Today is one of those days that everything just wears on me. It’s not that I am depressed or anything of the sorts. It is just the weight of the world on my shoulders that is holding me down, at least that’s how it feels.
I have no emotional attachment to my ex-wife, so it’s not anything like that. Yes, when things were good they were great, and I still love her dearly as a friend and mother of my children, but that is the extent of it. Two days ago was our “anniversary” of when we first started dating. While that has no emotions tied to it anymore, it was still a big deal mentally. If it were not for that particular day where we started dating, my son may have never been here. I may have never been married. Today, I probably would not be writing this blog at 30 years old, raising two kids as a single father. There are always those little caveats that make you think “What If?”, ya know?
Of course, since the divorce I have had my up’s and down’s. I went through a large slum where I was down a lot, did everything I could to pick myself back up and looked for an outside source to help me with that. I was wrong when searching for something to fill that void, I had it in front of me the whole time. Right there, in the form of a little two year old toddler with big blue eyes, wanting to hang out with his daddy. How was I so blind? This little man fills such a huge hole in my heart to where I feel like a whole person, and I was looking past him. It’s not that I was not there, I was. I’ve spent every night for the last 5-6 months cuddling with him on the couch when I get home from work, but I was not “there”, metaphorically speaking. Since this realization, Daddy’s back. He’s my world, I’m his. I make sure he knows that every single day how much he means to me, how happy he makes me, and that I would stop the world from turning if it meant it would make him happy.
Now don’t get me wrong, he does fill that void, but today I faced some hard inner truths. This morning while trying to leave for work, this little man clutched my leg and did not want me to leave, which is always hard. But I had to go. My father picked him up and cradled him, assuring him I would be home as always. This is what started me on my emotional journey of the day.
I realized that I’m lonely. Not in my heart, but emotionally. Yeah, the kids take care of my lonely heart by filling me with joy daily, but when I am alone, I am ALONE. The adult time that I barely get at night is alone time, which is perfect and all, but it also sucks. I am strong and confident when I have my kids around, I make sound choices and prove myself as a great parent to them; regardless of them constantly trying my patience. Then bed time comes, and the house is quiet. Sure, I occupy my time with cleaning the house just for it to become a mess again the next day, I curl up on the couch with a beer in hand and the latest shows on TV or Netflix, or some nights I just go lay in bed and try to close my eyes to start over the next day. As I said, I am nowhere near depressed, I love the hell out of my life and enjoy every minute of it. It is just those short times.
Then I end up here. The place where I feel myself spiraling downward to that dark place. The place that reminds me of my younger self. The place where a friend once made the greatest observation about me that I had never realized before. The way that she had described me in my most trying times was this: “Shane, you’re like the mythological phoenix. When you are doing good, you’re great. You’re on top of your game. But then you begin to die off, and fluctuate a little, and fall, you hit rock bottom. And like the phoenix, you die. Just to rise again from your own ash, more powerful and stronger than you were before”. This has stuck with me for over ten years now, as it was one of the more truer statements that has ever been made about who I am. When I crash, I crash and burn. But I always get back up and move on. As Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward”.
As I approach this darkness, this depth of solitude, all I can do is wait. Grit my teeth, bear the weight on my shoulders, and brace for impact. Because when I hit, I will spring right back up and hit it hard. The worst part of it all is when I hit rock bottom, I never know how long I will stay down, I just know I never reach the 10 count.
So yes, I am lonely. I starve for attention, much like my children. I crave that gentle touch of a woman, just someone to hug me and cuddle up to me and make me feel wanted. Even if it only lasts a minute. It’s that touch that makes me feel like a man. It’s holding that woman in my arms, the smell of her perfume invading my nostrils, her hair tickling my neck, the look in her eyes, the taste of her lips; it’s those moments that I need. My senses are craving to be pushed to their limits, to their breaking point. I need that. I desire a woman to get lost in conversation with, to lose myself in her eyes and forget the worries of the world. I want the silly little arguments, the playful banter, the pushing and wrestling in good fun; I deserve that. I know I do. I am a good person, I have my faults, but I deserve to have a woman by my side that deserves me. Not even in a relationship sense, not necessarily. Just someone that I can have those moments with, and actually enjoy the company of. I want the roller coaster feeling, the ups and downs, the times where she makes my head spin in a corkscrew motion, the excitement, the adrenaline rush.
There is no feeling in this world that is more surreal than staring into someone’s eyes and forgetting who you are, where you are, and how you got there. That look from across the room, where when your eyes first meet all you can do is grin like a school aged boy, and from that first look you realize you cannot stop. You just keep searching for that next chance encounter where your eyes can meet again, and for that split second leave your own body and watch the exchange of glances. Then she smiles, and your heart stops beating just for an instant, and you have to glance away finally just to catch your breath. It’s a moment like that that defines who you are, and who you really have the potential to be. But you are scared to tap into that emotion, scared to travel down that path because of the pain you have felt in the past, and when given the chance to actually speak to her, you put yourself in the dreaded “friend-zone” immediately out of fear.
How do you come back from that? How do you rectify yourself after being scared of nothing at all but rejection? Rejection is just a response elicited by a question. Nobody has ever died from asking a “yes” or “no” question, not that I am aware of at least.
All in all, for being someone that loves knowing where they are in life, I want to be lost. Forget who I am for that instant again, position myself in the stars, and connect the dots. Even if just for a moment, I want to lose myself.