I have lived in this shared one bedroom apartment with my craigslist roommate for close to three years. I have stared out at the dirt and mildew stained walls outside my window thousand of times thinking about my life and existence and the future. I keep feeling like I will be sad when I leave on Saturday, but I suddenly realized that this place has never really been my home.
In my transient young adulthood, this is the longest that I’ve ever stayed in one place, but the yellow tiled bathroom and beige walls don’t belong to me. No matter what efforts I put in to making this place mine, the calendar on the wall, or chalk boards with my to-do lists, it never really felt quite right. It was always a shared place, not fully my own. I think about all the memories I’ve made here, all the ways that I’ve really come into my own and become a person I am happy to be, and built relationships here and a life, but that isn’t about the place itself.
Sure, I will miss the memories, and maybe a little bit of the freedom I had in this ~300sq ft room, but this place was never really my home. Now I have the chance to make a real one for myself, if I am ready to give up the idea of myself as a transient youth and move forward into a real life with someone. It’s scary and overwhelming, but I’m ready to say goodbye to this non home and move forward into a real house with plants and dogs and friends and a man who loves me.
So goodbye, mildew stained paneled wall. I don’t think I’ll miss you.
I think about the way that I am, or is the way that I choose to be, and wonder if I will ever be okay in my own skin. I feel too much, love to deeply, but approach the world with a bitter indifference. Don’t let them see you cry. Stiff upper lip. Continue reading WHO AM I?!
Sometimes I drink a bit too much wine and listen to romantic songs and daydream about all my loves. Lately I have’t been thinking about you anymore, and I don’t think that’s a good sign. I think about the handsome bearded guy from the sushi place, who couldn’t stop smiling at me. I think about the fella on the bus who sat beside me and smelled like sandalwood. I think about the smart, well dressed gentleman from my class, and I dream about a tomorrow where I am sipping wine and telling them my story.
I tell him about how I tried my very best with you, but that it just wasn’t enough. At the end of the day you lacked empathy, and I couldn’t teach you how to do that, no matter how bad I wanted to. I talk about how it was the hardest decision I ever made, because it probably will be, because I was choosing between what I wanted (you), and what I knew I actually needed (more). I sit, and I daydream about it. But instead of action, I just take another swig of wine and smile when you enter the room. You don’t even notice my red eyes and tear stained cheeks.
I don’t know what to do.
From the moment we are born our life’s clock starts ticking. From the very second we start something, it is one second closer to ending. I have been overly aware of this reality lately, feeling constantly and obsessively like time is running out. It is not an awareness that I am incredibly fond of. Living with a perpetual timer in my head has the effect that all I do is tainted by the fact that everything ends.
This isn’t meant to be a comment on our human condition or some sort of metaphysical discussion of our immortality but rather a reflection on how difficult it is to live in the moment. It’s all just grains of sand slipping away before our very eyes, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. I’m not sure how to make that sound less bleak than it is.
We can pretend that we will seize each moment and live each day to the fullest, but laying awake at night there is the crushing sensation that there is so much more left to do and not enough time. There is the overwhelming knowledge that we have not used our time well and that we are not where/who/what we thought we would be by now.
It is said that time is a mere human conception and that it is the reason for mankind’s worry. So how do we do away with the calendar and clock and live a life that is more intrinsically connected to desire and fulfillment? How do we let go of counting minutes and focus on what is truly important- the things that fill our time and make the hours disappear?
Relationships change you. Even if it’s in little, insignificant ways- we are changed by the people that come in and out of our lives. Although I am speaking of romantic relationships in this instance, all of them change us. Friends, family, even ones that aren’t our own relationships. My parents rocky relationship has changed me and shaped who I am; it has created some of my good qualities and a lot of my not so good ones.
We take little pieces of people that matter to us and carry them around with us forever. I used to sleep with two pillows, but now I sleep with four. Our expectations change from love interest to love interest- we become more particular, having weeded out the things we don’t like in the last one we know what we want better the next time around. Does what we take and what we leave behind hold any real significant meaning, or is it just simply “what stuck” versus what didn’t?
So we sit in our stupid chairs (You know the one that he didn’t want to buy but you insisted on and ended up being really uncomfortable but you took it anyways to prove a point? Ya that one), and write long blog entries when we should be sleeping. You let certain things eat at you, while the others are fading away or already gone. Some of these things might ache for the rest of your life, while some you may forget completely.
So what does it say about us: the things we choose to carry and the things we choose to let go?
I don’t always feel like I’m going to be okay, but at the end of the day I can lay in bed and say to myself that I made it again. I made it through a day when I wasn’t sure if I would or could. There is no certainty in this world; I could be gone tomorrow and so could you. It’s inevitable. So that simple feeling of exhaling in this life is enough, it’s more than enough, even when it’s bad, this is my life. Breathe it in.