Monday, September 15, 2014

Melancholic Optimist

My emotions are all over the place today.  Perhaps it’s because my hormones are running rampant - my baby girl turned twenty, a budding relationship seems to have withered, I work all the time and it doesn’t seem I get anywhere, yet at the same time appreciated and admired for my abilities, talent, inspiration, and professionalism. I miss my kids like crazy. So many things have changed, yet some things still remain the same.  At the same time I’m excited and energetic this morning.  I had a GREAT workout, pushed myself a little further, a little harder (having gained over 2 lbs this week – I’m thinking because of the crepes), one of my writers are about to launch their first book, got a lot of editing done on another writer’s manuscript, my collaboration on my own current WIP is still going strong, and my prospects for the future are wide-open.

I suppose this emotional roller coaster has been coming on for the last few days.  It always happens when I’ve been with the “family”.  Friday night, I helped my daughter celebrate her upcoming 20th birthday with my ‘former’ family.  I’m beginning to hate those gatherings, because they remind me of what I left behind, what I left to pursue, and what I’ve not yet obtained.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret for one second my decision to leave, but there are some things my decision cost me that hurts me to the deepest part of my soul.  For a brief moment in time, I had my family back. Then as we all climbed in our cars and went our separate ways, I’m reminded I don’t have a family anymore.

My children love me and I will always have a relationship with them, and they will always be my family.  But when I decided to separate from my husband, I lost something that was very precious to me – all the rest of the family I had. Having been estranged from my parents and siblings, my husband’s family became mine.  So, when I left him, I lost them too.  Their lives continue on without me.  They still all gather together to celebrate every birthday, holiday, and special event.  I wasn’t invited to the last two – because they didn’t involve my children.  That’s okay, I know I’m not part of the family anymore, and that was my choice.  They have their Thursday night dinners and their Sunday brunches.  They’re there for each other, see each other almost on a daily basis, take vacations together, their lives keep moving forward, without skipping a beat, not falling apart without me, not even missing me for that matter.  I go home alone, eat alone, sleep alone, work out alone, vacation alone, go on my adventures alone, celebrate my victories alone, and mourn my failures alone.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself or even sad that I do everything alone. I’m actually growing fond of being alone.  It was new for me, having never been alone in my whole life.  It’s taken some getting used to, but I am, and there are lots of things about it that I’m learning to enjoy, especially the part where other people’s decisions no longer keep me from doing things I truly enjoy.  But, I’m angry that I haven’t reached many of the emotional goals I’ve set for myself.  I’ve accomplished a lot in these last few years – done some amazing things that I’m so proud for accomplishing.  I know, without any doubt, there’s nothing I can’t do.  It doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll find a way.  It’s those things that I can’t obtain by sheer determination and hard work that continue to allude me. Those things that depend on someone else.  Will I ever trust someone else again? I don’t know if I can.

I want what everyone wants – to matter, to be loved.  Being with my former family is a reminder that I didn’t matter.  I’m not needed, not wanted, and their lives continue on without me.  Even to my close friends I have now, who happen to all live in separate parts of the world very far away from me, I essentially don’t matter.  Should I disappear tomorrow, they may miss my drama, but their lives will continue on without missing a step, because I’m not an integral part of their world.  I couldn’t have made it these last couple of years without them, but they in turn have never needed me.  So, what happens when I don’t need them as much anymore?  Will they just disappear from my lives too? It’s what I feel happening all the time.  I hear from them less and less every day. That’s what I fear. Yet, at the same time, know that if they do – I will survive.

I had a friend ask me lately why I let people so easily walk out of my life, why I don’t fight to keep them in it?  It’s simple really.  Holding onto someone that doesn’t love you and want to stay in your life doesn’t help you – it only hurts worse.  The pain of losing someone breaks your heart, but it’s not as destructive as much as loving someone that doesn’t love you back.  That destroys your soul.  I’ve already had to restore my soul from death a few times before – I don’t want to do it again.

So, on this Monday morning filled with emotional madness, I smile, and I cry, and I breathe.  I tell myself it’ll get better.  I take a moment to be thankful for all that I have been given.  I wish my daughter a happy birthday and try to impart a few words of wisdom. I exercise.  I go to work, and I live one moment at a time – and I choose to live the best I know how.  It’s all I can do. Who knows what will happen in the next moment.

Till next time,

~The Melancholic Optimist

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