I'd like to be a size 10 or 12, and be able to shop in regular stores.
I'd like to be a runner, not just someone who is trying desperately not to drop after doing 15 minutes worth of walk/jog intervals.
I'd like to be a person who seeks adventure, does things like travel the world and explore and participate in wacky car rallies and such because they seem interesting.
I'd like to be younger and less attached.
I'd like to be someone who could actually be friends with some of the people I like following on Twitter.
I'd like to be in France right now, eating a croissant and soft cheese, with a strong coffee and a cigarette. And in England, visiting Hadrian's Wall. And in Greece, on the beach with lamb and olives (and to be the kind of person who enjoyed olives).
Or, as my husband so neatly summarized it for me as I was telling him this, I would like to be someone who is not me for awhile. Someone whose life is very different than my own.
And it's not that I don't like my life. The thought of not being married to my husband, or having my Jojo gaze adoringly up at me while wagging his stump of a tail, or having my kitties rub against me and then dart away to play with feathers. . . those sorts of things make me happy and I don't want to trade them.
I just want a break from my life. From my dead baby and the weight of living life without him. I don't want to contemplate the best means of honoring him on his birth and death date. I don't want to wonder how one celebrates the day their child was born to his death. I don't want to continue to struggle with acceptance and appropriate grief and justifications of how I feel to other people. I don't want to be overtaken by tears with no explanation or trigger. I want a break from censoring myself or trying not to offend, and likewise from being offended when I know no offense was meant. I'm tired of needing comfort and needing to comfort others. I want a break from reminders that my life ought to have been completely different. I want a life where I'm excited by my child, not a new piece of memorial jewelry to remember that child. I want a break from putting the pieces back together and from a heart that's been masking-tape-and-glue-stick stuck back together again. A break from feeling guilty when I laugh and when I don't. From the wondering what a mother is and if I count or not.
To not be me for awhile.
The problem is . . . apart from the fact that I am me and I don't want that to change - I don't want to be someone else's wife or mother, I don't wish Gabriel away - is that Gabriel comes with me, everywhere I go. I carry him with me, and nothing changes that.
Sometimes, that brings me comfort. Sometimes, it's a burden that feels heavy. And now, when I am already tired and strained and feeling overstretched because of work and because of August and because it's almost a year and what do you call that day anyhow? Anniversary? Birthdate? Deathdate? . . . I would like a break.
There isn't one, not without giving up the balance of things. But I find myself, in moments alone, escaping into fantasies of a different life, a sunnier life, where presumably there is greater ease and less struggle. Too bad that doesn't actually exist in this world, eh?