I thought I was shattered. Even though I have been stripped down to my core, I have realized that while pieces of myself and my life lay broken around me, my core has remained untouched. Somehow, I am still standing. The impact of losing Jon has altered not only the course of my life but who I am as a person as well. I have come to understand that I cannot remain the Erica that was Jon’s wife. I am becoming someone else and there is nothing that I can do to stop it. As I chose which pieces of myself to pick up and which ones to leave laying I am becoming this new person. Maybe subconsciously I already knew that I have to leave the old me behind. Maybe that’s why I’ve had the desire to buy different kinds of clothes, try new makeup and decided to keep my hair short. ( I cut it a month before Jon passed only to donate it )
The person you marry greatly influences the parts of you that come forward and those that take a back seat. For example, the Erica I was before meeting Jon was a little bit country and a little bit nerdy. Jon was nerdy too but really had no interest in the outdoors so while the country part of me got to go hiking every once in awhile, the nerdy part of me grew from liking Lord of the Rings and writing a novel to playing D&D and spending our 5th wedding anniversary dressed up at a comic book convention. (Don’t judge lol) Of course those are simple superficial examples, but it is a true reflection of deeper things as well.
I wonder, now that Jon isn’t there to feed certain aspects of who I am, if they will fade away. Sometimes I wonder who I will become and I’ve already started to miss the person that I was. Even though it’s only been a couple of months when I see myself in pictures I know that I am not her anymore. In some ways I’m a stranger to myself.
I can feel aspects of my personality changing. I’ve taken many different personality tests over the years and the one that I feel was the most accurate is the one most people haven’t heard of. When I took my Life Language profile several years back my results said I was a high Shaper followed by a nearly tied Responder and Contemplator. For those of you not familiar with Life Languages, being a high Shaper means that the person has a plan for everything. It’s what made me a logistical mastermind who could pull off planning, advertising, setting up and teaching a different large event every month. I had a plan for everything. Even if plan A didn’t work out, I had contingency plans for my contingency plans. But I didn’t have a plan for this. As a result my shaper is one of the pieces of myself I see laying broken on the floor. I can’t think more than one day at a time. I’m quickly overwhelmed and I put things off to the last minute. What I am left with right now is my Responder and Contemplator. My responder feels things deeply and my contemplator things things through deeply. So all I seem to do now is think about what I’m feeling and feel about what I am thinking.
I really could use my shaper right now because every day the fog over my life dissipates a little more and in its place paths have begun to appear. Every time I look up, I see more paths open to me and each path I see splits into more paths. I can’t see where they end but I know that whichever one I choose will determine who I become and where my life will go. Every decision I make, every person I choose to be in relationship with, every thought I choose to agree with, all are pushing me down different paths. I guess this is true for everyone in life. But it has never been more obvious to me than right now in this season.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.