Pondering Captivity

The Cage

No matter how gilded the cage,
It’s still naught but a cage;
And I, how could I willingly submit to captivity?

I refuse to be your magnificent beast
Hidden away in your den.
Does a lion not lose its eminence
When captured from its pride?
And is a little band of gold
Supposed to buy my soul?

If you try to force my love,
I will disappear,
And you will be left to wonder,
Was she ever really here?

10/10/95

I know I am a 42 year old woman. I know that I am white. I know that I have a college education. I know that I am a business owner. I am a mother of two grown children. Beyond that, I am lost. It is fascinating to me that in the span of a very few months, my life has been radically transformed, and faster than I ever could have imagined. I think about this often on my weekly drives from Fort Myers to Key Largo and back.

When I began this blog a few months ago, I could never have imagined the radical changes that would come swiftly in my life. It is frightening just how completely altered my life had become. I went from living in a 3 bedroom home of 5 years to living in an RV, to then floating around. I went from a large 1700sf office to renting a suite within a wellness center, to wrapping up my business. I went from having my children at home to watching them both launch out into the world on their own. I watched my partner move to a new city and wait patiently for me to join him.

I feel something like a spectator at my own funeral. I am still hanging on to my old life, like a specter. Rather than fully embracing the new reality that I was eagerly seeking, I haunt my old life. My friends know that I am still around, but I am not included, because I am not fully committed. Am I in? Am I out? Am I in town? Have I left?

I remember 15 years ago traveling in Ireland. I had just arrived in Galway, and checked into my bed and breakfast. It suddenly hit me that I was completely alone for the first time in my life. I realized that if I disappeared, no one would even know for a couple of weeks. It was absolutely terrifying, and I broke down crying. I realized at that moment that I had never really giving myself a chance to grow. I had embraced family life, and it had suffocated me. That moment made such an impression on me, that I believe it has colored many choices that I have made over the past few years.

Now, I see that I have somehow maneuvered myself into a new opportunity to revisit that moment. I have a chance at a do over. I am alone. Most nights, I sit alone and work on my business, read, watch HBO online, chat with a few friends on Facebook, maybe go over to a friend’s home for a bit. I know that I am in a Purgatory of my own making. and I’m not exactly upset about it. I enjoy having my old life in Fort Myers, and my weekend life with my man in Key Largo.

I also recognize that this cannot endure indefinitely. I do not know if I linger out of fear, or longing, or practicality. I create stories in my mind that completely rationalize the choices I am making. I do not regret the choices I have made, but perhaps I would have liked them to be a little slower in materializing. Note to self…when you ask for something, you may want to specify a timeline.

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