Update on that beautiful man who disappeared from my life abruptly earlier this year. He came back and when he did he had exceptionally valid reasons for disappearing and well, long story short, we’re still seeing each other.
I dropped him off at the airport earlier and I have a strong feeling of security after this recent visit that I didn’t have before. I am so grateful and happy and sweetly sad after his departure. I may be well trained in absence, but goodbyes on any level are still hard. As is the case with all things, it’ll take about two weeks for the both of us to completely return to normalcy. When I would go to visit my mom, it took us both about two weeks to recover and return to our previous states of mind. That’s essentially the same rulebook in this case.
I’m trying my best to stay focused on the future and the road ahead. I’ve started mentally planning my next moves towards advancing my online art store. I’m already contacting friends for yoga and rock climbing. I’ve just submitted 2/4 graduate school applications. I’m on my way towards my future and this time, after his visit I feel two things: a pressure in my chest and a lightness in my step. It’s the most confusing feeling. It’s infinitely better than it was before.
I guess I feel a little like I’m on one of those elevator floors at the airport: moving faster than I would if I were walking but still like my feet aren’t firmly on the ground and I’m floating through space. I’m being propelled through my life without complete engagement which is a really unique feeling to me since I’ve been driven by the conviction that life is not meaningful without intention and purpose. So instead of being drawn to apathy, it has somehow been forced upon me. I stay ever so slightly disengaged so that I don’t have to feel as intensely. It’s not really sad, mad, upset, excited, nothing. It’s a weird contentedness I’m not familiar with. Except when I’m with him.
When my mom was away, it felt like I was missing a part of my identity. This time, I feel like I’m missing a part of my personality. Which is bizarre and yet, makes sense to me at the same time.
We had a wonderful time and I was blessed with more experiences than I really thought would happen. I am happier now than I was when he wasn’t in my life so really, I am aware of how lucky I am. I just hope time starts to blur again and I feel like myself soon. I miss the crap out of him and I wish things were different than they are. I am powerless to change them and I accept that but I still wish it wasn’t so.
I have never been so busy in my life. When I say busy, I mean exhausted. In the past, I’ve had plenty of time to sleep or pursue my interests, or even just go a day without putting make up on. I did not realize how spoiled I was. Working various part time jobs may have impacted my paycheck, but it always left me with this feeling that I hadn’t reached my “peak” yet; there was more to be done on the horizon.
Now, I have this great full-time opportunity at an amazing nonprofit and I’ve come to realize a few things:
- I need to work freelance
- I hate working 9-5
- I’d like to make more money
- If this weren’t a temporary position before going to grad school, I wouldn’t be here long
But I also love my job. I love the people I work with. I love doing what I do. I really really love my job. I also love that this is temporary and directional.
I would like to keep in mind that I’ve been going to school full-time and working full-time and completing grad school apps all at once. Going forward, I’ve completed my degree (as of this week), and submitted my first application. I submit my second (and 1st choice school) in the next week or so. That’s 2/4 schools done. My next submissions aren’t until February. I’m so grateful and happy. I used the “future memory” of graduation to get me through these last few months and boy, now that it’s here, it’s exactly what I thought it would feel like.
The best news is that my mom is experiencing her first set of holidays home.
I think because I’ve never known what I was missing, I just sort of assumed the holidays would always suck. I assumed that every awkward gathering would always be awkward. I assumed that every visit would be a full-blown interrogation. This year is already different. There are no uncomfortable, direct questions about her. My life has suddenly become my own.
What’s stranger still is that I’ve been enlightened to how cool my family is and I never knew that before. Last night after we went to my brother’s grandparent’s house, in the car ride home, I was able to ask her about the bloodline relationships that had never made sense to me. She told me stories about my hard-ass relatives that made me laugh and smile. Suddenly, those 2D people became dynamic characters in my life story. I’ve already got mental plans to ask them to lunch. I’m curious to know them better.
