April 25, 2011

Life's Private Parts (the PG-13 kind)

Dear Mom,

I have a blogging buddy who practically lives a double life. She drives herself to chemo treatments, writes under an alias, and even her own roommates don't know she has cancer. I never understood this-- how could she not want the support? How could she keep such a huge part of her life to herself?

Well, now I know.

Like I told you last week, I started a new job a few weeks ago. I've lost track of how many times your death could have easily slipped into a conversation with various new co-workers, but each time, I've stopped myself. But why? I miss you; I miss calling you on my drive home to tell you about my day; I miss making new memories together; I miss feeling complete. But what I don't miss, is the way someone looks at me when I tell them my mom is dead; the instant frown; the pity behind their eyes; the sympathy in their voice. I will never miss that because I shouldn't even know what that looks like in the first place.

So, I get it. I completely understand why my friend doesn't walk around airing her personal life to anyone who will listen. It's refreshing to just blend in for a change and to not be the girl that makes people realize their lives aren't that bad in comparison. Especially since my last place of employment sucked the energy and happiness right out of me on a daily basis, it's nice that I'm now somewhere where I can just keep it light. I'll save the serious stuff for those who help get me through it... after all, you aren't supposed to share your private parts with just anyone, right?


April 18, 2011

I'm Alive!

(Originally written 4/9/11)

Dear Mom,

Today is Dad's birthday! I visited him last weekend, and we had lots of great conversations. I can honestly say he is better, and happier, and that makes me breathe a sigh of relief. It's been a long road, and it's still going to wind and twist along the way, but for now, he is having a smoother ride.

I've been a little MIA in the past week and a half because I have been transitioning from my old job to somewhere brand new and wonderful! I used to have a lot of downtime during my schedule previously, so I was able to write more, but that's not the case here (we can't even use our cell phones!) The position itself isn't where I see myself down the road, but if I move up through the company I could get into the communications section of it and fit in perfectly. It's something to work towards and has brought me a million steps ahead of where I was just 11 days ago, so I can't complain about that!

Last night I was so exhausted from my first week of work and training that I passed right out when my head hit my pillow. I was woken up around 1AM when, yet again, a roommate drunkenly staggered into the house and not-so-gracefully found her way to her room down the hall (I love my friends, I do, but it's just another reminder of how different from them I've become. They even call me 'mom'!). I laid there and listened to her to make sure she wasn't sick or in need of any help (here I go again with the TMMs...), but she seemed alright. I tried to fall back asleep, when out of nowhere I started sobbing. I was having one of those 'holy crap, how did I get here?!' kind of moments. It was the first time in weeks that time had slowed long enough for me to just think about me... and you.

As happy as I am that dad is honestly doing well, it also made me feel more isolated from everyone. I felt like I was crossing another name off the list of fellow grievers, and to tell you the truth, I'm not even sure who's on it anymore besides me. It's not a constant feeling of sadness anymore like it used to be; the waves of grief are spaced out, but during their off time they are only building up their strength to come crashing down when I least expect it. Like at 1AM on a Friday when I had already been sleeping for three hours.

I think what is upsetting me more now is the fact that all this time is passing. It's been almost 3.5 years already. How have I lived without you for 3.5 years? And time will only continue to increase. Even as I write this, I am minutes further from the last time I saw your face. It just makes me sad to know that eventually, the time I have spent without you is going to surpass the 19 years I knew you. I have always said that I was lucky to have you in my life for 19 years, and I still believe that, but seriously? What the (insert inappropriate word that I would use if I were a normal 23-year-old here)! Nineteen years is hardly no time at all. It's not fair. I know, I know, life's not fair, but why? Why does it have to be unfair?


So I guess this is where I'm at now (and by now, I mean April 18th, nine days after I started writing this post. I really am slacking!). I'm at a weird transition where I feel like fewer people understand me (especially being at a new job where no one knows anything about you--which may actually be a good thing since clearly it only made me a target before); where I feel like I have nothing else to say at this point rather than 'grief is stupid'; where I am honestly at a crossroads with a lot of my relationships because I suddenly just feel like an outsider. Even the people who used to add the most to my life, suddenly aren't. Do I ask too much of people? Do I think I deserve more than I actually do? All I know is that you gave me the world, I was spoiled, and now no one else really measures up. When I step back and look at some of the people around me, I just feel like I'm settling. Is it them... or me?

Hoping to get out of this rut and find my way back to my old self, happiness, and writing.