Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pity Party, Ticket for One

       It's been a while,hu?

The title to this rant has a negative connotation...screams poor pitiful me, really, which is a turn-off to anyone who might chance upon it. Maybe that's the whole reason I'm screaming it, just to be left along in my poor, pitiful state of being...or maybe it's because somehow I sense I've hit bottom and I want to bounce back the other way for awhile.  I have to believe there's more to me, I have to hope...

These days are different...these days I am alone, my days full of just me.  I remember when a few hours to myself felt like a Heaven-sent escape; I lived and continued to breath thinking of those quiet times when I could have sound or no sound, sleep or no sleep, goings or comings...any old thing I wanted without answering to somebody else.
But these days are different.  There is no choice now.  I am alone with kids grown and gone and no significant other needing what I am. Now my t.v. runs nearly around the clock so something is making a noise other than just me breathing, rattling around.  It's become a distraction to thoughts that scare the bejebbers out of me, like what if I die in my bed?  Will it be days? weeks?  How long before I am missed? Will I be missed?
Of course I know that's just silliness, I do. I know others are about in this world who know me and even still love me, but when I'm here, alone, night about me like an old gray shawl, tatty and torn with loneliness, silliness doesn't matter.  Silliness becomes defunct, outdated and just another part of me that I don't notice because I won't look...can't look, in case it's not there at all.
Slowly I am struggling to find out who I am again.  There was a time, when I had screaming kids, a husband demanding of me more than I thought I could give, and a life cluttered with confusion and hurry on every side, when I knew I was happy, when I knew who I was and what I could do.  I knew what I liked and how to make life fulfilling for me and those I loved.  I had favorites.  I don't mean a favorite kid or a favorite family member or even a favorite memory, but favorites that allowed me to know who I was: a favorite color, favorite flavor, flower, season of the year, song, food, holiday, place to visit, hobby, shoes, character from a Disney movie.  I was solid with all of those.  I knew I was someone because I had favorites separating me into my own category. I had a place.
Somewhere along the way, while I was encumbered with survival mode, my favorites all fizzled away.  I ate what others liked because I couldn't decide, I listened to music if others turned it on...their music. Seasons became difficult, each with it's own demands, and fall favorite and spring favorite faded into the annals of my job. Their context changed and favorite didn't matter anymore. I found surcease in the favorites of others, because choice became too difficult on top of the required. Truly, I lost my favorites all on my own, allowing them to leave me because I was too weary to notice they were going...I don't even know if they waved goodbye.
Slowly, so slow I'm not sure yet I recognize them, some of my favorites are finding their way home,  I remember I liked to write.  I'm in the process of deciding if it's a favorite...I should know soon enough, depending on whether or not I can sustain it and create with a mind half-blind with lose of self.  I'm not sure all of me has survived, but I find I'm becoming curious. I think that might be a good thing.  I think it was a part of me I used to really like...a favorite.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. I think it happens to us lone empty-nesters. I even know some married/attached people going through the same thing. It is an entirely different life, which can be scary at times. Having relied on passivity to the needs/wants of others really does rather delete the self, but it really can't be helped, because those others' needs were often more pressing. Not anymore. We get to do what we want now! It's hard to let go of. I still can't cook for any fewer than 8 people, and for two solid months after I moved here - alone - I was still buying milk, even though I don't drink it. There's definitely an adjustment and, I suppose buying a big freezer to store the extra food. Because I work at home, I even get to sleep when I want and work when I want. Most people don't get that, so I'm lucky there. But there are a lot of things you can do exactly as you want. It's quite liberating to stand in the kitchen and say the F word five times in a row. The first time I did it, I looked around, sure a piano would fall from the sky. Now I like it, and I do it often, just to prove to myself I'm allowed and I know it. There's one enormous drawback to living alone and working at home, though. It settles in over time. You get used to being allowed to fart whenever you want, and not pay it any mind. Then, you're at a restaurant and ... Oh, crap. I just did that. Other than that, dance with the cat, talk to yourself, eat only green beans for dinner, don't wash the plate, take popcorn to bed, feel no guilt for the ice cream in your freezer, and roll around in it like a dog on the lawn. Yep. It works.