In the past week I’ve become one of those women I despise, the type who injects comments about her husband into each and every conversation she finds herself in. I know it’s just because he’s gone, because he turned his phone in on Wednesday and it’s been days since I’ve heard his voice, but I’m starting to annoy myself. I know I’m doing it because he’s constantly on my mind, because I think of a million things I want to share with him each day, and because I love him. I know it’s not the worst way I could be handling his absence, I know there are other more destructive things I could be doing than talking about him incessantly and injecting tidbits about his favorite flavors of frozen yogurt while out for a fro-yo snack with a girlfriend, but still. I don’t want to be one of those girls. I don’t want to be the girl who seemingly has her whole world revolve around her husband. Our worlds revolve together, not around each other’s. We’re separate individuals, separate human beings with separate identities and we are okay with out each other, but infinitely better together.
Not gonna lie. Last week was dumb and rough. Dumb because I spent a whole bunch of time in the office alone staring at Andrew’s empty desk that just so happens to sit right next to mine and then I put on sad and sappy songs and then I spent a day trying to do work while swallowing the lump I’d allowed to grow in my throat and rough because, well the crying thing. The crying thing is not something I’m good at. I used to rock it. I used to cry all the time. I’d say from the time I turned 14 to the time I turned 19, I cried almost every day. EVERY FUCKING DAY. But then, I joined the Army and somewhere between there and here I stopped being able to allow myself crying time and so when I find myself crying for any reason, even good reasons, I just get annoyed with myself. It’s dumb. And rough.
Wednesday was, like I said, the last time I talked to Andrew and I don’t know when I’ll get to talk to him again and yes, he’ll get his phone back eventually. He’s got to earn the privilege, I’m assuming, because sometimes the Army is real good at treating grown ass adults like children. But on Wednesday, when we got off the phone, the crying happened and instead of just crying because I was sad, I opened another beer and sat down and tried not to cry and then I got mad at myself for not letting myself cry and wrote, in big letters on my notepad “IT’S OKAY TO CRY.” Because it is, really.
It’s been two and a half weeks since Andrew left and I’ve surprised myself at how clean I’ve managed to keep the place. The dogs and cats are both shedding at an incredible rate but I’ve found time to vacuum just about every other day. I’m not allowing myself to let laundry pile up in bedrooms or bathrooms and the dishes almost always go right into the dishwasher. I’m still leaving water glasses half full in all rooms of the house and there’s a single laundry basket of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away, but the place is clean enough that having friends over at a moment’s notice wouldn’t send me into a panic.
I’m eating better than I thought I would too. On Saturday I went to the grocery store and for the first time ever shopped for just me. It was easier than I thought, although I did spend an unnecessary amount of time staring at the tiny cluster of food items in my cart wondering if that’s really all I needed to get by. I’ve cooked most nights, or at least created something from mostly raw ingredients, although there was one night where dinner consisted solely of a delicious beer, some toast, and two pieces of chocolate.
When Andrew and I started falling in love with each other, we wrote notes back and forth like high schoolers. We wrote about how much we loved each other, how we couldn’t wait to start our lives together, how different parts of our day went and all the things we could never find the privacy to say to each other out loud. Sometimes I still look at the notes, reliving those first few months of falling in love and of anything in the house, besides maybe the cats and dogs and photo files, they’re the first thing I’d save if the house caught on fire.
I loved the act of putting my thoughts and feelings on paper and handing it to him and now I get to do it again. I told him, when this flight school thing first came up, that I wanted us to write letters to each other, that, at the end of it all, I wanted to have something in hand to remember it by. He sent me his address on Friday, along with a note about the graduation from the first part of his training that’s coming up in August, and this morning I sat down and wrote the first of what I hope will be many letters to him.
On Wednesday I’m going to Colorado for something I haven’t mentioned on the internet, even though the opportunity to go is through my involvement in the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network and the Clever Girls Collective. I am over the moon excited, especially since I’ve never been to Colorado. I’ll be back with more details later this week.