Wide Open Spaces

I’m leaving my home state in 21 days. It’s been hitting me slowly with different things over the last few months. I love my family dearly but having them has kept me from growing up. Mostly, because I lean on them so much for support and also because I know they won’t go anywhere. It has translated to me still living at home, going to college nearby, limiting my relationships with potential friends, and meant that I never really 100% committed to living independently. I don’t mean financial independence. That has long since been my way of life. I mean, I’ve never lived without the comfort of knowing my family is close by if I’m in trouble or sad or just plain lonely.

And with all these “lasts” piling up in front of me, I’m realizing how finite the time left is. There really are no more “maybe next week” or “maybe next month” statements. There’s a lot of “maybe down the line”. Which is weirdly heartbreaking. Mostly, my family is getting older. My dad is in his late 60s, my aunt is in her 70s, the list goes on. I may only be 26 but I’m surrounded by seniors. Seniors who have a finite amount of time left. Just like me right now as the days count down until I get in my car and drive towards my future.

I have been so focused on all the negative things about being home: cramped quarters, stressful commitments, being pulled in a million directions by a million needy people. I think it has helped me handle the sadness, even if I wasn’t aware of it until now. I have made it a point to be content and grateful for the beautiful things in my life too. But I am also hit with this overwhelming sense of despair at how lucky I am to have so many absolutely irreplaceable people in my life. They are wonderfully strange and complex and I love them with my entire existence.

Today, I am sad I will be going. For the first time since I made my decision to pursue my graduate program outside of California, I have a rock deep in my gut. Maybe I’ve secretly held onto my childhood, unwilling to let it go. I keep asking people around me, were you sad when you left home? Some say yes, but mostly, they say no. I don’t have this terrible life to escape from, even if I’m still running away. I pray I don’t wake up one day and years have gone by and I’m surrounded by gravestones whose times I’ve missed all because I made a selfish decision in my twenties. Leaving home is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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4/19/19 7:21pm

Feeling boxed in by my life

But hey the bags on the ground outside

I can’t even hit it quit it or slip it

I wish I was anywhere but here

In time I’ll see what changes bring

New beginnings and hope and shiny things

Anything but here

Even my anxiety is alive when I’m sitting

Because I’m stirring

And hating the things in front of my eyes

I feel reckless and crazy and I want to be outside

I can’t create or make art or feel happy inside

Apathy is my worst enemy

And it makes me feel crazy but lovely and I know tomorrow is going to suck so badly

But fuck it, I’m young and I’m free

And I’m single

And I’m alive and living

So I’ll go dancing and bring a little luster to my duster and remember what it feels like to be 26 and me

Escapism on a Friday afternoon

Dear you know who

Apparently I’m mad at you. I didn’t realize it actually. Still, I feel pretty numb about it all. I guess mostly because I don’t feel I can blame you for everything. Some, yes. All, no. Which means that all my feelings have been largely stuffed into some sort of cubby in my body and the ease with which I compartmentalize my emotions for you startles me.

I’ve been told I’m mad, frustrated, sad. I don’t really know how to be mad at you anymore. I’m mad in general, yes. Mad that there’s more you could be doing to appease my loneliness sure. But mostly I’m mad that you’re silent and expect me to leave. After a year and a half, I’m still here.

I haven’t asked for anything but I need communication. Any. Communication. You could literally say NOTHING important, just “hey” and I would be flipping backhand springs down the street. That’s how starved for communication I am. I feel no connection from you even if I feel it deeply, for you.

This week has been harder than usual because I’m not able to unfocus from the delight of a promise of new beginnings last weekend. I got a taste of my future and it was DAMN sweet. Being back home is just plain depressing and there’s still so much time left before I can leave and start my new graduate program.

I just wish I was in school right now; anything to keep me occupied. Because I’m depressed, I’m not motivated to create. Maybe I should do it anyways. That’s why I’m writing right now I suppose. I’m not even sure that depressed is the right word. I can feel my hormones in flux currently so I don’t think that’s helping but for the most part I’m experiencing my most detested emotion: apathy. Like the lights in my soul are out.

