Failing at life

I look around me, everywhere I look – Facebook, trains, stores, in the street and I see the evidence to support that I’m failing at life everywhere. In a massive way. In the most unnatural way in any species upon this earth:

I have no children.

Sometimes I look at mothers and I hate them – I hate them for having this little life that is “theirs”. Knowing that I’m not going to ever experience a life moving inside my womb or holding the life in my arms. I’m never going to watch a little person grow up into a big person. It saddens me.

The truth is though that I have never been sure if I want kids. But at the same time it’s something I always thought would happen, almost by itself. You meet someone, fall in love, romp a bit and Volia! a perfect new human being is added to the ever growing population.

But I’ve never really had that overpowering wish or need for an offspring. Maybe that’s my failing?

I had a little thing about wanting kids when I was in my late 20s but I realized afterwards that it was not about having children so much as about me wanting to have an identity – in this case that of mother. And yes I did spend my 35 birthday crying, inconsolable, just because my years of viable eggs were fast coming to an end. Having just ended a relationship of 5 years with someone who didn’t want kids but I wanted to have kids with and having reached my “scary” age so the realization that I wasn’t going to have children felt heartbreaking. Also, I was very, very drunk. Since then, there have been times when I’ve had unprotected sex with this one guy and I’ve secretly hoped afterwards that maybe I’d accidentally got knocked up.

But not having kids isn’t something that I feel is ruining (has ruined) my life in any way. I’m impossibly selfish and self-centred. Sure, that would probably change should I have children. And they would enrich my life, not ruin it.

What is most upsetting though is that the possibility and option to have a kid is quickly running out. I’m now in my early 40s so it’s not completely out of the question, but how many more years? And, seriously, would I want to meet someone and get pregnant pretty much at once?

But sometimes I wonder what I’d be like.

And. So. Yes. I’m a complete failure at life.

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“Nothing happens. Nobody comes. Nobody goes. It’s awful.”

My loneliness is palpable – it’s wedged in my throat making it hard to breathe; it’s a nauseating hollow in my stomach; it’s a witch on my chest exhaling onto my face, the stink of her breath seeping in through my nostrils and filling my body. It’s me crying in the restroom at work, almost crying on the subway. It’s me staying late at work every night so I don’t have to go home to nothing. It’s me panicking, not knowing what to do to not feel like this, going to bed at 9pm just so I don’t have to be awake thinking about how empty my life is, how lonely I am. 

I guess I have been lonely for a long time, maybe always because I quite often feel lonely even when I’m with people. But something happened over the passed two weeks to bring out exactly how awful it is when nobody comes and nothing happens. And, ironically, it is due to an effort to change my life and not be so lonely that I find myself having to deal with my loneliness.  

Because recently, there was a glimmer of excitement. A moment that wasn’t awful. Something happened. Someone came. Then someone went. Disappeared into the good night, never to be seen again. And along with that my newly awakened hopes and dreams sailed along. And it’s ok. Really, it is. Rationally it’s all fine. But emotionally I can’t quite cope. Because what isn’t ok is how vulnerable it has made me feel. I don’t like that I am so weak, so easily swayed by a few moments of false happiness. I don’t like how hurt I feel. 

I have two choices:

  • Let the depression take over and bring me down. Benefits of this can be over-exercising and starvation so I get super skinny again. Not so good wasting more time of whatever I have left of life to be inactive and allow everything to suck.
  • Kick some ass and choose life.  

I did learn a few things from the recent experience, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time. (Well, it’s made my think even more than previously that Fate is a whore. But when have I not been of that opinion. She just sits there with her bottle of Jack Daniels and stubs her cigars out on the garden gnomes. She’s evil. She dangles morsels in front of you and then tells you to go fuck yourself.) I will ignore what the cynic in me has taken away from the experience. Instead here are the positives: not only do I now back up my work – so in case someone steals my laptop or it breaks my novel is now safe – but it also made me realize I need to focus. Focus on what I want and how to get there.

So, yes I feel utterly disappointed with the whole experience and mostly because I’m so easily sucked into however slight a promise of something happening, but allowing what was nothing, nobody, to make me falter – I don’t fucking things so. 

Something needs to happen. And I seem to forget I’m already making things happen.

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When he kisses you good night on your Kraken rosed cheek and you never want to wash your face again.

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Monotony is suffocating me. Nothing ever changes. Nothing ever happens. There is no point. There is no meaning. There is nothing. 

I cannot stand this any longer.

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My vision, my life

I’m sitting here looking at my vision board I created at a workshop a couple of months ago and a postcard that I wrote to myself at the end of the event which the organizers sent out three months after so we could be reminded of the points we wanted to take away with us and what we needed to work on.

