Friday was a good day. A productive day.
This post isn’t about Friday, though. This musing is about Saturday.
Saturday was hard.
When I woke up it was cold and rainy outside. I was tired from not sleeping much.
It was “one of those days”. The kind where you want to stay in bed all day. You don’t want to think. You don’t want to do. I’m sure on a slightly different day it would have been a “watch movies and cross stitch” sort of day for me.
Not this Saturday though.
This Saturday I woke up with sadness. I haven’t felt it in a while. Not like how it was that morning. I felt it like an ache in my bones. Heavy. Cold. Every action was painful. Simply laying still and breathing was painful. The thought of more, of doing anything with my day, made me want to quit before I had even tried.
It was so much effort. Too much effort.
Mom is dead and everything is heavy and it’s so much easier to not do anything. To not fight through the pain. It would be easier to stay in bed with the silent tears and to hide from everything.
I didn’t, though, and that’s mostly because of Big Bad.
We message each other every morning now. I don’t know how it evolved into that. I think it’s been a gradual progression. In the beginning, we would sometimes do it. A quick, “Good morning,” here, a “How did you sleep?” there…
We’re still hit or miss on saying goodnight to each other, but now, always, without fail, one of us will message the other in the morning.
Saturday it was me messaging him. I said good morning and informed him that the world was safe from aliens since my brothers and I had stayed up until around 3 am playing Starcraft. The conversation was an easy progression from, “How did you sleep?” to, “The weather is unmotivating,” to, “Playing games and eating pizza followed by cuddles under giant fuzzy blankets would be awesome.”
The conversation made me smile. It helped my heart feel warmth. It helped me feel connected and not alone.
With the prospect of Big Bad and I potentially seeing each other later in the evening, the day didn’t seem quite so heavy. It was still harder than it “should” have been to get out of bed. It took more effort than most days to shower. But I did all of it and even had part of a protein bar before going to the dojo.
I had to skip my cup of coffee if I was going to make it to Muay Thai in time. I knew I had to get to the dojo even if I didn’t want to. I knew I would regret letting the sadness win more than I would regret the uncomfortableness of actually going.
The class was harder than it should have been, which is a bit paradoxical because I ran better than I ever have before. I had better form than any previous class. I knocked out all of the squats and pushups without feeling like I was going to give out.
But it was a hard class. Emotionally. Spiritually. It was actually the first class that I didn’t want to go to. Not fully. I didn’t want to interact with anyone. I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to be left alone. I was fighting an internal battle. It didn’t leave me with much else to give.
Towards the end of the class, Jim was having us do drills with the punching bags. One of the things we do for conditioning is called “sprints”. Basically, you run in place as fast as you can in front of the bag while punching it. It sounds simple but holy fuck is it hard to make it through the whole time.
You have to dig down deep to make it sometimes. We all know that. Jim knows that. We encourage each other. “You’re almost there.” “You got this.” “Ten more seconds.”
Jim: “Why are you doing this? Remember why. Focus.
Instant, unadulterated, seething rage.
Why am I doing this?! Why? Because my mom died. Because I’m angry. Pissed. Furious. Because I hurt. Because I don’t know why. Because I’m trying to be a better me but really that’s just something I say because deep down, really deep down I don’t know why, ok? Because it seems better than doing nothing. Because I told mom I would try. Because I don’t know what else to do with my life right now.
I wanted to walk away from the bag. I wanted to leave the dojo. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream.
This was what the morning had alluded to. The hurt. The wave. The swelling up of emotions. This feeling of being injured and needing to recover.
I didn’t scream, though. I didn’t break down. I didn’t hit anyone or lash out. I didn’t walk away.
I stayed. I clenched my jaw and finished my sprint even though I had tears burning my eyes. I held the wave in check for the remaining fifteen minutes but I knew the rest of the day would be rough.
When it was over we bowed out. I tapped gloves with everyone. I finished my bottles of water and I packed my shin guards and gloves into my gym bag. Most everyone was occupied as I left. I only had to wave goodbye to Carolina. Akib and I exchanged goodbyes as I passed him. After that I was clear. I was outside. Out in the cold, windy day. Out and away from people who might ask questions about, “What’s wrong?” and, “Are you ok?”
The sweat on my skin felt like ice but I didn’t care. I walked to my car dreading the thought of going home. I put my bag in the trunk. I closed it shut gently rather than slamming it down like I wanted to. I opened and closed the car door normally. I sat in my car, out of the wind. I sat in that confined space and it felt like sandpaper against my skin.
I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to drive. I didn’t want to be inside.
Jim: Why are you doing this?
Why did you have to ask me that? Why does that question have to bother me? Why do I have to feel this uncontrollable feeling of righteous fury and underneath it the sinking consuming sadness of knowing that life is different?
Why AM I doing this?
I sighed. I got out of the car. I walked to the back of the parking lot and sat down, looking out at the wide ditch that was full of water from the recent rain. The wind blew over the top of the water making waves move from one side to the other.
Why am I doing this?
I don’t know. I have all of these “reasons” but really I don’t know why.
Why am I doing anything?
Because I told mom I would. Because some days, most days recently, it’s felt worth it. I’ve felt better and like there are reasons to do things. But Saturday wasn’t one of those days.
Saturday morning was a day where my wound ached. Saturday was a day where I couldn’t call mom and tell her about the job I want to apply for at a local community college. I couldn’t tell her how it was cold. I couldn’t tell her about playing games with Jon and Jason.
