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