANY women, and men for that matter, who have had this same feeling while being happily wed – I just think it’s definitely very common among those who find ourselves on our own for the first time in a long time.
I’m not sure why we have the tendency to lose ourselves in relationships. I don’t know why we stop doing the things that we love or looking at our lives outside of the bounds of a relationship. But I do know it’s not uncommon.
As I find myself revisiting my dreams, it’s very surreal.
I wanted very much to be married when the not-yet-ex and I got together. I was so glad to have someone in my life who was stable and steady. We didn’t really enjoy the same activities – short of antiquing – we both love the heck out of looking at some old stuff – but we didn’t see that mattering. And I know that for someone people it doesn’t. But it did for us.
I love to hike and ride mountain bikes. I want to canoe and kayak and camp. I also love motorcycles and fast cars and old cars.
He loves to hunt -deer and turkey mostly – and ride 4-wheelers and cigars. Oh my he loves his cigars. And he didn’t even know he liked them when we started dating.
About 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to get my hands on my dad’s 1974 Triumph TR6. The car I learned to drive in. It needed work. It had been in my brother’s yard for years.All I wanted was to clean out our garage which hasn’t been used for a car in 10 years and have a space to work on this car. I was going to figure out how to buy it later but I wanted to be able to do this thing with my 78-year-old dad.
I was met with 100 objections. We don’t have money. There’s too much stuff in there. You can’t possibly do this on your own.
It was as though you’d just deflated a hot air balloon.
Realizing that someone isn’t behind your dreams anymore leaves you in a really sad place. Hopeless might be the right word. And if you asked the not-yet-ex, I am certain he could relate similar to you. Though I felt I always supported his hunting, I don’t think it translated for him.
So 9 months ago I had the chance again to get this car. I have my own place now. No garage, but a second parking place to put it in. I spent $50 for a flatbed tow, and now it sits in front of my house.
This weekend I pulled the gas tank out. It felt good to get my hands dirty. I have carburetors to rebuild and wiring to redo. So much of the cosmetics need work as well. It’s going to take years.
But that’s all okay. Because a few weeks ago my daughter looked at the car and said, “Mom, this is a pretty cool car. And you’re going to fix it up?” “Yes, sweet pea, I am.” “So maybe I can learn to drive in this car too? And when I am older it can be my fun car like it’s going to be yours?” “Yep, babe, I would love all of that!”
And so the dream lives on. Mine and now hers. And that’s exciting to see.
Time to go see what other old dreams I can dust off and inch my way toward making reality.