My brother and his wife recently had a baby boy. It made me reflect on the phenomenon that is parenthood. It is comparable to novels if you ask me. Having a child completely changes things; your life before them because a mere memory and everything else is your only reality. It is like the two lives are completely different books. The one with the baby is the main story, and before is this sort of vague prequel; it makes the characters more interesting and relatable, but isn’t necessary in understanding the true story.
Everything changes once you have a baby.
The prelude to any big decision is confusion. We spend days, weeks, months, weighing the pros and cons of our choices- debating between what’s best for us, our loved ones, and what will be best in the long run. More often than not, I believe, we spend this time unaware that we are about to make a big decision, but are merely faced with the anxiety that deciding brings.
I have a nostalgia for my romanticized home. I say romanticized because I really don’t have a home anymore. My parents are in the midst of divorce, the home I am speaking of is the battlefronts, my mother’s territory for now, but awaiting invasion. My father has fled to safer grounds, living with his sister, but this too is not a home. My Nana’s home, the place that I can recall on several occasions using as a sense memory to bring me peace, is no longer hers. She has moved into the redone basement, and my brother, his wife, and their new baby occupy the upstairs. There is no home where I am from.
There’s this obvious craving for family and companionship, but that has hardly ever been enough to stir more than a brief loneliness. So what is it? What am I truly missing? I am not home here and I will not be home there and it’s been said that places of uncertainty are the most dangerous to live in. These are the places where people face the most emotional turmoil; these are the places where people give up.
What decision am I trying to make?
I’ve been saying to myself and my loved ones for the last 6 months that the reason I stay is that I would rather be miserable in a city I love than be in a city I dislike and still sad. Yesterday my thoughts shifted. I was shopping alone and started to feel anxious and agitated. I wanted my mom there to tell me what looked good, to go grab me a smaller size. I wanted to be able to text my best friend and meet up for drinks. Instead I shopped, bought a dress I’m not sure looks good, and came home and hid out in my room.
These are the hard choices. I always felt like my reason to stay was this city and this lifestyle, but I am so busy working to afford to live here that I hardly have the time (let alone the energy) to do anything. I have very few friends and very little money. I’m not happy here. If I was home I would at the very least have friends and family to help me and support me. I could be there to help with my new nephew and be a part of something again.
When I lay it out like that it seems obvious that I should go home, that I’m not in the right mind space right now to be living out here. But then why am I not actually seriously considering leaving?
What am I even doing here?
I crave a sort of wisdom that I cannot seem to grasp. They say hindsight is 20/20; I want to be able to look at the bigger picture and figure out what the right thing to do is. I get it, there really isn’t an answer, but I’m sick of feeling like I’m doing everything wrong.
It’s hard to measure what is right when I’m not even sure what my choices are, or even what I’m trying to decide. Yet somehow there is an overwhelming sense of uncertainty. What am I even uncertain of?
I am attempting to be happy on my own. “They” say that you have to be happy on your own before you can be happy with someone else. I think that’s bullshit because being lonely is awful and humans are not meant to be companionless creatures. But here I am sitting alone and functioning in a solitary life. It probably is the best for me right now.
I am a person of habit. My habit for the last 5 years has been being in love and in a relationship. I merely transitioned from relationship to relationship, so sitting here and actually being alone feels… Off. I don’t know if I could be loved again though. I feel so flawed and broken and I don’t know how someone could love me again. More importantly, I don’t know how I could manage to love someone again, to put my whole self into a relationship knowing full well that it will likely end in heartbreak.
But I also so badly want someone to hold me in their arms and fill me up with love and kiss me hard and make me believe again.
I just don’t feel full anymore.