It’s already 3pm and I have nothing to show for today. And I really am ok with that. But I feel like I shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be feeling at peace right now.
I shouldn’t be in gym shorts and a workout top sitting on top of a park picnic table, laptop sitting on my crossed legs with the cold, post rain wind blowing against my uncovered arms and legs. I shouldn’t be eating a burger from McDonalds as I sit soaking in the winter sun, drinking a sweet tea instead of water.
I shouldn’t be sitting here writing, listening to music through my phone since the park doesn’t have wifi.
I shouldn’t be feeling this connection, calmness, stillness.
I should be feeling guilty that I haven’t posted my assignment yet. I should be at work watching tutorials about Photoshop so I can get a jump-start on my new class. I should be doing something. Something else. Something that will produce tangible results.
But I don’t want to do anything. I like that I’m sitting here being anti-social. I like that the wind is cold and that I can feel it.
I felt caged all morning, as nice as it was to stay inside. I opened the screen door and let the air in, cool, bracing. I cuddled with Scarlet on the couch and just listened to the wind and the gentle patter of rain as it fell against the ground, the windows.
It’s a cool, damp, winter day, with just the barest brush of warmth, and I love it.
I have this song on repeat, “Medusa” by GEMS. I don’t know why, just something about the rhythm calls to me. I feel it in my chest. I’ve been listening to it for a few days now.
I am reflective right now. I still feel alone. I still sort of fell caged even though I have the vast expanse of a field in front of me. Even though I have the sky above me stretching on for forever. I feel trapped inside my own skin.
How can you be at peace and still rage?
I’m not sure, but I’m managing to pull it off.
This is one of the times where even if I had friends around to hang out with I would quarantine myself. I feel I am volatile. I don’t know what I’m feeling, and to protect others from the emotions swarming around inside me, I isolate myself until the storm passes.
I don’t know what to do to ease this discord within myself. I need to be patience with myself. Understanding. I need to slowly go about untangling the knots inside me.
I feel a lot of it has to do with not knowing what I want anymore. I feel like I’ve been neglecting myself.
I love teaching. I really do, but what do I want to do for the rest of my life? I mean… I’m 25. Is this what I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life? Is this what I really want?
Ok, so what do I want?
Um, something fulfilling? Something deep and meaningful?
Ok… A little vague. What is fulfilling for me?
Helping people. Making a difference in their lives and helping them understand themselves. Being part of something bigger than myself. Working towards something that I feel is meaningful and important. Knowing that I have touched someone and helped them to find something that was important to them.
But isn’t that what I’m doing already? Didn’t I just write a post to myself listing off just a handful of the people who count me as a corner stone in their lives? So…. What gives?
Maybe I’m just sort of burnt out right now. Maybe I’ve been doing the same thing for too long. But come on… 3 years? How am I going to survive the rest of my life if I burn out in three years or less in my jobs?
Maybe I need a change of departments? I’ve been answering the same questions for literally 36 months. Same projects, roughly. Same content. Nothing new. Day in, day out. Routine, boring, draining.
I don’t get a charge when I think about going to work very often any more. When I first started and even well afterwards I loved working, teaching. Showing, sharing. And with certain people I still get that charge.
I can tell they want to learn. They listen when I talk. It means something to them, and I feel that. I feed off of it. It makes it meaningful to me.
But more and more often the classes just go through the motions. Do the base requirements to pass the class and be done with it. Do the bare minimum and nothing else. No effort, no energy, no drive.
It’s hard giving to a void that doesn’t give back.
In many ways it reminds me of my relationships. How I give and give and never give up, so I just bleed out into a pit that never ends.
Is that what this will turn into? Something that eventually will kill me unless I walk away?
But I don’t want to walk away. I don’t see myself being a Lab Specialist for forever. But I love my school. I see all of the shortcomings from having been a student, and now an instructor and I want to fix our program. I want to make it better, stronger.
It’s my baby.
School was such a game changer for me. It made me a stronger person. It showed me that I was capable of amazing things on my own. If I could go back and do it again I would kick so much more ass. I wouldn’t date. I wouldn’t let Warren have so many hours, days, weeks of my life. I wouldn’t let myself suffer through the depression I felt of constantly trying to live up to his expectations.
Maybe another department is what I need. Maybe Faculty Development.
I always joke about taking over the world, and how the only lanyard color I need is blue, which represents an ‘owner’ of the school. I have all of the other colors. Black from the tour, Orange for being a student, Yellow for being a lab monitor and an intern, and now Green for being staff. One color left and I would have collected them all.
I don’t want to leave my school. I believe in what it stands for, and I want to stay for longer. I’m not ready to leave it. I can see myself taking over for Pete, running the Game Art and Computer Animation degrees.
Or Bill’s position. But that’s getting pretty removed from the lower levels. I’m not sure if I like that. I like knowing how things are run and being connected to everyone.
I enjoy engaging with the students. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I don’t see myself always being a Lab Specialist.
So what am I doing with myself right now?
I’m doing a daily grind is what it feels like. Even working out which is supposed to be a spiritual expression to my goddess feels hollow. Like I’m not fully in it anymore.
