I’ve found myself floundering lately for a vast array of reasons: the state of the world, the changes that seem to appear in my life all at once, and a few bullshit things that just work their way under my skin like a splinter.
I’ve spent most of my life trying to please or take care of other people. I’ve never had a time when I only have to worry about myself. However, with my youngest’s approaching high school graduation, that time is drawing nearer. Yes, as a parent I’ll always be there if either of my children need me, but they’re also moving on with their lives and making plans that don’t (and shouldn’t) include me. So I’ve reached this crossroads where I can choose one of the paths in front of me without bothering to ask if it accommodates anyone else.
This is freeing and terrifying at the same time. I no longer have to stay in the community I’ve lived in for the past 15 years. (Incidentally the longest I have ever lived in one place before this was 8 years. 15 years feels like I’m suffocating.) In fact, if I truly wanted to, I could move anywhere (provided I get a decent job there, and my housing costs are cheap because, let’s face it, I’m the oldest child and I’ll never escape this sense of responsibility no matter how far I run). But then, while it would be great to move somewhere, start fresh, escape a few bad memories, I’d also be leaving everything I know behind, and for what? What would I be running to?
I don’t know.
I’d be leaving my irl support system behind. So I’ve stuttered.
I know I need to move. That’s inarguable. But whether it’s into town so I’ll be in a neighborhood where I feel more comfortable, or if I go to another state… I’m tossing up my hands and I can’t decide.
One of the biggest obstacles to change is the cost. I’ve always told myself I’d rather rent until the day I die rather than own a home. This has come from many years of repairing things and honestly it would be nice just to live in a place that didn’t need so many things fixed. It’s so flipping exhausting, especially for a place I don’t really like living in. But then I think of owning an old house (preferably haunted if I’m being honest here) on the east side of town, and having a room where I could write/put up a large library, enough bedrooms so my son & daughter could come and stay if they wanted, an extra room for friends to crash in. I don’t know, it sounds… nice.
I’ve spent the last few years isolating myself so much and I came to the realization that unless I start letting people in I’m going to end up completely alone at the end of my life. So I’ve been trying; making a concerted effort to maintain relationships; letting my friends know that they’re important to me. It’s been hard. Especially as an extremely introverted person; an extremely introverted person who hates feeling vulnerable. But I’ve got a few good friends who understand or are similar and when I’ve needed them, they’ve been there.
So back to the house thing. In order to maintain relationships which make me a better person I’m going to have to actually grab onto a few people and hang on. The last several years, and maybe longer than that, I’ve been acting like I’m simply a dandelion seed. I’ve been blown in the wind to where I’ve landed and I’m waiting for the wind to pick up again and blow me away. But I need to start believing that I need other people in my life if I want to grow.
I think it would be nice to actually choose to put roots down somewhere. To choose rather than pick a place based on the fact that I have a kid, and need a decent school system, and holy shit I need to hurry up and get a place big enough, but it also needs to be cheap, and all that random, stressed, rushed decision making. I want to choose where I go this time.
So I’m just… sitting here… and contemplating what I actually want to make my life look like.