Saturday was a day that hurt and being asked why poked at that wound.
As I sat I calmed. I thought about everything that had happened since mom’s death. I thought about everything that wouldn’t have happened if she had lived. I most likely wouldn’t have quit my job. I would still have student loans. I most likely wouldn’t have met Big Bad or my blacksmith. I would most likely still be living with Zane.
I would most likely still BE with Zane…
That was a sobering realization.
I most likely would still be with the person who, up to this point in my life, had betrayed me the most.
I pondered over that for a while. I thought about the post I made about my resolution for 2017. My resolution is to be happy. I tried not to give myself shit for feeling sad and essentially being counter-productive to my resolution.
I remembered how I wrote that 2016 taught me what it was to beg, and how while I was on the flight to see mom in the hospital how I had begged the Universe to let her still be alive when I landed. How I would have traded literally everything, anything, for her to be there.
If I had that choice now, if I could trade everything to have mom back, would I do it? Would I go back to April 4th and redo my life?
Would I give up all of the truths I’ve found, lose all the people I’ve met, forego all of the growth I’ve experienced? Would I give up the life I have now to have mom back?
Never in a million years would I have thought of asking myself this question. Of anyone asking me this question. I wasn’t prepared for it to enter my mind. And I wasn’t prepared for the pain at realizing what my honest answer was.
If I had the hypothetical choice to go back, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t give everything up for my mom.
Part of me feels like a bad daughter for that. If I love her so much shouldn’t I want to do anything to be with her again? How am I not horrible, awful, for choosing myself over my mom?
I know that’s the answer she would want me to give, though. I know she wouldn’t be upset with me. I know she would empathize with my struggle but that she would be glad that I wouldn’t want to go backward.
We can’t go backward. Only forward.
I have gone through so much since that day. I know my journey is supposed to be without her. And I know the grief I feel over this realization is something I am meant to feel. It hurts. It feels selfish. It’s something else I need to work through. Something further for me to accept. Deep down I know it’s the right choice, but it still sucks being that brutally honest with myself.
I believe things happen for a reason. I believe there is a Universe where mom and I are still together, but that’s not this Universe. In this one, I am meant to go forward alone. In this Universe, I’m meant to have a spiritual relationship with my mom from this point forward.
Wanting to go back is devaluing all of the positive things that have happened since that day. April 4th was a really shitty day, and I’ve had a lot of really shitty experiences since that day, but I’ve had some amazing ones, too, and I don’t want to give those up, and I think mom wouldn’t want me to either.
I didn’t really feel stronger for having found that truth. I didn’t feel like I had any answers for my question of “Why?” I didn’t really feel anything. Nothing except cold which caused me to absentmindedly worry about getting sick.
I was supposed to return a gaming headset that I had bought. I was supposed to go grocery shopping. I was supposed to do laundry.
Instead, I eventually stood up, walked back to my car, and went home where I crawled back into bed and cuddled with Scarlet. There weren’t tears. There wasn’t sleep. There was really nothing. Just the fact that I’m where I am and there’s no going back. There was stillness. Heaviness. There was surviving and hopefully sleep eventually and maybe the next day there would be a warm sun instead of the cloudy, icy cold. There was the knowledge that I would make it through Saturday and that, “This too shall pass.”
Big Bad: Whatcha doing?
Him reaching out to me this time. Another moment in my day where I felt a connection. Something other than the coldness. The stillness.
We chatted about our non-productive days.
Big Bad: So would you like to join me this evening?
Me: I would enjoy being with you immensely.
Even though my morning hurt and I spent most of the afternoon adjusting to my new truth, my evening was full of getting my ass kicked at Soul Calibur and having New York style pizza with Coca-Cola. There were cuddles under warm fuzzy blankets and soft kisses and shared breathes and eventually I fell asleep surrounded by warmth and the feeling that I wasn’t alone and things would be ok.
This morning I woke up and it was sunny outside. Freezing and windy, but sunny.
I woke up to freezing hands tickling me along my sides and a loving smile. I had a quiet morning where I shared two cups of coffee with someone I care about. We talked about our plans for the day. He asked for me to come back on Monday since I leave Wednesday to go to Ohio for a week.
It’s mornings like this morning, and nights like last night, which make it worth enduring the pain. Not everything is bad and painful. There’s a lot of really good and positive things in my life. There’s a lot of people who care about me and want to experience life with me, and I want to experience it with them.
Today, like Friday, was another day of super awesome productivity and my next few days are going to continue to be busy as I prepare for my trip.
I knew this truth about life, but I never fully understood it until yesterday. There’s no going backward. Only forward.
I guess my issue is my not wanting to go back. Shouldn’t I want to be there? Shouldn’t I want to be with her? But that’s not it. I do want to be with her. But I can’t be with her and be the person I am now.
I don’t want to go backward. Only forward. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Logically I know it doesn’t make be a bad person. I haven’t truly accepted that particular fact on a spiritual level, though.
I suppose it’s something further for me to ponder and muse over.
Jeez… sometimes it feels like a never ending battle for acceptance.
Right now, at this point in my journey on a Sunday evening where I have gone through the whole day being an awesome, productive adult… I’m not going to worry about the rest of my journey and instead I’m going to go kill some aliens because fuck this shit.