Hello words. It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. It’s good to be back. There’s so many things I could say with my mouth, but there’s so much more that I am able to say with my fingertips, which are extension of my thoughts… thoughts that are only buried deep in my heart and mind. My mouth can’t often express them, and most of the time comes out wrong when I try. But, my fingers… ah, my fingers weave magic. They’re like a silver-tongue, able to coax words out of their darkness to dance upon the page in beautiful black font. My mouth often fails me, but not my words.
When I speak, my feelings, emotions, prejudices, and expressions get in the way of what I truly want to say. My vocal self is a mess. Humanity is complex. I wonder if the rest of life on this planet, or even in this universe, is as complex as the human mind. There are so many parts – some strong, some fragile, some hidden, some obvious. Our epidermis is only our shell. How deep do our minds really go? What of the spirit? What of the heart? Simple; yet complex.
I’m forty-six years old, my temporary life on this planet is already half over and I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of understanding what living means. I’ve been living, but my appreciation for it has been clouded. My heart sinks at the thought of how much of my short life I’ve wasted. Yet, I can say I don’t have much regret. I have many failures and lots of mistakes, but very little regret.
Existential questions plague me. Not because I’ve got to know answers. Don’t get me wrong, I have a curious mind and searching for answers will always be one of my greatest quests. However, it’s not in answers I seek most, but in purpose. I hope my fingers can weave the question clearly for you, pull out the bits and pieces among the multitude to make my meaning clear.
I’ve been feeling really stressed and frustrated lately. Not because I’ve quickly, almost overnight, have gone from a nearly lonely existence of spending ninety-five percent of my time in solitude to a full house where I have NO time alone. I ate alone, always slept alone, and most often had my own thoughts to keep me company. I tried dating, but found no connection with the strangers staring across the table at me, often spending my time defending myself from being pawed or molested. My roommate/best friend and I had become distant and I found myself avoiding contact as often as possible in an effort to keep peace and preserve a sisterhood that I had dreamed about my whole life. I was taking adventures on my own, exploring the coastline for lighthouses, learning history, working out, doing anything and everything to keep my mind occupied, but I was empty; void of purpose.
In my loneliness there was also a LOT of confusion; still today. I am in love with a man with relationship issues and who has hurt my heart deeply. I’ve tried to pull away from him, walk away on many opportunities, but I could never just let him go, not completely. My pride, my mind, and my will was able to put up walls, even able to convince myself I was over him and ready to move forward, but my heart never listened. I couldn’t stop loving him. I still can’t stop loving him. I know
I will always love him. It’s a strange relationship we have. I’ve never known such depth of a connection in two souls, but on the surface, there are so many conflicts, so many differences. We are so different from each other, have different views on so many different levels, different values, different personalities, different life patterns; we are an Oscar and Felix. Yet, like that odd couple, we are connected in a very deep way. Our love is a deep love and lives in such a depth, it’s almost an unspoken. I don’t doubt his love, real love, spiritual love, deep love, but everything else (wants, desires, expectations, etc., they swim in doubts. I never know from one minute to the next where we stand, what we are, what we’ve been, or even what the future holds for us. I can’t label our relationship. Yet it’s enough to know that it occupies my life, it owns my heart, and I can’t give that life or heart to another. It belongs to him and him alone. So, I’m stuck… in a confusing, beautiful, messy, uncharacteristic chaos. Sometimes I wonder what kind of crazy test God is putting me through. It feels unfair, unwinnable, yet beautiful and complex. Just because I can’t identify a thing doesn’t mean that thing is any less valuable or meaningful than what I can identify.
I desperately love two teenagers that are just as precious to me as my own children. I fell madly in love with them from the moment I met them. Actually, I think I started loving them before I met them by listening to their father speak about them. He spoke of a lot of things, but when the topic turned to his boys, it wasn’t just his lips that moved. His eyes lit up, his face changed, his posture changed, and the tone of his voice changed. Love exuded from him. His sons are his life, his pride and joy, his opus. I could only imagine the depth of love this man possessed because of the way he spoke about his sons. Surely if he possessed such love for them, he could provide love like that for me too. I couldn’t wait to meet them. When I did, I also saw the love they had for their father too. Oh, don’t think they’re a perfect family, no family is perfect and without issues. There are issues, there are needs, and wants, and complications just like every other family, and some of theirs are big issues too. But the love they have for one another… that’s real; that’s deep, and I connected to that love; I craved it. It felt like a centerpiece to a puzzle snapped in place, like I had been the missing link and they had been the missing pieces around me. I fell deeply in love with all three of them, the father and sons. I loved so hard it scared me. Again, there are no perfect stories, no perfect plans, only perfected chaos. As with everything else in life, there were issues, there are still issues, and those issues force me often to have to love them from a distance. I was constantly reminded they were not mine; he was not mine. I had three beautiful souls tethered to my heart, with no way to hold them or keep them. In fact, I was often pushed away. It was tortuous to my soul. I wanted desperately to just walk away from them so the pain in my heart would allow me to simply breathe, but I could never manage to let them go, none of them – father or sons.