Where am I then? And again I think of the question from another post not long ago. If home is where the heart is, where is my heart?
What do I love?
I would like to say myself, and in a way I do. Much more than what I used to, but right now it’s so hard for me to fully embrace myself. These feelings make it hard. I feel like a child, fighting and resisting something even though it is good for me.
So what am I resisting? Why do I feel caged and trapped?
I love my family, and I get to see them soon. But even that doesn’t really make me feel better, because by seeing them it is reaffirming the fact that I am not close to them anymore. They are far away, living their own lives, and though we talk, it is not the same. I do not have the creature comfort of their warmth, their hugs and affection.
It makes me feel alone. Isolated.
The same for my friends. And though I know many people here, there are not many that I want to spend my time with. I suppose that is the INFJ in me.
I’m ‘friends’ with everyone, but if anyone were to honestly ask me I would have to say that most of them are on the level of acquaintance. They’re cool, I can talk with them, but I don’t want to hang out with them. I don’t want to have super secret personal conversations with me.
And honestly, that isn’t totally true. I want to be able to talk to someone. I want to be able to disclose my feelings of not belonging. I want to be able to go out for drinks and it be just that. I want someone to go to Barns and Noble with, or the movies, and have it just be hanging out, not a date.
I want to feel like there is more of a reason to be alive than work.
So right now my heart is with other people I guess? It’s not here. Should I try to fix that? Should I find some hidden secret passion in my work that makes it my drive and passion again?
Should I find something about myself that inspires me so that I become content with my own company again?
It would be easier to like myself if I wasn’t such an emo cluster fuck of emotions all the time. No like I could make anything easy on myself.
How am I supposed to expect a partner to understand and accept me unconditionally when it is one of the hardest things to do for myself?
“Hey, I know you’re mentally / emotionally unstable. But I have this great idea. I’m going to give 100% of myself to you and hope that you don’t go bat shit insane on me and end up killing me.” : D
No wonder a functional relationship is so hard for me to find. When you look at it that way anyone with a shred of self-preservation would steer clear of me.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh right now, but maybe that’s what I need. I have to get through a lot of my own hang-ups before I can expect to be able to offer anything meaningful to a significant other.
And I really don’t want that level of commitment right now, so I don’t know why my brain as moved on to this topic.
Stay on track. Gah!
Back to the whole finding meaning and purpose in my life.
Why am I still in Florida if my ‘heart’ is elsewhere? What is keeping me from my loved ones?
First answer that comes to my head is finances.
I have to have a job. I have crazy student loans because my country is retarded. Not that I regret a single penny that I am going to have to pay back. But realistically if I didn’t have these loans I would have so many other opportunities that I could look into. At the very least I would be able to live alone, which might honestly help.
Even as awesome as Joshua is, there was something special about the one year I lived truly alone.
By staying in Florida, I can keep a stable, fairly secure job. I am also able to use the Faculty Scholarship Program to take classes. So currently I am working on a second degree, which gives me full time student status, which makes my loans infinitely easier to handle.
If I left, I would lose the status, and wouldn’t finish off my degree.
So, is the degree worth it?
I don’t know.
Do I want the degree?
Yeah… Sort of… I used to…
I loved the movie poster project we did in my last class. That was my favorite assignment.
But it feels more like going through the motions. Another daily grind. Watch some tutorials, do a project, get a grade, rinse, repeat.
Is it worth it?
I don’t know what my end goal is anymore, so I don’t know how to answer that. I want to be able to say yes, and I can’t. Not and be honest with myself.
If I said yes, it would be just like those times I dated Warren, or Corey, or Sir.
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah. I’m fine.” I would say even though I was dying on the inside. Even though I had said why I wasn’t fine. Even though we had talked about what I needed in our relationship to change for me to be ok, it was left unchanged.
Yeah I’m fine. I feel loved and secure while I let you walk over my feelings, and grind pieces of myself into the dirt. I’m just going to sit here and smile while you disrespect me. It’s cool. I can live with this…
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t do that any more than I can keep lying to myself.
I don’t know if what I am doing is wroth it. I don’t know if it is worth this disconnection from the things I feel are important.
Maybe this is me bleeding out the poison of all of those years. Maybe because I’m alone again it is finally able to slowly seep to the surface and ooze away, like an infection finally being drawn out.
Painful, gross, and not fun, but needed in order to be better, healthier, cleaner. Whole.
All of this discord is in my chest. In my heart chakra. When I stop to think about it, it hurts. But I haven’t really been thinking about it. I’ve been trying to ignore it. Like when I go running when I know my shin splints are still too sore.
I can suffer through it. I’ll be fine. Pain is a sign of weakness leaving the body. That’s what I tell myself.
And then I get to the end of my run and I want to break down and cry because my legs hurt so bad. And continue to hurt for days afterwards because I’m not being kind to myself. I’m not respecting my limitations.
So there’s this pain in my chest, this emotional ball of confusion. Rat’s nest more like. And I know the longer I ignore it, the more I try to cover it up and keep going, the worse it’s going to get until I eventually break down. My spirit unable to do another run interval. Giving out just like my legs, refusing to take me further until I rest and heal.
