Project 22 for Jaunt: the river runs dry.
My Own Private Sahara
i have this image of a deserted stream bed; you can imagine that once there were fish, currents eddying along the shore, trees dipping down to put branches in water. and then it all packed up and left. now there's just an empty river bed, alone and dreaming of greener days.
i've felt pretty run dry, emotionally, lately. just... tapped out. hard little peas of insecurity rattle around in an empty can. then again, it alternates with the flash flood of ... what? sadness, fear, worry, all sorts of damp, squishy emotions. it's not fun, this back and forth.
and it's worse because i feel lonely. i'm fine with being alone. not the same thing. i'm lonely, because the connections just aren't there right now, and it feels like i've fucked them up, deserve to be lonely.
it's not true, really. no one deserves to be lonely. and nothing is so extreme. it's just that when you're sad and stressed, looking at your life is akin to looking thru the wrong end of the telescope. the perspective is all screwy.
look, i know i've been selfish and stupid before. it has cost me some important relationships and done a lot of damage to others. but i also feel like i give a lot to the people i care about. that's got to be worth something, doesn't it? i mean, i'm not *all* bad.
in some cases, i think, i gave too much. i flooded the relationship, effectively drowning their contributions. there was no us, no shared ideas, just compliance and direction. what seemed like a thing that was working out was actually him just not peeping back. and ultimately, it all fell apart.
i've also let the pendulum swing to the other extreme, and been a doormat. it's not that i didn't give to those relationships. it's more that i allowed my contributions to be dictated to me. and when he got tired of giving dictation? back to the steno pool for me.
in both cases, there was no balance. maybe that's the problem - there's only so much you can give without getting back. and i shut off the return channels by giving too much, or ran out of things to give because i had no idea what i wanted to contribute. it's not that we have a finite amount to give. but it's like sourdough starter, that well of giving. it needs to be fed.
*sigh* while it shouldn't come as a surprise, it sort of does. so much of this feeling impoverished and arid is tied to relationships. romantic ones, yes, but also those with family and friends. i'm scared that their temperance and understanding have also run dry. and i'm worried about where that leaves me. because, try though i might at times, none of us can exist in a vacuum. we need contact, love, affection, understanding, connection with other people.
i was out the other night, and pumped some quarters into the juke box. setting aside the fact that it ate a dollar's worth of quarters and gypped me out of 4 songs, it turned out to be an interesting emotional study. i hadn't had any idea or theme when i walked up to the jukebox. i just picked out songs at random - or so i thought, until the pattern jumped over the bar and whacked me on the head. *wry smile* here's the beginning of the set list: No More I Love Yous, Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone, and Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. could the neon sign be any brighter?
hmmm. just a theory, but... so how's this? i'm feeling all sorts of run dry by boys, or because of boys, or in spite of - whatever. Boys are An Issue. and i let that wreak havoc with my sense of self-worth. i end up feeling small and stupid, because i allow the presence or absence of a person, a cipher, to define who i am. and i take that feeling back into all the other relationships. i feel like less of a daughter, or aunt, or friend, because i don't have a boy.
well, that sounds ... stupid, and true. *sigh* *shakes head* and yet, i can't escape the whole Boy Thing. there's a part of me, a pretty strong part of me, as i'm discovering, that can't shake the idea that Women Need to Spawn. somehow, if i don't have a kid, i'm less of a woman. which, logically, i can say is complete and utter bullshit. some of us are meant to be parents, some of us aren't. and it's okay to be in either camp. i have no idea if i'll ever truly be ready to be a parent, to take on that responsibility. and if i'm not? so what?
and yet... my ovaries are yelling at me, screaming at a slightly higher pitch each and every day. since the idea of a single parent is not appealing to me, that means i need a willing partner in crime. which means i need to be not single. which i am. single, that is.
there have been days lately where i almost feel as if my ovaries would leap across a room and tie themselves around the belt loop of any semi attractive guy. and i wouldn't have any say in it.
but i don't let them get away with it. i'm wary, having been burnt too badly too many times. i don't really want to let anyone in right now. ugly little conflict building itself up, huh? can't live without 'em, can't hide the bodies, as a friend once said. there just is no winning, it would seem. stay single and keep my sanity, and feel like an utterly worthless human being half the time, or get involved in a relationship and compromise my life away.
on top of all that, the change of season (fall, silly, not *that* change) makes me mopey. i remember one October afternoon in seventh grade. it was raining, and i had my cheek resting against the cold window of the bus. and i thought, 'i hate October. it's always a depressing month.' had i been able to put a name to it, i would have realized that i'd just described Seasonal Affective Disorder. so, yeah - throw that in for a little extra seasoning. makes it just that much harder to pull up my socks and realize that, dry and empty as i may feel, my friends and family are still there, and life is there for the enjoying.