|by 23236076@N06 via Flickr|
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
I've been working on a jigsaw puzzle for the last few months and I find myself having some deep thinks as I shuffle through the pieces, trying to arrange them into their full, predestined picture (which is fitting considering that's what I'm trying to do with my life in general). On my more sullen days, as I turn the pieces this way and that, I tend to think about how lonely I am and how my dad is probably worrying about me being taken care of, but how I can't really imagine being in a relationship right now. At the same time, I find myself to be a little dissatisfied with the lack of depth I have with the two guys I've been seeing casually lately. Which brings me back to feeling lonely. In my really morose moments, those thoughts devolve into how I kind of want kids (clock is ticking after all), but how can I justify bringing someone into this world to only have them deal with the pain I'm dealing with right now when I die?
In the end, my dad always just wanted me to be happy. If I started talking about doing something that he couldn't quickly see would lead to my happiness or betterment, he would ask me why I was even bothering. Now that he's not here to check me on that, I've got to do it myself.
I know that it's nearly pointless to question why I want to get married or have kids in the wake of my dad's passing. My knee jerk reaction is clearly tainted by my recent over sensitivity to mortality. I know it's senseless to think about denying myself the full range of the human experience because I'm afraid of going down this path again and wondering how the hell I could ever withstand this much pain again. But that still hasn't stopped me from thinking about how awful it would be to have a husband and to have children and then die, forcing them in my current position. It just seems so selfish. But, I mean, I already have friends and my other family members who are still alive that would have to go through that if I were to die right now, so, since I can't spare everyone, why even bother trying to spare anyone? At this point, my thoughts tend to spiral into nonsense. I think it just goes back to the happiness question. Would I be happier starting a family and setting them up for devastation or would I be happier abstaining from the whole thing?
Ultimately, I know myself well enough to know that I don't think I could remain single for that long even if I tried. I couple easily and naturally, so I don't really stand a chance dying as an old maid.
Also, I know I can take care of myself. I'm far too independent and stubborn to melt into complete worthlessness. My dad, ultimately, knew/knows that as well. But as a dad, he always worried about me. He constantly wanted reassurance that I was doing okay, that my plane didn't crash, that my boyfriend was treating me well, that work was treating me well, that I arrived at my destination. Every time I've been in an airport since his death, it takes all the strength I can muster to resist the urge to text him to update him on my travel plans. He didn't say it, but I'm sure he worried about me finding a good man to take care of me in the event that I couldn't take care of myself.
I think it's natural, given the circumstances, that my feelings have been oscillating wildly between "I want to be alone forever" and "I want to marry the next guy who looks at me." Once I start acting on either one of those thoughts it will be time to worry about my state of mind. I've been going on dates and enjoying myself as much as I can, which is a good sign. I am incredibly wary of meeting someone entirely new and starting to date though. I think it has something to do with the fact that I feel as though something fundamental in me has changed and I haven't completely been able to wrap my head around that change yet. I think it's kind of dishonest to date without really knowing who you are and what you bring to the table, so I'm backing away from clean starts for right now. Also, I'm kind of damaged goods right now and I don't think it's fair to burden someone with all of that from the start.
While I recognize that the people who care about me the most won't view this as being burdened, I know that it's hard for my friends right now because there's really nothing that anyone can say or do to make me feel better or to make the situation better. Hardly any of my friends have had to deal with losing a parent yet, so that makes it doubly hard because barely anyone knows what this feels like. I don't know if it's insecurity or humility or insanity, but I hate to be a burden on anyone for any reason (I think the real root of this has to do with my mom and how she's treated me, as a burden, for the majority of my life). It's not that I've been keeping everything in or hidden, but I've definitely been careful not to completely unload on anyone. I think it's partially because I don't want anyone to feel this kind of pain that I've been feeling, but the awful thing is that almost everyone will at some point. I guess I'm just trying to save everyone from a sneak peek of their future. Granted, if they're lucky, they won't have to do this for at least another 20-30 years (which is insane to me and just underscores how fucking unfair this all is).
The most marked change I've noticed in how I relate to guys is that I'm only comfortable with certain kinds of vulnerability. While I usually love to cuddle and be cuddled, I've been putting up walls when it comes to signs of affection. I feel as though I will completely break down if I allow myself to be comforted in that way and I don't want to break down like that in general, but especially not around guys who aren't going to be around for a long time. I don't want to give up that part of myself easily. I don't really know what I'm afraid of. I just know that right now the thought of a man loving me and caring for me in that way is incredibly painful and uncomfortable.
The super negative side of me is telling me that I will never get over this and that I will die alone because of how deeply this will scar me. The super positive side of me is telling me that there's a man out there who will understand completely and will want me to be as happy as my dad wanted me to be, who will cry when I cry about the fact that my dad isn't there to share in our happiness. The realistic side of me is telling me that the immediate future will continue to be really hard, but that I will get through this one way or another, the pieces will fit together naturally one at a time, and that I'll be lucky to find a guy who is half the man that I'm dreaming of.
In sum, everything is a complete mess and I'm struggling to find a balance, but no matter how lonely I feel, I know I am not alone. I have far too many great people in my life for me to be neglected for too long.