I’d never before understood how vital family history is to personal identity. It amazes me how incomplete I felt before she got home, all the ways I’d tried to fill myself up or redefine who I was. It makes sense why I felt the urge to do that now. I really was missing something I couldn’t understand. My holiday gifts have been invaluable this year.
I know a fear of death is unwise
We all seem to meet our inevitable demise
But I can’t seem to rise
From the darkness inside
My mind is rattled
My speech is shattered
And I fixate on the fractures of time
I know we’ll be back again
But never the same men and women
And the fear that I feel
Makes me sink back and heel
I can’t imagine it ending
The time keeps moving
If only things would stop
Or something like that at all
I don’t want to die
I don’t want to lose
What if this is the end
And all this time I’ve believed in something more
And it’s just not there
I don’t want to die
I don’t want anyone to die
But I know it will end
And I’m already missing everyone
And we’re all still breathing
And I know I’m panicking
My lips are cracked
I’m so desperate for something
Movement of any kind
I’m sick of this immobility
I’ve been walking on eggshells since the day we met
I’ve had nothing but trouble
Some sugar has been mixed in there
To hide the taste
But an apple a day won’t keep the doctor away
I don’t want to try
I’m so parched
Give me anything
I’m tired of NOT fighting about things that matter
Conflicting values, fundamental differences
I know who I am
I know what I want
Why am I here?
Sometimes I wonder if all I’m doing is collecting guests for my funeral. Which sounds macabre but if I don’t expect to see a return on my life’s work in terms of money, fame, or power, what is the alternative? I really do actively try to help people better their lives. I imagine all the people I’ve kept close over the years and I think about the times where my happiness has come second to theirs and I think, ‘if I died tomorrow, would they show up?’
I’m not a martyr. I just think back to the friends and ex boyfriends and family whose happiness I helped guide. My ex boyfriend for example will lead a tremendously happier life because of all the things he learned from me and through me. He learned a lot about himself and his values and his goals in life. He came out of it a better person and so did I. There are a lot of times I think to myself, ‘I’d be at theirs’.
There’s a song by WHY? that has a line that when I first heard it a few years ago, shook me. “Yours is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere”. Recently at an orientation for work, we watched a TEDtalk about the impact your actions can have on other people. It was really inspirational but it emphasized the value of expressing your gratitude when someone has helped you change for the better in some way. It could be any minute action, it could even be inaction. What rings true each time is the ripples it affected on a person’s lifetime.
My brother’s dad died when I was a teenager. I remember being so sad for my brother because my mom was in jail and his dad died young. He lost both parents that day and I still wonder how much happier he might be if he didn’t know that kind of loss.
But the thing I remember most about the funeral was how many people showed up to mourn him. The church wasn’t small and there were hundreds of people there. They stood in rows against the walls, people crowded in from outside. There were countless stories about his life and the impact his actions had on the world around him and I can’t help but think about all the people at his funeral. I don’t know if this makes me a narcissist or selfish but it’s not like I’m going out of my way to accumulate guests. I really do just want to help people at the end of the day. I’m not seeking recognition beyond knowing that because I tried everything I could, someone out there is going to find their own happiness too. But also sometimes, it’s nice to know if what I’m doing has any real value at all for anyone but myself. This isn’t about self doubt because I know that what I do does help people. I guess it’s just a passing thought as I do laundry on a Sunday night.
They say hearts grow fonder with distance
I know mine would not change
Tomorrow as it feels today
It would not grow stronger or deeper
It is already stretched too full
And when you’re gone,
It simply goes to sleep and wakes again with your touch
The feeling of your skin
Your sweet smile
I know no other hands than your fingers in my mind
I see no other eyes than yours in mine
I am stronger with each parting
Missing is weak
In comparison to this feeling now
Missing is not real
Because I keep you so close
I’m sitting next to her
She died beneath the Buddha
The sound of chimes and bells
Singing in the wind
I can’t smell her yet
But the flies won’t leave her alone
My poor little one
I knew her time was soon
I bought her a bed
They mailed it today
A little too late