Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Time to reflect

I went on vacation recently, which was nice because I really needed to get away from day to day life and re-center myself.  It's hard to appreciate the day to day a lot of the time, because you get caught up in the million demands of your average life, and often it seems as if the day is over just as soon as you feel like you've gotten your feet under you.  Vacation helps me turn off the noise of every day life.  It takes away those nagging responsibilities like cooking, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping etc. for a little while and just lets me be present in a place and enjoy it.  It's nice, and I need it every now and again.

Stepping away from life gives you space to think.  Space to breathe.  Space to sort yourself out.  This particular trip left me thinking about the last year of my life.  It's odd to think about "this last year" in the middle of August, right?  But, here we are, doing just that.  In many ways, the end of last summer was a precipice my life was teetering on, and when September hit, everything started tumbling in all directions.  My husband quit his job shortly after this time last year, and this year he starts a new one that is exactly what he wants to be doing, and he's excited about the work he's doing for the first time in as long as I can remember.  The journey for him to get from walking out on his job to where he is now was a series of events that all just sort of fell into place to lay this path for him, and while I was terrified of what would become of our lives when he walked away from his steady job, I can see now that it was the thing that had to happen to lead to where we are now, which is a much more positive place for our whole family to be.  While I initially was really angry and worried about how his decision played out, for the first time ever, I did the thing that was entirely out of character for me.  I let go.  I didn't try to control the situation.  I assumed that everything would work out in the end, and I let the chips fall where they needed to fall.  I stopped worrying about the next 10 steps down the road and just thought about the short term steps in front of me, and something miraculous happened.  Everything was ok.  Everything did work out.  Everything happened the way it needed to happen.  And, I learned that sometimes it's ok to let go a little.  I probably won't do this as often as I should, but now I know that if there's a voice in the back of my mind saying "It'll be fine", I should listen to it.

The Murphy's Law of my life, however, is that everything can't be going smoothly on all fronts at the same time.  I think it's some sort of curse.  Now that my home life is evening out, my extended family life is in a state of turmoil most of the time, and my friends at this point prove to be non-existent.  I suppose that's not entirely true.  The friends I depended on, the ones I cared about and opened up to, the ones I let see my rusted edges, those are all gone.  There are still friendships out there, many still small and in the early stages getting to know one another, but it doesn't replace the feeling that there were people you could depend on whenever you needed someone.  At least not yet.  Maybe not ever.  It's hard to say.  But, I suppose if I look back at the past year, maybe that idea that I could depend on people when I needed someone was really an illusion.  Between the people who simply disappeared, the people who have said that my daughter deserves a better example than I provide, the people who have backed away slowly, the people who literally refuse to attend anything if my daughter is present, and the people who find me to be somehow too much......did I really have anyone that I could honestly depend on?  When you look at the track record, I think maybe not.  But it felt that way, at least for a time, and sometimes it's the feeling that I miss most.  Now, instead of spending a couple of weekends a month with friends, I spend all of my weekends with my family.  It's enjoyable, though sometimes lonely.  Sometimes you just want to see people who make you laugh, who want to talk about their lives, or politics, or the motherfriggin' Olympics because the Olympics are awesome.  The family time is nice, though.  It's not a substitute for catching up with people you don't see every day, but at least we all enjoy each other's company, and none of us have to feel like we're forcing someone to spend time with us. 

I think maybe that's the lesson I'm supposed to learn here, though.  That there will likely never be other people you can truly depend on.  That you need to rely on yourself entirely, and friendships are best kept at a surface level where no one has to get attached to one another, that way it doesn't matter if those people disappear.  And I think I am learning that, slowly.  I may always envy people who have these beautiful friendships with people who have seen them at their best and worst.  My sister has several of those, and it's sometimes hard to watch and realize that can't be my life, but I think my life is just made to be different.  I'm made differently.  I'm not the person people keep around for years, and I need to be ok with that.  I'm starting to.

The upside to things is that because life at home is going smoothly, I enjoy the time spent with my family.  I enjoy my daughters.  I enjoy the life we continue to build within the four walls of our home.  I enjoy who both of my girls are becoming, and the way their lives are changing.  I enjoy my husband's newfound happiness, and the way our lives are growing together.  There are a lot of good things.  I just hope those good things keep growing, multiplying, and becoming better.


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