I put up my vision board about a week ago. It’s a bit light at the bottom as I ran out of pictures so I might add bits as I find them. I don’t know if it’s comforting or sad that nothing has changed – my vision of what I want in life is exactly the same as when I grew up. I want to be skinny, I want to write, I want someone to share life with, I want city and nature, I want color and adventure, I want challenges, glorious, magical realism, storm and intense, sunshine, romance.

On my card I have written things like I need to be specific with what I want and how to achieve it, that I need to stop putting up obstacles, and that I need to find the right people.

I think the last point is becoming increasingly important. I do like my friends, a lot, some of them I love. But the truth is, they are not the people who will empower me to move my life forward. They are the people I have a cocktail with after work, the people I go to the movies with, the people I keep my private life from to a very large extent because I don’t want to share it with just anyone. Of course, I have friends who I do share with, but they are not here. They are in a city across the Atlantic. And there I also have the people I can stay out drinking till 4am with, people I can talk to about the creative process, people who will always ask how I’m getting on with my writing, support me when I just want to burn my manuscript. 

I have one such person here. My best friend from the age of nine. We have recently started to see each other regularly (it was with her I went to the workshop) and it warms me. For days afterwards. And spending time with her has also made me realize that I am fundamentally still the same person as I was at nine. Only now with breasts and really good shoes. 

I’m really afraid of life just going by. And because I’m an overachiever who believe I’m a failure, I never manage to get life to where I need it to be. My goals are so high that there is no possible way I will ever manage to get there. So I fail before I even start.

I’ve been depressed on and off for my entire life and I resent that – the chemical imbalance in my brain. All the years wasted with me numb, not caring, incapable of doing anything with my life. I’m still struggling but I’d like to think I’ve managed to put some things in place to help me. I no longer take medication so I have to keep a close eye on my behavior and make sure I move into some sort of preventive mode before I slip over the edge. Because even though it is tempting to just go there and stop existing in any real meaning I want my life. I want to do the things I’ve always wanted to do (like finish this novel and start the next one).

I used to fear all sorts of things. For instance confrontations, rejection etc. But now I fear not having the confrontation or putting myself in the position of rejection. Am I going to wonder for the rest of my life what could have happened or changed just because I’m afraid. 

So, my vision board and my words to myself. It’s what I want. And only I can make it happen. And as my friend, the one I’ve known since the age of nine, keeps telling me:

“Remember, you’re in control.” 

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On online dating…

So my online dating is going great. I created a profile like two weeks ago and have been on the site once since then (this morning and only because I woke up at 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep and got bored) and I haven’t looked at any profiles. I’ve had plenty messages, which I have not read, and “likes” but you know they are just… wrong.

I realize if I’m going to do the whole online thing I’m going to have to a) throw some money at it so I can send messages b) look around and find people I want to send messages to c) arrange a couple of dates d) stop judging people (even though it’s one of my favorite past times) on the brief information they provide e) care less about how old/tall they are f) many more things.

I guess because I’m still a little hooked on X to some extent it’s difficult. We’re both back in town and we see each other in various settings so it’s back on my mind. But today I found an email from April 2011 sent to one of my bestest buddies about him. Really? And I’m still in this place? I want to move forward. I manage fairly well to get my life to evolve in other areas but it’s like I’m emotionally stunted. TJ and X have been the big distractions for years.

Of course, it’s because it’s so safe to be infatuated or whatever with someone nothing’s ever going to happen with when there’s still a spark. Because the spark keeps hope alive and as long as there’s a little hope you think it might be a bad idea to just leave the idea in case…

However, enough is enough so I’d better start trolling through the trolls to see if I can’t find perhaps not a Prince Charming (let’s face it, that’s not what I’m after anyway!) but maybe a horror movie fanatic, or someone who doesn’t talk with his mouth full (like TJ), or whatever.

Wish me happy hunting…

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On change…

So I have returned to my real life after a month in my time bubble. It was nice to get a break from my self and my life. Not only so I could be in the place I love best with some of my favorite people, doing what I love best – drink cocktails and write – but also to reevaluate what the hell I’m doing with my life here.

I returned determined not to get sucked back into my perpetual Möbius strip. Twenty-six hours later I’m doing exactly what I had decided I would never do again: text X. Ok, there are mitigating circumstances but still… We’ve not managed to get together yet, but I’m seeing him next week (and yes, I’m planning outfits – I hate myself!). However, now I’m thinking I might cancel. This circle needs to be broken.

It’s like I need him to validate me. Like his opinion at this very moment in my life is more important than anyone else’s. But why? I pride myself on not needing anyone to validate me. Why do I want him to think highly of me? To think I’m funny, attractive, charismatic, striking, eccentric (all things he has said I am)?

