Learning to live without that person then becomes a study in learning how to live with the truest form of yourself.
For instance, imagine that your partner hated cheese and you loved cheese. Their hatred of cheese wouldn't make you love cheese any less, but it might make you shy away from making things with cheese or insisting that it's not a real baked potato if it isn't covered in cheddar. If that partner were disgusted by the sight of cheese, you might not even order cheesy things in a restaurant. Then, without even really realizing it, you'd start eliminating casseroles, pizza and queso from your diet. You'd grow to really enjoy other creamy things for sandwiches: like avocado or cream cheese spread. And then, without the anti-cheese element in your life, you'd discover all over again how very, very much you loved cheese.*
But most things aren't that obvious. Most things are slower and quieter and you don't even realize what you're doing. In the past year, I've learned a lot about myself. A lot I honestly didn't know. And I thought I'd share some things.
- I am a control freak, but not as much as I thought - I mean, I like being in control. That's just my personality. But I'm not as horribly controlling as I always thought. Some of that perception was what I heard over and over again. And some of it was feeling more and more out of control as things went down the rabbit hole. But really? I possess a perfectly normal desire for control.
- I don't hate to shop - I kind of like to shop. So long as it's not for bathing suits. Or bras. Or cars. I practically break out in hives every time someone asks me what I'm "looking to get into." A casket. I'm looking to get into a casket. So I don't have to talk to you anymore. Thanks.
- I'm funny - I used to get frustrated and tell people that I was funnier in Kansas. Because people used to laugh at me. I had this feeling that I wasn't supposed to be the funny one and so I buried my funny instincts. I mean, I'm no Gilda Radner, but I'm funnier than I thought. I could totally be the funny one.
Part of this journey has been about reminding myself that I am not such a bad sort. I kinda rock. I just forgot about it.
*I have a ridiculous head cold, so forgive me if this makes zero sense. Unicorns! And drinking glasses! And cheese!