For as long as I can remember, I have been a planner. Chris even used to make fun of me and my constant lists, and my holidays’ itineraries I would prepare 6 months in advance. It probably stems from growing up with the unpredictability of a bipolar mother and it’s consequences… Like not knowing where our next meal was coming from or whether I was going to be screamed at that day. Planning gave me stability. It gave me a goal to aim for… And for the last 10 years that strategy has been working well for me. I graduated from high school. I went to uni. Got a good paying job. Travelled, and met a (fantastic) life partner. Money was building up for our first house… But no one could have planned for this.
So now I am totally lost.
Here are my options (If I were to continue to be my old organised self.)
I try to imagine how it would have been if I had never met Chris, what my plan would have been then. Perhaps I could just continue on that path? But it just doesn’t seem right… If I had never met Chris I would have returned from travelling and gone back to the city to continue teaching there, buying an investment property, wining and dining on the weekends, playing netball on Wednesdays and socialising with friends from high school and uni. I would have continued to do these things with my ultimate goal being to meet someone, granted I was going to have fun doing so… And if I didn’t? I would have been enjoying my journey along the way too much to even notice. Now, I want to meet someone, but I also DON’T want to meet someone. It’s more out of loneliness and comfort rather than wanting to meet a new partner. An investment property? I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in a week let alone throwing down a coupla 100k on something that will tie me there. As for my old friends? This plan would have worked fine 3 years ago having only been out of their lives for 2 years, it would have been like nothing had changed. Now I have been out of their lives for 5 and in that time I fell in love and lost my partner in the most tragic of circumstances. They didn’t even know him… They and I are very different people to who we were and I almost don’t even want to build that reconnection at the moment. Too much effort for my already broken soul. So at the moment OPTION A is out.
I continue working up here in the country with the friends who became like family and who knew Chris and I inside out. They watched as our love blossomed and became our first friends as a couple. They saw us develop our house into a home and grow our family with our puppy, Willow. We shared our dreams with them and they shared their dreams with us. We held their newborn children. They were there when I got the news. They cried with me and they held me. Now on the face of it, ‘Option B’ seems like a winner… But… It is here I feel lost. It is here where the accident happened. It is here I feel like I am keeping going just for the sake of keeping going. This place represents every hope we had… And everything that is now broken. Everything I see and do reminds me of him here. From the shops to where I walk my dog. Understandably my friends want to talk about Chris with me here, which most of the time is great… Except sometimes I wish my brain would stop constantly thinking about him. That hurt is always there, here.
I kind of fell into teaching and although I do enjoy it, I do wonder if this is something I would do for the rest of my life. In the past it didn’t worry me, as Chris and I were discussing having children in the near future and I believed my new ‘career’ would be staying at home and mothering them. We did say however, that being a stay at home (for me) probably wouldn’t be enough. Although undoubtedly it is the hardest job in the world, the constant monotony of certain aspects of it would probably drive me bonkers.. The idea was floated that I study midwifery part-time, off campus, while I had the kids (see what I mean by being a planner, it was all mapped out!!) Birth has always fascinated me and seeing as it was going to be a part of my near future I was incredibly inspired. I also took inspiration from Chris’ past bravery… After leaving school and qualifying as an Engineer at uni he landed a cushy job, but for him it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t a true passion. So he left his job and went back to school to qualify as a carpenter, a job that resulted in a pay cut. To his dying day he was using that skill to build furniture, a career he wanted to do in the future. I just loved that he had the balls to do that. Anyway, back to ‘Option C’. I go back to the city and study midwifery, using my teaching degree to teach casually. I will live with my dad and my mind will be occupied by full time study… This sounds good in theory, BUT midwifery earns a whole 20 grand less than what I currently do AND I will be losing all my benefits I’ve gained over the last 5 years of working as a teacher. I will be leaving my ‘family’ up here, and I will still have the same disconnect issues from my old friends as with ‘Option A’.
I guess the moral of the story is every option is now fucking scary. The world and future that once looked so bright and hopeful is now dark and full of unknowns.
I just hope I choose the right one…