A friend of mine likes to chime-in in the middle of conversations with this gem “here’s the thing…” which is always her way of somehow finding the funny part, the ironic part, or the lesson in something…anything.
With her crossing my mind, I have this to say:
Here’s the thing…about leaving your friends and family to move across the nation for a fresh start:
I”m alone out here. I moved out here four years and four months ago. I was accepted to Marymount Manhattan, a college, to finish a Bachelors degree in theatre–which I quit and didn’t pursue after one year enrolled. I moved in with a friend that I’d known since we were 12. Two of them, actually. I had two friends in NYC that I could crawl up to and be coddled by during my transition. I left a man behind. A man that, at the time, I cared a great deal for. I fell for him quickly. We crossed paths several times during my twenties, and the timing was never right. I was always flattered by his attention, but remained faithful to whomever I was involved with. Time had lined up…ish…and we began dating on St. Patrick’s day, 2010.
I moved to NYC in May 2010. This man was still a part of my life. He claimed love for me. He said he wanted to come visit me over the next couple of years while I was in school, and bid me to come home to him. And he’d love me, and give me the daughter I always thought I’d have.
A month after I moved here he broke up with me during a video chat session. After all his years of flattery, and kindness, and patience…after he said he loved me–he quit on me.
But my friends were there to baby me. We were only dating for a brief time so I was able to get past it without disappearing mentally and emotionally.
I dove into school and work. I sometimes opened my store early, then would go to class, then come back and close my store. All for $9/hour plus about an “extra” $5 in tips per week. My friend did her best to help me. She took me out for cocktails. We stayed home and had girls night In. We dyed eachothers hair as our roots grew in. She helped me with rent and bills and train rides. She took care of me, when I could not take care of myself. She let me laugh and cry, as she had for the past almost 20 years at that point. She was one of my best friends. After living together for a couple of years, she moved on. Life happens, opportunity knocks and …we can’t exist in one way forever, really. She wanted to marry her boyfriend/fiance (they’d been together for YEARS by now) and have kids. She wanted to have her kids in her hometown…our…hometown, where her siblings were, where her kids would grow up with their cousins and aunties and uncle near by. I absolutely could not blame her.
But I can’t go back there.
I don’t see myself there.
My family, my friends, they are all there. They are all in my hometown.
Here’s the thing…
I have loved while living here. I had fallen for a man that I was ridiculously in love with. He was the first man I was so stupid for I wanted to marry him and have babies. ME. Babies??? He did not want to marry ever again, and he had a kid from his first marriage and said that kid was “enough.” He didn’t want anymore kids. Now that time has passed, I’m so glad we broke up. His depression and alcoholism were toxic in my life. He broke my heart on more than one occasion. I’ve been unable to just let that part go, and consistently wish the worst for him. One of these days I’ll think of him and actually forgive him. For now, I rarely think of him ,and when I do–I hope his life is shitty. Shrug. He said he loved me and moved out. He said he loved me and needed to be alone then moved on to another girl three weeks later. This is the kind of guy that said “when I’m having sex with her I think of you” Gross, right?
Here’s the thing…
My family and friends are all in my hometown, and I am alone here
There is nothing for me in my hometown EXCEPT my family and friends. I can’t move home and earn a good enough living and feel important and appreciated and acknowledged. That town is just too small for me. The people I miss fill my heart, the place they live in isn’t big enough for me. It doesn’t offer enough for me
I don’t know what “enough” is.
And I am alone here.
My best friends moved home. For the better–for them. And I have finally begun growing here. Not that they were EVER holding me back. I am so glad they were here when I first got here. They were a great help. Now, I have been growing and learning and figuring out life, on my own. Life, as I will know it.
This past year I’ve settled in nicely with my own life. I’m working in my field of “expertise.” I’m in school for something that compliments my career, the apartment lease is in my name, and my housemates are good; responsible people. My credit score is slowly coming out of the ditches…
Yes, I’m alone here.
I don’t know HOW to make new friends. Me and my old friends share Old Memories, we don’t make new ones. Whenever I go home to visit and we spend time together, it’s 1)limited, and 2)talking about old times… 90% of my friends are now married with kids, or one of those…
Single, and alone.
Guys ACTUALLY say to me “why are you single?” or “how are you single?”
And the truth is Because I can’t be bothered with pansies–like yourself.
I’m alone here.
Gee, I wonder why.
Possibly because I don’t actually engage in the art of meeting new people or actually committing to them. Possibly because I don’t think ANYONE I ever meet will ever become a Good Friend, or Mate, and therefore they are not actually worth the time it would take to “get” or “understand” me.
