The one thing I never for a second considered as a viable project was myself. Here and there, I'd try to address my own issues, of course, but it wasn't a project that I considered a major priority.
I realize now that when Dave died I gave up all my projects. I quit teaching, and moved to the city.
Making myself and my own happiness and healing a priority never seemed viable before, but suddenly it was just me. No more teaching, no more garden, no more marriage.
I struggle against the idea of making myself my first priority. I keep trying to add new projects.
Go back to school! Get a job! Start a business! DO SOMETHING whether you want to or not! says a part of me.
It is beginning to dawn on me that I've been doing this because I never believed I was a worthy project. I guess I thought it was too indulgent for me to focus only on myself.
Now, I've been slowly allowing for the possibility that it's okay to make myself my one and only priority. It doesn't make me selfish or indulgent or immature to do so.
The other day I read an article in a magazine about a woman named Carrie who was in the empty nest phase so she quit her job to find out what she wanted out of life. She was taking all kinds of classes and learning new things and simply having fun. She called it "Carrie University" and suddenly, something in my mind shifted. Dedicating this time in my life to myself isn't something to be ashamed of. I didn't recoil when I read about Carrie. I didn't think "Ew, how selfish of her!" I thought "Wow! What a courageous and awesome way to look at a new phase in her life!".
I will think of this phase in my life as Me University. I will learn all I can about myself and what I like to do. I will, for the first time in my LIFE, make myself a priority. And I WON'T feel guilty about it!!!
Well, I'll probably feel a little guilty, but I won't let it stop me.
I didn't choose this new phase of life for myself. I don't want it and I'd trade it in to have Dave back, but I can't. Instead I will make ME my new project.