Despite what else you may have heard or what preconceptions you have of the word, I am hereby declaring “fickle” to be an emotion. It’s the only way I can articulate the feelings of relief and grief that I am experiencing with increased frequency these days.
For the record, dictionary.com tells us that “fickle” is an adjective meaning “likely to change, especially due to caprice, irresolution, or instability; casually changeable.” It derives from old English words meaning “to deceive” or “to cheat.” It will earn you 15 points in scrabble, 17 points in words with friends, and is absolutely worthless as a character trait in a person. But as an emotion it has value. So here is the new definition:
Fickle [fik-uh l] noun; 1) an emotion; 2) the simultaneous feeling of conflicting feelings; “She felt fickle as her divorce was moving forward.”
I was told today that our joint checking account would be closed. It would just take a phone call and I didn’t need to be there. I am relieved because our joint finances have been a huge source of anxiety. Separating them would have been something I pushed for even if we had reconciled. I am grieved because it feels so very anticlimactic. To not even be needed for the process is telling of the complete demise of the relationship.
I think I was relying on closing this account as a source of closure. Being told it was going to happen as an “oh-by-the-way” comment was anything but. Therefore, as a writer, I chose to find closure in taking the opportunity to re-purpose an otherwise dubious word.
I’m feeling fickle and I’m OK with that for now!