…more than three months, in fact, since i posted anything here. admittedly, i have, on more than on occasion, wanted to sit down and write, but when i did my brain would go blank. bright and shiny things would distract me, causing words and thoughts to scramble. ultimately frustrations would set in and i’d wander off to other endeavors.
so what’s different now? really, not much. just to get to this point in the writing of this post has taken more than three hours and there’s so much more to say. i’m intent on getting this written, if only because thoughts and images are swirling around my brain and i want them out! they’ve upset my normally calm and settle demeanor; they’ve knocked me off balance and caused the whole world seem a bit gray.
a confluence of things has brought me to this point: a recent frank conversation, a not so subtle comment made by a friend half a year ago, my persistent and ongoing unemployment, and a recent vivid dream that was simultaneously lovely and unsettling…. where to begin? as all these things have contributed to my current lost, lonely, and disjointed feelings, it’s difficult to find a starting point with so many confused thoughts trying to simultaneously occupy the same space in my brain.
to close friends and family, i have in the past expressed a long time held sense of defeat with respect to my personal life, that i’m destined never to be coupled, destined never to have a family of my own. most of the time, when my mood and thoughts reflect a more positive outlook, i chalk it up to “my life’s lot” and move on with a second thought. however, in frames of mind like i’m currently experiencing, this seeming reality hits me hard. i’ve never been in any kind of long-term relationship and have a disfunction, which i won’t go into here, and as i get older this seeming reality seems ever more harsh, my disfunction grow ever deeper.
knowing this history and having some idea about my disfunction, a good friend, during a visit this past winter, commented during a conversation about my perpetual bachelorhood that there had been an seemingly obvious opportunity to change that status that i had either ignored or not noticed. while my friend’s observation unsettled me, i refused, out of both stubbornness and pride, to let him see it. instead, i rejected the validity of his statement and insisted he was mistaken. we bantered back and forth about it for a few minutes, but ultimately we both claimed to be right.
since that conversation, the thought, the notion he was right occasionally creeps into my head. what if he’s right? what if i had an opportunity that i, for whatever reason, missed? the answers, for better or worse, come quickly and easily: oh well, that ship has sailed. the girl in question has long since transplanted herself back to the mainland and is currently coupled herself. still, both the questions and their answers frustrate me nonetheless.
by itself, this one gnawing doubt might have disolved on its own, if not for other, persistent questions and frustrations….
it wasn’t until relatively recently that i’ve started to envision what a “good life” would look like. while i suspect most people have their own notions of what a “good life” for them would look like and they tend to be pretty standard; they want a good paying job, maybe a retirement plan, a home, and a family. it’s my impression that the specifics of career, location, and the like, don’t seem to matter as much. for me, however, this sort of thinking was completely foreign for the vast majority of my life. nearly two-thirds of my life were spent battling, or rather coping, with depression, so notions of my happiness, of my “good life,” were much more immediate. i never had thoughts about a career, a home, a family. it wasn’t so much that i didn’t think i’d every get to that point, rather, it was just that they were concepts that were completely foreign to me.
and even though i finally came to a point where i could start to think about my life in those terms, i rejected, almost out of necessity or a result of my circumstances, the notion that a girlfriend, or a wife, or a family, could ever be part of the “good life” equation. instead, i’ve focused almost entirely on my career: a fruitful life in politics that contribute, in some positive way, to the world. money has never been part of the equation, either. i want, first and foremost, to have an impact on the world, or at the very least, on this place in which i live and have come to love.
now i’ve been unemployed for more than a year and while i continue to endeavor to that end, i’m beginning to worry that even that singular goal might be slipping away. as the end of my last job quickly recedes into the past, the reality that i might be forced to take a “regular job” seems to be approaching at a faster pace everyday. being forced to accept this reality creates small fractures in an otherwise nearly impenetrable wall of denial; part of me does long for a relationship, does long for a family.
so, i’ve touched on the “not so subtle comment made by a friend half a year ago” and “my persistent and ongoing unemployment.” as i seem to be progressing chronologically, i’ll move on to “a recent frank conversation” with another friend of mine.
i have a friend who is very good, i’m not sure how, at getting me out of my comfort zone a bit. recently she called me and we got on the topic of my disfunction with respect to the opposite sex, how i deal with them, and how that affects my ability to meet women and find a relationship. to be honest, they’re not things i really mind talking about, if only because i’ve spent so much time thinking about them all that i think my reasoning is pretty sound. i tell her that given my history and my inability to function normally in a relationship, i had pretty much decided to give up on the notion of a relationship and, by extension, a family. even if i met a girl who i was interested in and who was interested in me, inevitably my disfunction would create an almost insurmountable obstacle that would most likely end the relationship before it really gets started. i don’t think much is going to change; i’ve resigned myself the “my life’s lot” as a bachelor.
still, almost inevitably and despite my confidence in that reasoning, after the conversation ended, my mood soured almost immediately. the little honest voice in my head that tells me i’m kidding myself gets a bit louder and those tiny wall fractures grow into visible cracks and the foundation shifts.
finally, i’ve come to the “recent vivid dream that was simultaneously lovely and unsettling.” it is now the following night and both the images and the feelings those images invoked have begun to fade. i will, nonetheless, do my best to paint the picture.
the setting was a college campus and could have been in either kansas or ohio, as the landscape could have suggested either, though the campus itself was reminiscent of neither miami university, nor the community college i attended for a year. and there was a girl who happened to bare a striking resemblance to the one with whom i missed the “seemingly obvious opportunity.” she had come from her current location to visit me at the fictional college, which i mention in the dream i hadn’t attended in years (you gotta love dreams).
our friendship was clearly strained and as the tension reaches its breaking point i lash out a bit and a impassioned conversation ensues.i’m struggling, now, to recall exactly what i said when i lashed out, what her response was, or even the specifics of our conversation. what i do recall is her crying, our reconciliation, as it were, and a result that, if my strained memory serves me well, our expressing our feelings for one another. the rest of the dream consisted of sense of contentment and happiness and random scenes of us driving around with others getting into odd situations.
with the memory of those images and feelings still fresh upon awaking, the foundation of my wall of denial crumbled and those cracks finally expanded and the whole thing came crashing down. what has resulted is a day filled with frustration and a troubled mind which struggled to concentrate. admittedly, this isn’t a new phenomenon. my moods have always been on a cyclical path; every now and again, the wall crumbles.
what i think has me most upset this time is the substance of that dream. there’s only been one other girl, from my waking life, who has ever made an appearance in my dreams. usually, the object of my affections in dreaming is fictional, someone i’ve never met, but now i’ve seen someone else, someone who i never really thought about in any romantic way and that has me rattled. i’m rattled.
it’s now 14 hours since i awoke from that dream and i’m still a bit rattled. granted, i’m on more stable footing that i was this morning and i’m sure i’ll feel even more stable come tomorrow, pending another dream, but it will be days, maybe even weeks, until i’m back to my old self. it’ll be a little while until i have rebuilt the walls around my denial. i started the day cursing cursing my psyche, as well as the friend who put the idea in my head in the first place. now, here i am at the end of the day and i’m still kind of cursing them both.
here’s to a dreamless night and a more stable tomorrow.