Inside Pieces

I used to read a lot of chick lit books, girly stuff.
Not the raunchy, sex filled romance type novels, but books that had characters who could be your friend or your sister, the girl next door.
They seemed like they could be real.
The things that happened to them and that they dealt with, could be true.
I used to lose myself in those books, feeling like my emotions, my struggles and dreams weren’t so far fetched.
They weren’t as singular to just my life as I sometimes felt.
I know they aren’t real but they could be.
They are very believable.

I put away the self-help, motivational books (not forever, just for now) and I hit the library with my boys.
Less than 10 minutes in the library and I had 5 books in my arms.
I checked them all out, determined that I would put my phone down for a little while every night and I would read the books I used to love so much.

I let myself get lost in one the past few days.
The newest novel by one of my favorite authors.
The main character just turned 33.
She has had the same job since she graduated from high-school, has been in dead end relationship after dead end relationship.
When something tragic happens to her, she realizes she is destined for more, that she has been stuck and that it isn’t OK with her.
She decides that she is done settling for mediocre and starts to change her life, striving for great.
Of course along the way she starts dating a sexy football player and a few other things that aren’t so likely to happen, but the main story-line was refreshing to read, real.

I’m not done with the book.
When I start reading it I don’t want to put it down.
I love to read.
I always have.
Reading in a bubble bath used to be my way of unwinding after a stressful day.
Just an hour in the evenings after the kids were in bed was enough to refresh me.
I don’t know when I stopped doing that.
I know somehow I convinced myself that those books were garbage, trash that was just cluttering my mind.
I never really watched TV, I never laid around being lazy watching marathon Jerry Springer episodes or anything like that.
I had my chick lit books and my bubble baths.
At the end of a stressful day I would read.
Books like the one I described earlier.
Women that had been through a divorce and found happiness after the darkness.
Girlfriends that were always there for each other, motivating and loving each other.
It isn’t garbage.
Fiction yes, but not trash.

When I started going though my divorce I realized all of the things I had given up.
My dancing, my friends, my happiness.
Big things, things that changed me, me as a person, me as S.
I started trying to throw myself into things to keep me busy, to keep my mind from stalling on the tragedy that was right in front of me.
I didn’t deal with things that needing to be dealt with.
I started going and going and I went at full speed, never stopping, never thinking.
It was almost like I had attached myself to a school of fish, swimming in unison.
When they turned around, I turned around.
When they swam up, I swam up.
Down? OK.
It kept me busy but it wasn’t a healthy choice either.

Swimming in a large group doesn’t allow you to define yourself.
Self-help, self-improvement, motivational books are great.
I enjoy reading them.
I get a lot out of them.
I will keep adding to my collection.
I love my chick lit books too though.
I love a good book in my bubble bath.

No one said I couldn’t read them, I just stopped.
I stopped because that wasn’t what I was around, it wasn’t what they were doing.
Who though?
Who wasn’t reading those kind of books and why did it matter to me?
Actually, I don’t know anyone else that read those books when I was married and reading them.
I just read them because I wanted to, I liked to and it was relaxing for me.

I didn’t just lose myself during my marriage.
I didn’t find myself after it started falling apart either.
Actually, I think I lost more of myself after.
What was left of S was slowly disappearing post marriage as well.
I was so lost that I kept losing me.
I don’t know if anyone else can relate to that or if it only makes sense to me, but I can only relate it to the fact that I really had no clue how to be me anymore.

Kind of like a puzzle, you start with the outer pieces, the frame, the pieces that hold it all together; then you build the middle, the inside, the pretty part, the heart of the puzzle.
I lost the middle during my marriage, but the frame, the pieces that held me together, that made me S, those started disappearing as well.
The things I loved, the things I craved, the things that made me smile.
I let all of that go.
How awful.
My pieces didn’t fit.
I didn’t even know where the box that held the stupid puzzle was for awhile.

Sitting by the pool reading this book, letting it relax me, consume me for a little while felt almost nostalgic.
A feeling of calmness.
Laying the kids down and grabbing my book, so simple yet so huge at the same time.
It’s something I hadn’t allowed myself to do in years.
There wasn’t time, there was always stuff to do, to plan, to figure out, to analyze, to clean, to organize.
I was doing to myself the same things I was angry at my ex for doing to me.
What a revelation!
I was doing to myself the same things I was angry at him for doing to me
I was making excuses, not making time.

I know it’s just a book.
I know it’s something small.
Something simple.
Just read the stupid book.
I know I don’t have to justify that guilty pleasure to anyone.
I know I can read whatever I want.
Heck I can really do whatever I want now, I don’t have to justify anything to anyone.
That’s what makes this book a big deal; because I finally did.
I finally did what I wanted to.
I made time for me.
I let myself begin doing something that I know makes me happy, relaxes me.
Something that does absolutely nothing for anyone else…

I have the box the puzzle came in and the outside pieces might not be all done yet but I went ahead and started working on the middle.
I think I thought I already was.
Now I know I am.




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