Monday, October 21, 2013

Lonely is my new normal



Sometimes it’s not so bad, nice even. Some nights I lose myself in a book or a TV show or movie and a much needed glass of wine. Baths and music have become my friends. They’re  always there. I don’t have to call them. I don’t have to plead with them to come hang out with me because I can’t go to them.

But sometimes it really, really sucks.

Tonight seems to be one of those nights. I’m coming off a really great day. Yesterday I spent the afternoon running errands with my girls getting ready for Halloween and grocery shopping, and best, getting myself set up for my latest attempt at a hobby – cycling. After, I went for a long ride with music in my ear and wind in my face. It was liberating. I came home feeling like I could conquer the world. I cooked. I cleaned. I did laundry. I enjoyed myself. But today, that high is gone. I want so badly to hop on the bike again, despite my sore butt. I want to recapture that feeling of independence and the rush of adrenaline. But I can’t. I have to get the kids ready for bed and make sure their homework is done and signed. I suppose I could go for a ride after they’ve gone to bed, but leaving them in the house alone after dark seems both irresponsible and scary. Not to mention the fact that the idea of riding at night alone also doesn’t seem the safest move. So here I am, yet again, all alone in what has become a consistent solitude that weighs on me every single day.

Obviously I miss Jon. But more and more each day it’s not just him that I miss – it’s the life that comes with sharing your life. I no longer have anyone to share it with – not a grown up anyway. It used to be I’d come home and we had our rituals. There was always another grown up to talk to; always someone to watch a movie with and someone to share my bed. Now there’s just me and a heap of responsibility that drowns me more every day.

I have accepted that he’s not coming back and I’ve learned to be at least somewhat OK with that. I’ve learned to look forward to a future without him in it instead of dreading it. But I can’t get over the pain that comes with, in an instant, going from being half of a partnership to all of what should be a partnership. I loathe the fact that I have to take on responsibilities that were once someone else’s. I hate even more not being able to talk to someone about it at night. I hate not being able to share jokes he would have thought were funny. I miss being able to vent about my day at will without feeling like I’m burdening unwelcoming ears.

I find myself just wanting the companionship. I’ve discarded the longing for him and replaced it with a longing for just anyone at all. I cling to whatever person seems willing to offer an ear. I exploit those who show the slightest sign of offering company. I make more of new friendships than they should be. It seems terribly pathetic sometimes, but I just want someone to be here and I don’t want them to leave and I’ve suddenly taken this stance that it doesn’t matter who it is.

To put it simply, I want a boyfriend. But do I really? I can’t quite figure that out. I want to go to bed next to someone and wake up in the morning next to them. I want someone to just be around – gently brushing my hair out of my face when I least expect it, pecking me on the cheek just because, playing with my kids so we can all feel just a little normal again and offering to help when things get just a little too heavy for me. Jon was all those things and more. I don’t want to replace him, but I want those comforts back. I worked hard for them. I invested time into getting them and it just doesn’t seem fair that I should have to go through that process all over again.

I’m thirty years old and already I’ve been divorced twice and lost the man who was to be husband number three – the one who would actually work out. We were supposed to spend a lifetime together. His lifetime being snuffed short was not part of the equation and now I’m back to square one. Meanwhile, it seems like the world keeps spinning for everyone else. People my age are getting married or starting families. I had all that and then it was yanked away from me and I want it back. And I don’t want to have to work quite so hard for it again. I know that is unreasonable and I remind myself every single day. I try to take a step back and look at things logically – that what Jon and I had doesn’t just fall in your lap. But he did. I mean, it took two and a half years to get engaged, but it only took a couple of weeks for him to be that guy; the guy who wanted to be with me all the time and didn’t mind if it was shared time with my kids. Is it so much that I want another situation like that to fall in my lap again? Is it really so unhealthy? After everything I’ve been through, don’t I deserve that?

Hell, I don’t even want as much as Jon offered. I just want to feel close to someone again. I want to feel like there’s a person who can’t wait to see me or talk to me. I know it’s too soon to jump to the conclusion that that won’t exist for me, but it’s so hard to not think that. And what happened with Jon is not the norm. Most relationships take time to develop over time right? Or is the fact that we fast tracked everything a testament to why we worked so well? If it doesn’t take off like that, does it mean it’s not worth it? So many of the people I know well who are in loving, seemingly healthy relationships moved at a pace not all that different than Jon and I.

I just feel like I’m in a prison of solitude. I have so many things to be grateful for – my kids, my wonderful friends, my supportive family – but none of those things fills the hole that was once filled by being a part of an awesome freaking relationship. No matter how much I adapt to being just me, no amount of soul searching can fill that void.

What if Jon was the only man I was supposed to be with and this is my new life? I don’t like it and I don’t want it. I want there to be someone else out there that can make me feel whole the way he did. But what if there just isn’t anyone? Or what if they live in, like, France or something? Being single without kids lends to that search. Being single with kids doesn’t. You don’t meet people when you can barely leave your house. Everyone says to focus on my kids. Funny that many of those well-meaning advice givers don’t have kids and are in happy, healthy relationships with a partner who is, you know, not dead. Try that advice on in my shoes and it no longer makes much sense. Of course I’m going to focus on my kids. I always have and I always will. But that can’t be someone’s entire life. I have to have something outside of mom, housekeeper, chef, breadwinner and tutor. My kids are great and I love being with them, but it’s not the same when there isn’t anyone to share in the joys of raising them. 

If my life were a typical, forgettable movie or sitcom, I would be the sympathetic character. The girl who everyone knows deserves something awesome. The kind-hearted, funny, refreshing character that you want to find happiness. There’d be a period in the movie where that character struggled, but then everything would fall into place and what she wanted most in the world would happen.  So, when does that happen? Because I’m really fucking ready for the credits to roll.