I hate this feeling and I don’t know if it’s because of you, body chemicals, or being back in this fucked up town. It’s probably a nice, holistic blend of them all. I think I’m just going to go play video games. 

Welcome to dating in 2019: 101

I feel like I need to defend my love for my mother before the introduction of the next sentence: my mother has entered the modern dating world. I wanted to start by saying “I love my mom but —“ or “it’s so nice having her home but —“ and end it with something like “she drives me crazy” or “she’s a newborn babe”. The truth is, she is not prepared for the modern dating world. SHE BARELY KNOWS HOW TO USE HER PHONE.

She’s so prepared to react defensively and aggressively to any spurn, that she takes EVERYTHING personally and that’s just not a healthy reaction for her to instinctively hone. She got ghosted. A guy she started talking to essentially ditched her and she’d already given up her cookies (just found that out in the most crude presentation one could imagine) and while I don’t want to judge her or tell her what to do, SHE SHOULD NOT BE DATING.

Her head spins around CONSTANTLY. She can barely focus on one conversation long enough before she starts jumping to a new topic and while I have endless patience for her, my patience for stupid mistakes with regards to love and dating is pretty much nil.

She is forgetful (SO forgetful), rigid (she subscribes to absolutes), her goals are skewed (in her defense, she lost 13 years of progressing in a career/life/security), and she’s exceptionally quick to jump from one emotion to the next, akin to squirrels jumping trees. If I wasn’t leaving town so soon, I fear my patience for her would be much lower than it is right now. I am an adult. I am not a babysitter.

And while venting in this moment is super helpful, I realized how much her behavior tonight at the mall, focusing on her problems about her self-worth in a relationship with a man, has triggered me. COMPLETELY triggered me. If life taught her anything, it should have been: stop putting your dating problems into your children’s laps. A boundary has been crossed and I don’t know how to react to it. Am I supposed to be supportive of her selfish antics? Am I supposed to reprimand her like a parent? Am I supposed to —?

I mean, I’m at a loss. I invited her to the mall to help me shop for a shirt for this really important interview, I’m leaving soon for grad school, I’m inviting her into my evening of excitement and nerves, and there she is taking phone calls from friends in the car, texting, talking about a man she slept with WAY TOO SOON and getting knee-jerkingly defensive the moment I ask (with no judgement involved!) her anything. Do I want to hear that they were — AND I QUOTE– “f***ing”? Do I want to imagine her that way? Is it fair to want these boundaries? Is it fair to be triggered? Is it fair to be supportive? Should I disguise my honesty in sugar?

What is the proper way to proceed? Is there a guidebook somewhere?

I’m just so tired. I have to be on a plane approximately 24 hours and this trip is a big flipping deal for me and instead, I was awash in relationship advice. I mean… is that fair to me? Am I being selfish? What is a relationship if not reciprocation?

I don’t talk about my relationship problems with her that often. I don’t really have any beyond the fact that he lives in a different state than I do. Which seems like a doozie, but in actuality is a blessing because I’ve been overwhelmingly productive and driven by the distance: faithful, committed, and all the while crushing goals. I’m not mad, but beyond wishing for a different circumstance, change is beyond my control. I accept that. I do my best not to dwell or share my misery with my company.

I’m not sure what to tell her. The truth?

1/28 12:59am

I left you a gift without a word
You received it quietly
Like a secret between us
I wonder if you’ll keep it

Or hide it somewhere
Maybe you’ll display it
Or trash it right away

I wish I had a better understanding
Of your feelings and desires
Those things turning in your head

Instead, it’s so quiet out here
And relentlessly ongoing in my world
I’m mixing emotions more than colors
And painting with fear

1/29 11:48pm

You’re wearing a mask
Strictly reacting
Siphoning energy from events around you
It’s unsettling how fast it happens

Time has blurred and suspended together
The end point remains below the horizon line

I’m gripping desperately at the moments
Where time made sense
And the mask laid at your neck,
Your eyes exposed
A smile bared

Even music is hollowed

12/26/17 11:51pm

My lips are cracked

I’m starving

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’ll go

I’m tired of NOT fighting about things that matter

Conflicting values, fundamental differences

Inconsolable conviction

I know who I am

I know what I want

Why am I here?