Tuesday, September 07, 2010
The most beautiful thing I've seen about being alone:
Monday, September 06, 2010
I can see isolation, the loneliest patch of my life the past decade, is my main problem.
Today I learned someone I care for deeply is dating other women and changed his online dating profile from "open/undecided" in the want children section to "does not want children." Last week he wrote me he liked me and thinks I'm a good person, and could we get past his "freakout" about me telling him how I felt. So I see how I misinterpreted these simple statements to mean more than what he meant - that he wants to keep in touch as a friend but nothing more. I have written him nearly daily and also meditated/prayed blessings for him daily because I felt such a strong 'psychic' connection with him from the start of our connection. I know I need to stop and let go. Enough energy there.
I tried to step back and look at all the things I admire most about him and plan to try to fill my own life with those things I lack. One of them is team sports. Another is mountaineering. With my background, "team" was synonymous with "humiliation." I had my first positive team experience at age 40 and so badly want that kind of camaraderie that I am going to look into Parks & Rec beginning women's teams in anything (soccer, tennis, etc.). Maybe it's never too late to start a sport. That's one path out of isolation.
My volunteer activities are another place where I am among people and living with a purpose, despite traveling to and from alone and being the only single parent among these groups of people.
Today I could not stand another moment alone, so I asked a single mom from my single mom support group to go for a walk with me and her daughter. It was nice to have a moment of companionship in my otherwise alone weekend, despite the fact she is half my age.
My greatest well of sadness is over having had to face so many key events in my life alone over the past decade. Yes, I have "supportive" family, yet I shopped for my wedding dress alone, went through all but 2 weeks of my only pregnancy alone, my husband was out of town literally half the time I knew him, I faced mountains of legal papers/filings alone during my divorce, I went to domestic violence court alone, I raised my child essentially alone, administered much of her cancer treatment alone including countless trips to the ER, and I have worked alone from home much of the past decade.
I have had periods in my life surrounded by lively, interesting friends. Why does all of that feel so elusive to me now? I almost don't know what's appropriate anymore - to ask a married friend to commit to a cup of coffee or a walk when they'd rather spend every spare moment with their family? To ask someone to "play with me" like on Sesame Street when I'm in my 40s?
I start to feel something is terribly wrong with me that I don't have/can't find a date or friendship that works for me. I have lived by the "be a friend and you'll have a friend" philosophy, but now it feels like it is failing me. The people who seek me out in online dating have absolutely nothing in common (except being another lonely soul). I really don't want to spend another 4 years without an intimate relationship, someone to nurture/listen/support/hold. Some days I want to go ahead and have a fling with someone just to not be alone, but the emotional cost is too great.
All the self-help books about relationships say we must accept and love ourselves fully before we are ready for a fulfilling relationship. Well I want to know, if everyone becomes self-reliant, self-accepting, and self-loving, why would we even need one another? I've spent a good deal of time trying to meditate myself into accepting things as they are and made positive changes in my body and self. Maybe I don't accept myself or love myself wholly, but does that mean I cannot be loved? Doesn't everyone have different strengths/weaknesses and have a need to be held and nurtured by another human being?
Isn't it sad the only dinner date I've been invited on in 4 years was from my formerly abusive father of my child this week? (Of course I said no thanks).
I don't know where I belong anymore - other than as a mom to my dear daughter who needs me to be stronger than I've been. She's secretly bought me a "worry stone" with her allowance because she thinks I worry too much and gave me a card that said "be proud of your future." When I asked how a person can be proud of her future, she said "because you may not know exactly how your future will turn out, but you can be proud that it will be yours and something good." Should a 9-year-old hold this much responsibility for her mom's well-being? I know not.
I want so badly to have a better paying job and move from where I am. The only way I see to achieve this is to go to school. I have a window of opportunity that is only here once - to accept my admission to one of the best schools in the country by January 2011. But I fear failing without greater support in my life. I feel completely overwhelmed about getting through 2 years of grad school while single parenting and working summers without more emotional support. A part of me wants to keep status quo and work on adding social activities into my life. Continue to barely scrape by financially but not set myself up for failure.
I feel I have a lot to give someone. I just don't know why I can't be loved for who I am when I see so many people around me have that in their lives. Am I too broken?
Saturday, July 31, 2010
So with 16 more pounds to my goal as of today, I thought I'd celebrate! I happen to have been born on the 16th of a month, and it has always felt like my lucky number.
I have started working weekly (unpaid except in great conversation, spirit, and workout) in my local food bank garden. It feels so fabulous to be physically exhausted at the end of a dayand have my spirit nourished by touching the earth!
My soul feels like it is splitting in half in some ways. . . all this weight loss/fitness has created a monster. I never more than now wanted to drop my sedentary job and jump into something not at a desk. Yet, my only work expertise over the past 20 years involves a computer desk. How to break free? How to make all the non-work time as full of activity as possible if I can't break free?
I know my mental health requires I work with a team of people rather than in isolation from home as I have since the birth of my child years ago. To that end, I have applied for a few office jobs. What about the commute time costs to my health/budget/childcare? What will happen if I build on my experience and continue in the "desk job" path rather than break free like every fiber in my body and soul wants me to?
It's crazy. Even though outwardly I get comments I look the healthiest of my life, I've never cried as much as I have in the past month over all the change I want in my life and confusion on how to get there.
Ah, such is life.
I think we all want solace from our place in the universe. Most days I question if there is a place for me (there has to be or I wouldn't be in it!). The natural world's healing force and "still water" is our true birthright. Most of us have forgotten. An acquaintance reminded me of this fabulous poem recently:
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
So this week I:
1) Dropped out of grad school before it began. . . requested a 1-year deferment in case I change my mind months down the road. When I was staring at $100,000 in loan debt, I decided I'd better be completely certain the outcome is where I want to be.
2) Am working on a Mission Statement to seek a job in a cancer nonprofit. May need more education, but possibly cross that bridge later. I personally think I've had all the real life education I need.
3) Woke up to the level of my isolation and how detrimental it is to me and my child. . . even though I kept doing my job thinking I was doing her a service by "staying home" with her and providing benefits. Who needs an automaton for a mom?
4) After 15-1/2 years at a computer alone, I am going to work toward a life path that includes people, physical labor, gardening (starting with volunteering at my local food bank garden as well as the gardening I do as part of my rent), and hopefully someday down the road a paying job that energizes rather than depletes me.
Some dreams for that mythical day where I have money to spend rather than a negative balance each month: Mountaineering, kayaking, entering marathons, mentoring with Team In Training, taking my daughter on a Sierra Club family trek in the desert Southwest. Maybe moving to Hawaii. Or Alaska. Or somewhere.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
I just can't say enough about the energy and staff at this amazing camp my daughter was at this week. www.campgoodtimeswest.org/
Due to her summer camp schedule, I actually have not seen/talked with my child for more than 24 hours in 2-1/2 weeks! But she is having a blast, looking a year older, wiser, and relaxed when I saw her today before taking her to her dad's for the 4th holiday.
When we arrived to retrieve our child(ren), the kids treated the parents to a cheer created by each cabin and a skit voted on the night prior as best skit from all cabins. The skit that won was the teen boy's cabin, and they did a fabulous impromptu Stomp.
If you watch the video at the above link, maybe you will see some of the energy I mention, but the main thing that is paplable is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
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