If we actually feel it
Loss. I felt my first loss in October 2019. A dear friend of almost 20 years. I say I “felt it” because people pass, relatives I’ve never met, relatives I have met but haven’t seen in many many years, and unless the loss is close to you, I don’t think you “feel” it. I felt it on October 20, 2019, her birthday would have been tomorrow.
When my husband and I got married in 2017 we had a falling out with some family members right before the wedding. It was a terrible time to have family drama, the stakes seem so much higher around events that shift your life on a large capacity. It was a terrible time to be misunderstood. It was a terrible time to not know certain important facts. It was a long two year after that without them, knowing they were missing out and pretending that it was fine.
Gain. In the summer of 2019 we reconnected. Placing the misunderstandings and unsorted feelings behind us, the family all came together for a wonderful celebration of children, and of my husband’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
A couple days before everyone was here someone stole the license plate off our car – loss. and lame.
I used to do kickboxing, I used to stretch and my joints and muscles thanked me by functioning correctly. I gained 31 pounds pregnant with twins, then lost it, then gained it back, then gained more weight on top of that when I was pregnant again, then lost it, then gained it back more and more and I’m not at a confusing place with my weight trying to run a small business, provide and be there for my husband and our children, and take time for myself. I’ve lost myself a bit, maybe more than a bit, in the past few years learning to be a wife and mom. These are titles I didn’t think I’d have. Not in a sad way, or poor-pitiful-me way, I was just very content being a single girl in Manhattan gettin’ up and goin’ to work, and doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. The responsibilities were far less than they are now. The stakes were also far less.
I’ve lost my ability to do what I want when I want, and I’ve gained a family. I’ve gained different kinds of love, and different kinds of feelings when one of those little kids smile at me, or laughs, or shows they understand something I didn’t think they did. I’ve lost too much sleep, I’ve gained a bunch of cuddles. The littles one, babyK, literally crawls up and finds a way to be wrapped in my arms before he falls asleep, and he’ll stay there, and he’ll fuss if I move him. He wants to be cuddled, it’s adorable.
My aunt, after I had the twins, told me how proud she was of me and that she didn’t think I was going to have kids and that she had hoped I would (secretly), because she didn’t want me to miss out, the way she (seemingly) missed out. But has always been very close to my mom, so the four of us (me and my siblings) have been like hers as well. Still, I surprised her by my personal “plot twist” and moved across the country, had babies, got married and started my own business – within a year or so. heh. She is someone whose opinion I quite value. She visited recently and it’s always like “old times” with her and my uncle (her husband) here. Old times like, all the laughter and jokes, all the sarcasm, all the memories. Old times even though the children are variably new, heh. I love her so.
What I mean is, the loss and gain are supposed to balance each other, right? When we have the loss we experience something in our hearts that later allows us feel “gain” differently. I don’t think of things with silver linings, it’s just not my style. I don’t look on the bright-side, I don’t think within every good there is bad, or visa versa I think the experiences of loss and gain make us view everything differently, if we actually feel it.
I experience loss and gain differently, now, because of how it made my heart feel. I still experience the “all or nothing” distortion in my everyday life, but I think I’m slowly finding my way out of that one because of these realizations of loss and gain. Because it’s close enough to me that I can “feel it.”