So this is where I should stop, and rest. Where I should let myself heal. If that is truly what is going on, then that seems reasonable, logical. The smart choice.
So how to I heal?
Even as I type that I feel my eyes stating to burn because my first response in my head is “to be honest with myself”.
I still hurt over Jarrett. I still feel like the relationship was a failure on my part. I still feel like all of those times that I followed him inside his house, the feeling of forever, was real. We were going to do this for the rest of our lives. We were going to go home together, with him unlocking the door, and me following him inside with my hand on his back.
I would wake up in his arms. I would fall asleep listening to his breathing, his heart beating. I would feel safe. I would be able to say no and not have it be a bad thing.
But it didn’t last for forever. And I still hurt over that.
I don’t know if it was love. I don’t know when it comes to emotions like that anymore. But I felt so intensely for him.
I wanted our forever. I wanted our future. He was going to be a modeler, and I rig so I could do all of the set up for his characters, and then they could be animated. We would have done our own short cartoon things.
I know… We would make sweet, sweet animations together… super corny, but I loved the idea of both of us making art together. Working on projects together. It made my brain happy to think I could share my biggest passion with him.
He was the air to my fire, the water to my earth. I felt completed by him. I felt alive, and like he was making me a better person.
But it was like a high. I wonder if it was like Romeo and Juliet. I hated that story because I felt they were so irresponsible. But I wonder if that was my story with Jarrett.
Like gunpowder and fire.
I didn’t love Corey. I didn’t love Warren #2. I feel I was in those relationships because it was easier than being alone. Because they wanted the relationship, or at least the idea of the relationship, and I didn’t want to say no. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.
And while I felt intensely for Sir it was not what I needed it to be. I kept falling further and further from what I wanted the longer I stayed with him. Maybe that is selfish of me. Maybe we could have been amazing together.
I want an equal partnership though. I’m tired of feeling like my relationships are projects, fix-me-uppers. Part of me wants to be childish and say, “Why can’t I be the broken one for once?”
But how is that fair? If I don’t want that, why would someone else? It’s not their job to help me find acceptance. Not anymore than it is my job to help Ari find it.
I need to find that on my own. And a large part of that is looking at my past and letting it go.
I need to pull out those dusty boxes inside of myself and go through them, just like I did with all of my other belongings. I went through everything I physically own. Now I suppose its time to do it on an emotional level as well.
I need to unpack and become comfy with my current home. With myself. And there’s a strong aversion to doing that.
I know it’s going to hurt. I don’t want to accept that my forever is gone even though I know that I can never go back to Jarrett. Not after how we ended, and how he treated me afterwards.
I couldn’t do it.
Maybe that’s why the song speaks to me so much right now.
“We’ll leave it behind in a memory.”
But there’s such a large part of me that doesn’t want to let it go. Maybe this is my breakup song for him. I never had one for Jarrett. We had our song, “Alone Together” by Fall Out Boy. He showed me that song, and it always made me think of him.
When Sir and I broke up I listened to “Circles” over and over as I cried, because that’s how I felt.
I never had a song that represented the end for Jarrett and I. And while I cried, I went straight from him to Sir. I didn’t stop, I didn’t reflect. I never really acknowledged the end I guess.
I needed someone to tell me that I wasn’t awful. That I wasn’t a terrible person. That it was ok that I needed love and affection.
So I guess this is me accepting that it’s over. Only six months late…
This is me accepting that I am alone. Not ‘alone alone’ since I have my loved ones in my life. But physically, romantically, alone. Maybe that makes me shallow. But accepting that hurts. It makes me feel like an outsider.
The scientist standing alone with her clipboard and glasses. Her facts and papers keeping her company. Unable to have a normal relationship which seems to come so easily to others.
The truth sucks sometimes. And right now is one of those times.
I wanted it to work so much.
I’m not sure what you have in store for me, Universe. Maybe it’s a good thing it’s winter. Maybe hibernation is what I need.
Bleed it all out and slowly recover in the cold months of solitude so I can bloom stronger next summer.
I’m tired of hurting. I’m tired of that hurt being connected to and caused by other people. I’m tired of others having the power to make me feel less than and unworthy.
And part of me is tired of trying. Part of me thinks that the connection I’m looking for is pointless. And I know that’s just the hurt and pain taking over the keyboard, but those feelings are still there, and still need a voice.
Hurt, anger, sadness. That’s what I’m feeling right now. With the sun setting, the cool breeze turning colder. The song still playing in my ears, watching a family playing fetch with their dog while I have silent tears drying on my face. It seems unfair.
How can people be jogging on the bike trail, preparing for a wonderful day with their families tomorrow when I feel this way? How is the world not sharing in this pain?
But even as I type that I know I am on the right road. I feel calmer. The initial lancing of this wonder relieving the pressure that has been building inside of me.
It sucks. And I know it’s not over. And I don’t even know if I really figured anything out in nine pages worth of writing other than something I already knew.
Jarrett and I are over.
We broke up. We will never get back together. And part of me still loves him, and most likely always will. I suppose that’s the first step to clean out my emotional closet.
“We’ll leave it behind in a memory.”