I intended this week's blog to be a re-visit of the dreaded phone issue, but that blog wasn't really coming together. Then I decided to write my goals for relationships for the new year, but given that I don't make New Year's resolutions, that felt forced. Instead, I'll write about the mini-meltdown I had yesterday: where in the hell is my life headed?
These thoughts are pretty normal for the new year. New Year's Day is one big holiday hangover for me. I've never enjoyed it and I am always glad for the normalcy of January 2nd. I always feel a little melancholy around New Year's Eve and by New Year's Day, I'm a mess. I'm tired of everything - the last remnants of Christmas cookies, football games, countdowns and reflections on the previous year - everything from music to fashion to movies to Tweets and Facebook posts. I tend to lie in bed and between long naps (hey, just because I'm melancholy doesn't mean I stay home on NYE - I celebrate, and I celebrate well), I have these very existential thoughts about my life and where it's headed.
I am one who tends to take the hardest path possible in everything. I seem to insist on learning my lessons the hard way. I'm not sure where this comes from, but I've learned to embrace this long path and the lessons that come with it. For a very long time I've looked at my life and have felt somewhat like a failure from everything to my education to my career choices to relationships. I have often felt like I should be in a different place in my life - married, 3 kids (two girls and a boy), working on my fourth novel and staying home on Friday nights with the dog curled up at my feet and a fire roaring in the fireplace. Instead, I'm single, no kids, I have trouble even keeping my blog deadline and I'm allergic to dogs.
Funny thing is, I live a very full and happy life. Yes, it's different from what I thought my life would be when I was a kid (remember when 33 seemed very far away?) but when I was a kid, I didn't know any other life was possible. I grew up in a Catholic, Chicano home and while I was never explicitly told what my life choices should be, marriage and babies are just a natural expectation to have - I even have them. When I was a kid I thought I would definitely have kids before I turned 30 because that's just the way it seemed life should be. The trouble I'm having is reconciling the idea of what my life should be and what it really is.
When I sit and really take stock of who I am and the life I lead, things are pretty good. I'm happy and while I've made some pretty questionable choices, the lessons are priceless. I have ideas of what I want tomorrow to look like and I don't want to repeat mistakes from the past, but it's today that I have trouble with. I have a hard time living in the moment that I'm in. Believing that where I'm at right now is exactly where I'm supposed to be is one of the hardest beliefs I've ever tried to incorporate into my life - and one of the most profound. I have a hard time trusting myself, others, the Universe, time and circumstances.
|Albuquerque's North Valley, Summer 2010|
I don't trust that getting into a relationship is ever going to happen for me, and I don't trust that if I do, he'll stick around. Please bear in mind that I don't make these fears up because I'm bored or dramatic; I've had enough experiences that have reinforced that fear.
I wrote before that I'm always waiting for the ground to slip underneath me, and when discussing this with my friend M. the other day, she asked me what entering a relationship without that fear would look like. I had no idea how to answer her and I still don't, but her question made me realize that nothing that anyone else can do can make that feeling go away. After all this time, I have realized that my quest for a relationship is just one more form of proof - one more way of knowing that someone, anyone, cares for me, thinks of me, desires me - loves me. My quest has had nothing to do with wanting partnership; it had to do with feeling wanted and it's a horrible reason to get into a relationship.
I've recently chosen to be patient. I've stopped dating but I'm not on strike. I'm simply waiting. This choice to wait has taken me to the depths of my issues around relationships, abandonment and rejection. I don't trust that I'm doing the right thing by waiting (and in waiting, discovering myself). I haven't been able to articulate what I want - what I truly want - from this process and I've had a hard time even explaining it to the outside world. The one glimmer of hope in this is that the thoughts are beginning to make sense, the ideas are taking shape and there is now meaning to the words I use to describe this path. Walk with me, dear reader, I'll tell you a story...
To be continued.
Next time: Part Two