The people I meet now, I feel like I’m hiding from them. I hide behind the Jameson, or silly comments. I hide behind the sarcasm and “rules” that “as long as you are a co-worker or class mate you cannot be a friend” because I don’t want to complicate things. I hide behind some kind of scrim, or screen that filters my reflection. It filters my gaze and my breath. It filters…everything I am. And the people that I meet only see a small percentage of The Real Me.
Here’s. The. Thing
I’m Alone here.
Where are you?
Sometimes, love hurts.
I love my family. I love them entirely, whole-heartedly, and hard (as it’s been said to me). So much so, that if something goes wrong I feel it for days. Even if it has nothing to do with me, I feel it.
Our hearts, I don’t think they were designed to take this kind of ache. The kind that cannot be numbed with over the counter medication, or booze, The kind of ache that comes and goes as it pleases, like an unwanted guest. The kind of ache that comes with memories of better times. Moments and memories triggered by simple sounds and scents and pictures of times before. I don’t think our hearts were designed to take this weight. We’ve mourned over the years, the human race. For loss of those taken to early (in our opinion), for those who were taken by war, and disease. We mourn for those who lived longer than we thought they would and we celebrate the life and memories they left behind but all of that mourning seems to come in death.
What happens when we mourn life?
What happens when we are living day to day, not just surviving…LIVING our lives, as I finally am, and we get stabbed in the heart? How do we get through this? The breakups, the unemployment, the moments when we realize if we buy 3 packages of ramen it won’t cost $1, it will cost $36 because of an overdraft fee. Those are not moments of mourning in life, those are flubs, mistakes, fuck-ups. They are trying times. Times most people consider “times of tests” or “times of lessons.” They are times that “build character.”
I don’t want more character, right now. I just want my family back the way it was when love didn’t hurt.
My mom is fine. My Dadda n Terry are fine. My siblings are fine. Happy, even. But family is extensive and our hearts take people on differently than DNA or blood takes on the genetic portrayal of “family.” Our eyes see people and our ears hear them, our hands and arms embrace them and our mouths exchange words and over time a bond is formed. An attachment is created. Then you yearn to hear their voice and see their smiles. You yearn to listen to stories and see a story through their eyes. You can’t wait to hug them and be close to them, sitting with them. You can’t wait to surprise them, or make them laugh. You want to be there for them when they cry, when their children cry. Family is so much more than DNA or Love.
And sometimes our flesh and blood will betray us. And sometimes those we choose to call family, will betray us. And we have to choose. We have to let our brain run it’s logic course, and let our emotions run their courses and eventually we find…something. We seek, mostly. But sometimes we also find something. We find closure, or balance, or a new meaning, or a new lesson. And on our way to that closure, or balance, or new meaning, or new lesson we look for distractions.
A distraction. Something or someone to keep our mind away from doing it’s job: from figuring it all out. Which ultimately complicates things more because our brains, and hearts, can only endure so much without trying to deal with superficial decisions and distractions. Things that only make us feel on our skin.
It doesn’t matter if someone’s touch makes your skin burn with excitement, if you’re heart is actually somewhere else. It doesn’t matter if someone smiles at you if you have someone else on your mind that you’d rather see a smile from. Don’t you get it? It doesn’t EVEN MATTER.
Well, I guess it doesn’t…until it does. and I hate that kind of paradox or situational decision, or ..truth. I hate it because it IS that simple and if it’s simple then…I don’t know. And if it’s difficult then you can feel more, right? If it’s difficult or risky or edgy or their touch burns your skin in the best way, why aren’t we sure they will burn right through to our hearts. And it’s because that kind of distraction is temporary. Temporary until there is room for permanency. Temporary until your brain has figured something out, temporary until your heart has returned to it’s normal pattern of beating. It’s all just…temporary.
Temporarily in love, in lust, infatuated, distracted.
Temporarily unable to move. Because the brain is overwhelmed and can’t send signals. Because your eyes have glazed over and you are now seeing what you want to, instead of what’s actually in front of you and what’s actually happening right here and right now. Because your heart is aching, and the pulsing in your heart…hurts. Hurts so much you could’ve sworn there was a death. And maybe there was, just not how we’ve always recognized it. We recognize things differently with our senses, yet we don’t seem to come to them–our senses. Because we got so used to the constant, we forgot about the temporary.
We accept the pain. We accept, because of the pain, there will be mourning. We accept the mourning because we somehow understand there is a Loss. And as much as we try to name The Loss, we rarely land on “Love.”
We think we have love, or fall out of it as though it were a physical place holding us up or down. It is actually more like gravity. And just like gravity can be defied, so can love. And it’s when it snaps us back that it can hurt.
It’s when we aren’t paying attention that it makes us fall down.
Most of the time, we don’t really even know love is there ,until we are mourning the loss of it.