Am I actually in something with him?

And as if making plans with X isn’t bad enough, this week I’m all of a sudden also making drinks plans with Prof Unruly AND FFG. It’s like being back here brings out the very worst in me. I’m not moving forward but am just stuck on the strip, going round and round again, doing the same things I keep telling myself to stop doing, perpetuating bad ideas.

CHANGE. I have to change – my self, my friends, my behavior, my outlook, my priorities, my though process, my annoying over-thinking, my everything.

So I’ve decided to start – and I hate this – online dating. Yes. This time though I’m actually going to do it. Not like every other time when I created a profile, usually when drunk, and two hours later deleted it. Online dating is not for me – I still have a wish to meet someone and click and for things to grow organically. But I know that’s so unlikely to happen.

I’m changing my default to make me the best person I can be.

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On my alternative life…

My alternative life starts today. The life I want to have. The reality I want to be mine. Only, I’m finding myself less seduced by it than I used to. It is an odd sensation when you realize that something you’ve invested so heavily in emotionally isn’t at all what you want any longer.

Don’t get me wrong. All I want to do is write. I was born to be a writer. It’s the only thing I’m genuinely any good at. Sure, I manage quite well to do my day job (I’m getting promoted – check me out!) but I do it because I have to, not so much for the pleasure of it. Writing is in my blood.

So I go to New York to write. In 2009 I spent three months there. Then last summer I went for a month and started the novel I’m now going to almost finish the coming month. Very exciting!

But as I was leaving my apartment, I turned around and said out loud, “I don’t want to go away for a month”. And I felt like I was betraying New York. And myself. And my dreams. I love New York. I love New York so much that I want to have sex with New York. I love New York so much I want to have babies with New York. And yes, I still want to live in New York. But not at any cost.

Maybe it has something to do with the change in preoccupation. I’m no longer wondering about the meaning of a relationship that distracted me for two years. But I’m over it now. And I don’t want to go back there.

Maybe it has something to do with the distraction I have here. Maybe this has something to do with my unwillingness to step away from my life for a month. But I need a break from this, the perpetual noise in my brain, the confusion that’s there although I’m pretty sure I’m the one confusing myself by misreading things – I need to get away.

And I know as soon as I get there and I get off the plane and I can stretch my arms to the sky and shout I AM HOME this will be of no consequence and for the next month writing and cocktails and my fantastic friends will be all. And I love my alternative life. To wake up and saunter to my writing places, write all day, go for a run, meet friends for dinner and drinks, lie around in Central Park or Brynt Park, just walk around in the city that I love so much I would move there in a New York minute.

I’m so close to finishing my novel. I’m so excited about having this time to write write write!

I love my alternative life, the life I want but will never have. But I guess something shifted last year and I became emotionally invested in my real life for the first time in four-five years. Which is why I don’t really want to go. My real life isn’t what I want it to be (for an example, see above) but I want to make it better. Which is why I don’t want to leave it.

I have to run; my flight is leaving soon. And yes, as I’m typing this I feel a buzz in my stomach: NEW YORK, here I come!

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On hand holding…

I can still remember what it felt like, his hand in mine. We were a bit drunk. And we weren’t quite sure what it meant. We had kissed and now we were holding hands. We have kissed many times since then, but we have never held hands again.

That’s almost four years ago. And I haven’t held anyone else’s hand since either.

Sometimes my hand feels so empty.

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On risk…

Risk: hazard – venture – jeopardize – adventure – chance – danger

I’ve been thinking a lot about risk over the last few years. I find it so very sad that the older I get the more risk-averse I’m becoming. Logically you would think because my life is getting shorter every moment, I’d be more willing to take a risk to get what it is I want, be it a man, finishing my novel, or telling someone their behavior is unacceptable.  

But no, not at all. Now it’s all about consequences.

I do think I’m better. I do think I’m slowly getting to a point where I can say what I want and mean without being afraid that the consequence will be unpleasant or disappointing. I am getting to a point where I would rather have my heart broken into tiny pieces than not go for “it” with someone just because “it might not work out”.

Sure, when you’re 20 and you spend 6 months with someone and it doesn’t work out, 6 months isn’t that much to have wasted but as we get older 6 months multiplied becomes a lot of wasted months. I had a conversation with X about this the other day, my theory. But I failed to try it out on that occasion.  

I want to be alive. I want to be here and now. I want to be brave enough to accept that my actions might lead to heartbreak, disappointment, failure. I don’t want the prefix of everything to be but what if and then a variation of reasons why I shouldn’t do whatever it is I’m considering.

Life is so short and I’m bored trying to figure out all the games – games which may not even be games because I’m the only one playing.Image

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