We don’t usually discuss The Norwegian. I am content with Advisor Girl steering me in the direction of career success. I love that she helps me strategize, establish boundaries, set pricing schedules and expand my business. She says there’s more than career in fixing the whole me. Damn.
“You got married so young. Now is the time for you to live your twenties and thirties as women do now, as a free woman.” She acknowledges this would not be my first choice but what is, is. She looks at a photo of family on the table between us. “I know he was exceptional. You had a love most people never have. I have never had it. But you must realize there are other exceptional people.”
I argue, as is my habit whenever we steer too close to the rocks of widowhood. I am not interested. She says that is fine but I cannot be shut off as it shuts off more things than just a man–it shuts off the energy of all things being able to flow into my life.
She says she knows how much he loved me. One tear falls. The floodgates of my heart strain under their burden. There is panic only widows know. If the finger is pulled from the dike, will we be washed away in the flood, unable to paddle hard enough to prevent drowning?
“Talk to me. Say it,” she says. There are no words. Only the wave of my hand. “Use your words. Tell me.” How do I tell her I do not believe anyone can understand the dagger pierced through my heart, the piece of me that was suddenly chopped off, that I believe no man can hold my heart again or ever. That the only person who ever got me, and was not afraid, is just gone, in an instant on a sunny day in the woods. How do I say these things when my lessons have been to be mindful of my words; to be so very careful of what I allow to emerge aloud?
She prods again that I must get out more. “You must not close yourself off to love. You are too young. You are too pretty. Do not shut yourself away.” She is not necessarily talking marriage or a duplication of The Norwegian. She is talking about all humans needing to be open to love from all sources.
“This is self-imposed. The universe is not doing this. He is not doing this. You are. You are shutting yourself away.” I know if I speak only the squeaky, high-pitched, ugly cry words that make no sense will result. She talks. I cry. She asks how much I hate her in this moment. Quite a bit. Crying Girl is not my schtick.
“You do not deserve this. You must treat yourself better. Don’t live with ghosts. Honor them and love them. It’s heartbreaking for you–I know this. I’m going to poke those soft places. We all suffer in silence. That should not be.” And then adds, “Write this down. This is your story.” I much prefer oversharing of the humorous kind; not the soul bearing variety.
It baffles me she knows and has the balls to say that which none of my friends will say. I know she is right–that I have created a distance between myself and the world and the walls must come down, brick by brick, to make room for dreams.
“You hate me right now for saying this. You hate me for helping you but you are changing and one day you won’t need me anymore. This is my gift, as your gift is writing. This is how I give back my gift. I have to break you first to whip you into place. People don’t change otherwise. They need a catalyst. I light them on fire.” At this moment, I am ablaze.
What she tells me next surprises me. A lot.