Wednesday, October 22, 2008


This is my favourite time of year. I love the changes that autumn brings, the colours, the wind, the leaves that scatter across my path as I walk. I used to love this time of year because it was finally cool enough for me to tolerate the outdoors, but I must confess that this year I am a teency bit cold. Less insulation.

I pretty much missed out on autumn last year. For the early fall, I was housebound with my bad back, then I had surgery, and by the time I was really feeling better, autumn was over, winter had swept in and whitened the ground around me. I'm making up for it this year, with long walks in the cemetery near my house, long walks anywhere, I can't get enough of the outdoors, and I revel in the exercise that used to put me out of breath after a few short minutes of trying.

When I look back, I have a hard time believing that so many things have changed. Or rather, that I have made so many changes in my life. I'm starting to get more comfortable with the person I see in the mirror each morning, but more than that, I am acknowledging and honouring the person within, the person who is strong, and capable, and independent, who made all these changes because she wanted something more - and better - than what she had.

Materially, I was dandy. That's about it. Except for my kids, just about everything else rang hollow. I was a wannabe writer who never picked up a pen. I stayed in a sterile relationship because I was afraid. I could not acknowlege, to myself or anyone else, that I was queer. I lived someone else's life - because I was afraid. Afraid of my true nature, the unknown, the depth within that I had never explored, in 42 years of living.

That's not to say that fear doesn't still overtake me at times. I had about a month of uncertainty, of instability, because I wanted to be safe, I wanted what was familiar and stable in my life to keep going. I, the agent of change, wanted to reverse everything, because not moving forward is just so much - easier. In the short term. Ten years from now, I may look back and think that my problems were trivial. It's more likely that I'll see all the pivotal moments, and marvel at my own fortitude all over again.

I am strong and capable. I have never felt this strong, this capable. And for the last week or so, I have had inner calm and peace - a sense of knowing that what I'm doing is right. A knowing - I can be alone, but I need not, if I choose. Right now I choose, because I need time to myself, time to give me the things that I denied myself for years. I'm watching someone else choose differently, and that may be right for him, but I need space. Space to grieve, if I need to (but honestly, I don't feel grief-stricken at all. I think I'm past that).

And who's alone, really? My friends have all crawled out of the woodwork. I'm actually seeking them out, not jsut for support, but because I like them and I want to be around them. And I have the latitude to choose how and where I spend my free time. Nobody brooding in the basement and waiting for my ritual to be over, for people to leave so that he can load the dishwasher and sweep the crumbs. My family haven't really visited since we moved here, and yet all of them came for Thanksgiving, and we had a blast. I'm not alone at all.

In three days he'll be moving out. And I couldn't be happier about it. Now that I have work, I feel like the final piece of the puzzle is together. I don't think life will be much less stressful - after all, the daughter is coming home, and her boyfriend, and the cats. I don't think that life will be suddenly rosy and bright - there will be new stresses, and different things. But I know that I have what it takes to get through this time of great change, this season's pull into darkness and contemplation. And whatever is next for me, good or bad, I'm ready.


Maria said...

See? Sometimes when you just tell yourself to keep one foot in front of the other, it works out.

Even when you are walking and worrying that it never will.

Sinnerviewer said...

Standing with you - I know you'll be great!

Janet said...

You have made a HUGE amount of progress and authentic forward movement in your life.

Be Amazing -- you are!


m.m.sugar said...

At any given moment we can only be where we REALLY are.

Sounds like you know where you are and what the next steps will be.

Those of us who have walked your present walk, though we can't be seen, are right beside you.

Camlin said...

The support of the people who read this blog has meant a lot to me. I've had some pretty dark moments over the last few weeks, and there was always someone out there, encouraging me, telling me it would get better. And it has...I know I face more challenges, but will get there. Thank you all.

weese said...

you are strong...and capable... and perfect.
it's wonderful you know that now.
( did mention you were coming down to rake my leaves -- right? :)

Camlin said...

weese - soon as I can drum up the airfare. Maybe by the fall of 2010. Save me a rake!