Living two lives. Thank heavens it is a Monday.
So, I’m just home after an 11+ hour day on a Monday. My sweet daughter is working on homework. I am however entering the second part of my double life. The part where reality hits a home-run.
In front of a group of physicians, colleagues, city officials, students, large clubs, toastmasters, BOD involvement, the c-suite, etc., I am “on”. I was raised to be “on”. What I wasn’t cleared for was the slap of pain that is called my second life. It happens on weekends, evenings without my daughter, any time frankly, when fear and a hit or reminder of what loneliness means to my new path, strikes.
A loneliness I hadn’t seen in many moons.
I’ve said to several people lately, I live two lives, but few- very few!- see both. One life is polished, confident, capable, knows how to market just about anything and meet/greets like she is running for office. The other finds safety in her bedroom cave, can sleep away full days without leaving or eating, enjoys a teary eyed afternoon for release, and keeps trying like hell to accept this new phase of life. Partially, I’m just exhausted because raising a 6th grader, living with a cancer that won’t leave my body, and working long hours is just plain tiring (to be fair, I thrive on the craziness and stir), but tonight, when I should be able to just enjoy a little reading or a no brainer TV show, I am again engulfed by the reality of not accepting a divorce that is inevitable, nor something I chose, wonderful friendships I have damaged along this windy road, family I barely see because I am humiliated about what has happened, and a daughter who rightly so, is mad at the world because of what has happened in our lives in two years. (She is also a new teenager, and with that, comes new pangs that even a healthy mama with a brain that works 100% can’t navigate. :))
The reality is I live two lives. Monday-Friday, 6am-6pm is life one. And when my sweet girl is with me, I go into “on” mode, but otherwise, the second life path is a struggle and few know my boundaries, expectations for myself, perspective on what is important today, my new questions and fears of commitment, what fierce loyalty means to someone ill, questioning if a porch swing partner can maintain a promise, questioning faith, the messiness of changing my last name and identity for marriage in the year 2012, and the biggest of all – questioning my own choice for a lifetime commitment of unconditional love and friendship.
Thank heavens today is a Monday. The second life is dark until week end.
I may be the only person who genuinely celebrates the work week, because it is safer on my heart. (And ironically, I am in charge of crisis communications in an industry that is fourth most dangerous for work place violence (just next to liquor stores and taxi cabs). Sounds fitting for a Mel-like story, right?)
Cheers to a productive and happy Tuesday.
Om Shanti, Mel