My own children didn’t seem to need or want me. They never called or visited, not on holidays, birthdays or any time. I would send them ‘good morning’ prayers/wishes, but never got a response. My youngest would sometimes text me, to hit me up for money. My son would messenger me sometimes to see if I had watched something or heard about a new game. My oldest just never messaged at all. I was estranged from all my family, all of them. My parents were dead, and even when they were alive I had a failed relationship with them. My brothers didn’t even seem to remember I existed unless they were stealing from me. I had moved away from all my friends in Georgia, and they seemed to have forgotten about me. Needless to say I felt a huge failure as a parent. I had failed as a wife. I had failed as a daughter. I had failed as a sister. I seemed to be failing as a friend. I failed as a girlfriend, and I felt as if I had failed these two boys and I had failed God and my faith. Of all my successes in education, business, career, civic duties, physical achievements, beating cancer, getting published, receiving promotions, having a stellar resume, etc.; I seemed perfect on paper, but I felt like a failure as a human being.
I was lost. I was a piece of dust blowing in the wind, searching for purpose. I was lonely. I would put a smile on my face every day, tell myself how much I loved myself, take selfies so I could convince myself that I was happy, but inside I was lost. I controlled nothing. Sometimes I would close my eyes hoping I wouldn’t open them again. I felt rejected, unloved, unwanted, and unneeded. I desperately looked for purpose, tried to keep myself busy with adventure, and constantly sought direction. I couldn’t understand why I was so unlovable when my heart ached because I loved so many, so deeply. What was so wrong with me that no one wanted to love me back? That has been the question that has plagued me my whole life, starting as a child wondering how my parents could hurt me like they did, and my brothers, and God must have hated me too – he took away the only man that had ever showed he loved me on a battlefield in Somalia, to my husband who couldn’t even tell me he loved me for the twenty years we were married, to my children running away from me or forgetting I even existed, now to man who my soul loves telling me loves me but has relationship issues, to two teenagers boys who are mine in my heart but I have no right in their lives.
See, complicated mess. Simple; yet complex. Well, that was a couple months ago. Almost overnight I went from that lonely existence to never having five seconds to myself because that man and his sons have moved in with me (we’re together, but not together) and our relationship is still unidentifiable. I can’t even describe it. I have my family with me, yes they are my family, and my heart couldn’t be happier. I have them, but I don’t. They’re mine, but they’re not. They’re with me, but not with me. My youngest daughter has also come home, and she’s pregnant with my first grandbaby. She’s here, but she’s not. My roommate is unpredictable now, with health issues and mental issues. She’s also here, but she’s not. I can’t even begin to express the stresses of having 6.5 people and three dogs living in a two-bedroom apartment create. Everyone is stressed. Everyone is doing their best to work together and keep the peace. It’s chaos, but a beautiful chaos.
I’m watching that man sleep right now. He’s the most beautiful thing in the world to me, not because he’s a handsome man, and that he is, but because I see his soul – his heart, his spirit. He’s a mess, and somedays I want to strangle him because he’s often an arrogant asshole, but he’s one of the most helpful, giving, smart, and compassionate person I’ve ever met. So, this brings me back to my original query – that existential question – what is the meaning to all this chaos? My frustration isn’t from the cooking, cleaning, no privacy, no time for myself, being busy working and taking care of my family, including the dogs. No, I LOVE taking care of my family. Taking care of them gives me purpose. Taking care of them is a way to express my love and appreciation for them. My frustration comes in not knowing what tomorrow holds. They could all leave tomorrow and I would be alone again. I have no control over them. I can’t make them stay. I can’t make them love me or appreciate me, or even want me. My frustration comes from fear – a history of those I love leaving me. I love my family. I love this man. I love his sons – my sons. I love my daughter. I already love my grandbaby. I love my best friend. I even love the damned dogs. I don’t want to lose them. But, I have no power or right to keep them. I can only love them as much as I can while I have them, and continue to love them even if they leave me.
Love – this is the essential key to purpose and our short existence on this planet. While my life has been riddled with one chaotic event after the next, love is the one thing I never regret. Even if I fail, even if love is never returned to me, I will never regret loving. It’s really the only thing in the world that truly matters. While I may not be able to identify my relationships right now, and I can’t’ put any of them in any known or familiar box (girlfriend, friend, step-mom, Gigi (that’s the name I hope my grandbaby calls me), bestie, roommate, lover, etc., there is love in and around all of it. I love Jon. I love Anthony. I love Nathan. I love Kelly. I love Little K. I love Jenna. I love Nova. I love Bella. I love Gizmo. I love Johnathan. I love Meagan.
God is love. Where there is love, God is there also.
Till next time,