Yesterday I didn’t do anything except go get a sandwich.

I mean it! I laid upon the couch watching movies and playing games on my iPhone while Mr. Darcy toiled away on a Very Important Artist Project.

It felt weird. I felt restless which at times lead to a feeling of aggressiveness. I know, I know, I am a freak who can’t enjoy a day of nothing to do. I proclaim it and embrace it- I AM FREAK, HEAR ME ROAR.

Clearly, I need a new hobby.

There’s this slump I hit after a big event where I feel a bit lost, like I don’t know what to do with myself. There isn’t anything to obsess on or toil over for 11+ hours a day. There isn’t a looming deadline. It’s over and done with, successfully at that, and yet I can’t just ride the good feeling.

More and more I’ve become acutely aware of my ability to numb out. It’s becoming glaringly obvious in counseling sessions when I am asked “what are you feeling right now?” and my eyes bug out and I can’t name one singular feeling. I’m just… frozen, disconnected, numb. It’s so strange because I am a very feeling-oriented person. I can talk and talk about feelings- mostly other people’s or about mine in a distant way- but in that moment when I’m asked point blank? Nothing comes. It worries me. I don’t want to be this way and yet, training myself to connect to my true feelings in the moment scares me to no end. It’s been my coping mechanism for the greater part of my life. When you have gone to a place where you’ve felt too much, too deeply, you sometimes choose to not feel that much or that deeply ever again. The trouble with that method is that in avoiding feeling pain, you also avoid feeling goodness too.

My half-brother wrote back to me and in his note he shared that his experience of our father was that he was a quiet man and that their relationship felt one-sided (his side). He said he tried to reach out to Dad but there wasn’t much connection and that after a while, he stopped trying. All this time I thought maybe he had some insight into who our Dad was- being much older than I, having grown up in a different family, even being a boy- but it sounds to me like I might have had more of the “good Dad” than he did. Which makes me feel lucky and sad all at once.

It’s time to make my peace with the man I knew and called Dad. Saturday marked 18 years he’s been gone. Soon, I will have been alive longer without him than with him. Something about that fact shakes me to my core. Time is fleeting and while all this pondering and puzzling has its purpose, there is much more than sorrow to carry from that childhood place.

Something is shifting inside of me. And I am listening.

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” -Virginia Woolf



16 thoughts on “Shifting

  1. My dad has been gone 13 years and Saturday would have been his birthday. I was marinating on a lot of the same the ideas as I approach the tipping point of years spent with him vs. years spent without him (he died when I was 19). I think parental relationships are some of the hardest to navigate, getting even harder as we age. But no doubt the ability to articulate those issues and make changes because of them are some of life’s biggest lessons. Love that Virginia Woolf quote!

  2. You’re so energetic, I really love it!

    By the way, this was a great post in regards to talking about such a deep aspect of your personal life. Families are never “simple” and it’s amazingly huge just how much they can influence us as people. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is listen, just like you said. You’re on the right path, Sizzly, and though the pain may never go away completely, it can and will lessen with time.

    No go tell Mr. Darcy to give you a shoulder and neck massage after all of your amazingly hard work! đŸ˜‰

    Sending HUGE hugs your way!

  3. Geez the older than your parents and/or more time without them than with them is hard. My father died when he was 29 and I was 4. GOD! 40 years since my dad died! Ug – definitely weird. And also interesting to experience their ages and see where I am at as they fo always seem older….

  4. The number 18 has great significance in the Jewish religion. It’s considered a lucky number. A good number. Monetary gifts are given in increments of 18. Maybe 18 years is the right time to find some peace with the man who was your father.

  5. I was ready for a new hobby, so I went out and bought the full PhotoShop CS5 software and took a non-credit class for four consecutive Saturday afternoons at Boise State University. Now when I’m feeling bored or restless I can sit down at the computer and put my head on Cindy Crawford’s body. I’ll eat to that!

  6. I know you were looking for some answers about your dad. I’m sorry that didn’t happen.

    Congrats on the success of your event. Now try to relax and enjoy some time off.

  7. In this last year, I have had SO much opportunity to sit and do nothing. Do you think I’ve been able to do that? Not really. Hence remodeling my house. Nonetheless, when all the tasks are done and you still find yourself sitting there, that becomes a really good time to think, too. Even if it means you’re done thinking about things in a certain way. Does that make any sense? I found myself doing a lot of letting things be when I finally let myself be.

  8. You are so present to whatever comes and I respect that so much. Sometimes it’s hard, though — takes a lot out of a girl, in my experience. Take care of you.

  9. I think that’s all you have to do. Listen. Hear the feelings even if they’re quiet. And hopefully some of them will get processed and passed on and you’ll feel lighter than ever.

  10. What a beautiful post. I wish I wrote as eloquently as you.

    I am kind of stuck in an emotion-less place too. But I think for you, writing this must have helped get those emotions (or feelings) out! I need to try that. Just some stream of consciousness writing.

    And you totally deserve a lazy day!

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