I started to begin this post by alluding to the fact that it's been one year since my life changed. But it would be better stated to say that it's been one year since my life BEGAN to change. Every single day there's something new that blows my mind as to how different the day to day stuff has become for me.
I park wherever I want to wherever I go. I used to have to strategically plan parking at any public lot. There had to be room enough for me to get out of my truck (meaning a car couldn't be parked on the driver's side) and I had to be close enough to the door so that my heart wouldn't explode while walking into wherever I was going.
This sounds silly - but when walking from the parking deck to my office used to be five or 10 minutes of sheer panic. "Folks are watching the fat guy walking and sweating" (even if in February.) "Folks are walking up behind the fat guy and walking around him because he's too slow...we're winners and he's a loser!!" I would stop and act like I was reading the headlines on the newspaper at the machine posted by the stairs. I was actually getting up enough breath to take another twenty or thirty steps. I now make a mad dash from truck to desk because I can. I park as far as away as possible and dash. If I hear anyone walking behind me I walk faster, certain that whoever is putting down the footsteps I'm hearing is one of the goobers that used to pass me and make me feel like crap about myself. (No, I'm not THAT stupid...I know the folks that passed me were just going about their day and weren't giving me a second thought...that's just how my mind worked in those days.)
I've actually been the recipient of some direct flirtations. One night at the ballpark a young lady asked me for my phone number. I figure she'd just turned her back on some vows and escaped from the convent and hadn't seen a man in years. I might've lost a substantial amount of weight but Brad Pitt I ain't. Anyway, I assured this poor soul that I was very happily married. I told my bride the whole story and she was torn between being wanting to strangle the guilty party or thank her for boosting my ego. I told her she had no worries...there was a time in my life when I thought drunk girls were pretty cool. Now I just think they're a pain in the butt.
I now walk into stores and try on things at random. Even things I would never wear, I try them on. Do you know how good it felt to walk through a big & tall store a few weeks ago and have a hard time finding stuff because everything was too big?
Along with the good has been some bad. Mother's gone. Aunt Jean's gone. But I really do believe that the fact that my life is once again my own makes the hurts a bit easier to manage. I can't imagine what it would've been like to have still been miserable and hating myself while I watched the woman that raised me slip away. I really do think it's something I wouldn't have recovered from. Now I can live the life she gave me and can make her proud while doing it. I think she'd be most pleased that I've spent more time this summer at baseball games than I have in the last ten years combined (literally.) Going to baseball games and getting paid for it???? She'd be most pleased.