February 25, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Being the Good Wife and Writing

Saying Goodbye to Being the Good Wife and Writing

Waking up in a hotel after years of taking care of a home, husband and duties as a wife left me reeling with shock, confusion and anxiety. I had to get real very quick and figure out what I needed to do. One of which was to get something to eat and check the bag of clothes I was left with. My stomach felt like it had been run over by a bus and my head ached from the shock that rippled through me like a freight train late for an important destination. This was not how I had planned on spending my weekend and certainly not how I understood my marriage. How did this happen—what the hell was going on? I should be home making breakfast and taking the dog for a walk and instead, I was wondering how my marriage could end up in this way.

Thinking that I had set things up pretty well and would gracefully embrace midlife with a contented smile and a nice bank account, my life rolled along for many years on a sort of autopilot. I maintained my home, shopped, cooked and cleaned and did most of the things a nice, regular wife did. There was never a moment I contemplated sitting in a hotel frantic about money and spinning from all the questions about where my life was headed like my college years after a long night of partying and waking up with a hangover. This was not what I had been doing and certainly not where I thought I as going, but life is a trip like that. One minute you are one place and the next you are some place else.

So here I am writing these words. They come and go as I learn to make peace with a muse that seemed long gone, replaced by being the good "housewife". "Just keep writing", he tells me. Well, that is easy for you to say. No, it isn't he says, I don't particularly like being mean to you, but well it has to be done and anyway it is not really being mean it is just a matter of you learning to be you again. Your just crazy and not real I say, but as I think this, my fingers are moving—writing—words spill on the page and I laugh how happy it makes me.

We will have to hang out every day now—you know that don't you? Are you serious? I say. "Well if you want to write you should write every day like before," he said.

I always kept a journal, but I now realized this would be different. The spilling on the page would not be what it had been with my ballpoint pens and my spiral notebook. In the same way, I was no longer thinking about what to make for dinner or how I had to clean the basement. I was now not just spilling on the page, but trying to organize my life and my thoughts in a more coherent manner. As I put my emotions into paragraphs, I found that I could put my stories and life into them also.

The creative flow that came back to me after so long had been immersed in the duties of being the good wife. She had tried so hard to be the good wife and yet there was some violence in the way she had to continue to force the real me aside so she could be. The violence had come to a head and threatened to take me completely if I didn't acknowledge that something was not right. The accusations of being crazy seemed bizarre from people I had known so long and yet it mirrored the violence that kept me under. Some dark place where the creative part of who I was had been held captive even though I was living my life in a manner that seemed good and honest. Being a good wife was a noble pursuit and as the years went by this was what I had been doing.

The muse that spoke so clearly to me reminded me of the full expression of who I as and not some role that I was being forced to play. Your just some schizophrenic voice I would say and he would laugh. "Just go write" he would say. Yes, I will I thought, all the while thinking that my still small voice had turned into some cool writer dude that now wanted me to unleash my pent up bohemian side and who knows what would happen then. I am not going to have lots of sex if that is what you think, I tell him. He just laughs and tells me to not worry—your not crazy and your still a good girl, he says, slyly.

"Qualifier before a non-gradable adjective"—what the hell is that I ask. You must be crazy if you think I can understand that one. "Just calm down", he says. We will take it slow—just like sex, he winks. You will learn. I laugh, continue to type and the words spill into paragraphs and my life and story continue to unfold.

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