Our public outburst in the Delhaize supermarket has left me feeling depleted. It has also lowered my defenses and the walls I put up around me. It’s the moment when truths come out.
“Discuss your lack of hugs,” Dorothy coaxes me.
“I buy them shoes and clothes and they’re not running around in tatters like I used to,” I quietly continue to make the comparison with my own childhood. “And I don’t think David is sane either. But this is Belgium. What did you expect?”
“The hugs, darling, tell me about that,” Dorothy repeats.
“I never had any physical contact,” I summarize. “Never. There’s no more to say about that. My mother didn’t hug me. My stepdad didn’t either.”
“Very good,” Dorothy says soothingly. “Then just keep on doing what you are doing. Be receptive to your kids.”
“I am receptive,” I sigh, feeling extremely tired and worn out.
“Great that you do things differently.” Dorothy encourages me.
“There are 3 of them. Kids that is. Plus my job and the household. And yes, I like to go to yoga twice a week.” I feel a rant coming on. “It’s not hard to do things different from my mother.”
“Your life is nice.” Dorothy states.
“Yes I love my life,” I acknowledge. “Like I said, just need new clients so I can keep it nice.”
I pause for a moment to take a deep breath. Then I let it all out: “I’m fiiiine.”
“I used to have a big house, 3 kids, a job I hated… And little help at all in a language I couldn’t understand.” Dorothy tells me with big eyes fixed upon me. “You have nothing to complain about.”
“Absolutely fine,” I repeat a little bewildered.
“Yes I think you are.” Dorothy looks at me thoughtfully.
“You said 3 kids? Thought you had 2 kids when you divorced?” I question her. “You sound like my mom, talking like that. Pain is relative, you know.”
“I do have two kids.” Dorothy says slowly.
“I’m not complaining other than that money will run out soon,” I get to the bottom of my stress. “You said 3 kids in a big house.”
“How can I sound like your mom? I only point out that it’s relative. I don’t complain about it.” Dorothy’s voice lectures me again. “Yes two kids and a husband who behaved like a child.”
“And now what?” I want to push her further. “What do you have now? And are you happier?”
“Yes. I am.” Dorothy flashes me a big smile, revealing a set of perfect teeth.
“Because?” I am eager to know her secret. “What made you happier?”
“Because I want to be happier.” And Dorothy smiles again, making her all the more beautiful each time she does so.
“Lilly doesn’t want to get married,” I tell her as I throw a worried look at my daughter who is checking out the dessert section.
“That’s normal,” Dorothy replies.
“She said, mama you’re single and you’re happy.” I confide.
“Good.” Dorothy nods in Lilly’s direction. “She has lots of time to make her mistakes like we all do.”
Dorothy throws a meaningful look at her mobile phone : “I’ve got to get back to my painting now. Be good.”
“Mmmm. Have fun and paint the roses red,” I call after her. “I got the essentials. Champagne and chocolates for our girls night!”
It’s easy to go through life in a daze, going from one thing to another. The monotone routine of going to sleep, waking up the next morning to begin the roller coaster once more can leave you feeling exhausted with nothing to show for it. Letting life just happen to you doesn’t allow you to live the life you would want to. You have settled, and you are getting only what you tolerate.
You get caught up in your crowded agenda and your many obligations. Weeks can go by without doing anything spontaneous or taking the time to look at the bigger picture of life. You haven’t noticed you’re spending your limited time on this earth on a runaway train. Have you asked yourself if you are happy with the course you are? Make a change. Get back into the boss’ seat where you belong. Take responsibility for charting your own life and your happiness. You might find this to be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term it is much better than staying in a nothing relationship and ending up feeling alone and unhappy.
The way to initiate change is to get off your runaway train for long enough to catch your breath and remember who you are and what you truly want. Question is, what is right for you?
What do you think? How do you give yourself the love you need? Let me know in the comments below.