Recently there was a very thoughtful post that Meredith put up over at New Twist... It talked about the double lives most of us live when ttwd becomes part of our marriage. It's true. I certainly do not have any intention of sharing this lifestyle choice at work or with members of my family. I am careful of what I talk about and don't talk about. Sam and I maintain passwords on our computers. I am cautious about our "toy box" and its contents. So, yes, there is a secret life I guard diligently.
In my head, though, the division between the so called "secret life" and the "real life" has become a little fuzzy. When I went to make a comment on Mere's post, I realized this and referred to it as
"...the Bigger Question."
Which Me is the Real Me?
The "real" used to apply to my time with family and at work. The "secret" used to describe my precious time with only Sam. After more than 2 and 1/2 years, though, I find that the way I act and speak in my "real" life has changed drastically. I am conscious of
my behaviors and the things I say and view them both through the eyes of a ttwd wife. A little like Ella Through the Looking Glass. I know it is a huge change because the people in my "real" life not only notice but make comments and ask questions. I've said it before. For me, this kind of fulfillment and happiness shines through any secret I may wish to keep.
Then if I look at what used to be my "secret" life, I find I covet this time to such a degree that it usurps my "real" life. Sam and ttwd is where I feel most truly myself, and the time I spend away from him is less and less appealing.
So, this far into a ttwd relationship, my real self has a lot of my ttwd self, too. Sounds a bit schizophrenic, but I don't know how else to explain it. Like I said, the delineation of those separate MEs is very fuzzy.
So my ttwd self, Ella, is quickly becoming my real self, and it feels so right. And the person that I present to the rest of the world is a whole lot more Ella than she used to be.
Are we all thoroughly confused?
Now, let's examine further this "double lives" train of thought - relationships with family and friends. In some ways my connections with these important people are as strong as ever - maybe even better, because there's a whole lot less anger or moodiness that causes me to pull away from others. On the other hand, and this is hard to say, I don't think the connection is quite as strong, especially with friends I had before ttwd.
I cannot truly be myself with them anymore, and I do not feel as close to them as I once did. We still get together regularly to catch up on each others' lives, have a dinner out, do some shopping, attend a party, or catch a movie. I still have fun. But there is a subtle change in the personal dynamic, and there is so much I cannot share. No matter what, keeping a secret from a friend or loved one will put a little distance between you. I think it is unavoidable.
|To My Blogland Friends|
This change does not make me melancholy at all because much of the support and love that friends give one another takes place in blogland, too. You may not be able to physically hold my hand during a difficult time, but I know you are all there. I feel the camaraderie. I enjoy the wit and humor and the wise advice that is shared. And most of all, I am at ease and feel I am accepted. This was never more true than it was on a recent adventure with 5 very special spanky ladies.
A very dear blog friend out there sent me a lovely greeting one day not so long ago. It said,
"You and I are more than friends.
We're like a really small gang."
That made me smile a mile wide. This little blogland gang shares a common purpose and a common perspective. And the friends I have here are just as "real" as the sun coming up in the morning. They brighten my life and bring me great happiness.
So the next time somebody says to you,
You can smile and reply,
"Oh, if you only knew."