For the past couple weeks it’s been an on-and-off struggle to keep living. I’ve been doing everything right. Yoga in the morning, church on Sundays (Well, Unitarian Universalist Society sessions…I suppose that’s still a church of sorts), work, healthy diet, a diet of art and music and walks outside. I went on a night walk and listened to The National’s Boxer last night. Tyler was right; it’s amazing, already one of my new favorites.
Today it’s The Velvet Underground & Nico and I try to finish a draft of a story about a mutant cow attack on my perennial Iowa town where weird things always happen and the artichoke dip is as ubiquitous as this old red 1982 Ford pickup. Well, it’s about a mutant cow attack, but really it’s about a girl reconnecting with her nerdy brother. It’s helped, forcing myself to create things even though I feel like the creative well’s run dry.
I think I’m doing really well, then I’ll crumble and realize all this was just thin paste holding up a pot practically in shatters. And on the surface everything is pretty well together. I realize, in fear, that the first 23 years of my life has seen very few connections with other people, and that’s where everything is going wrong and why everything is cracking from within. No matter how much I write or how much art I expose myself to or how much I try to better myself as a person, the fact that I cannot seem to find other people and connect with them is what makes me want to die, is what makes me feel like a failure.
I don’t understand how it works, how it happens. How do you make conversations with strangers, how do you connect with them? I’m good, socially, at connecting on the surface. Being pleasant to strangers, making small talk and acquaintances. But meaningful connections that I actually think about more than five minutes later? Hardly ever. Humans are social creatures. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like a decent human a great deal of the time.
The thing about being solitary is, you get really comfortable with your own company. I could easily spend the day holed up by myself and not run out of things to do or veer into boredom. But then everything feels pointless. Still, it becomes a cycle. The more you get used to your own company, the easier it becomes to turn down social things that just don’t seem quite like what you want to do, the easier it is to downplay the value of seeing and being with other people.
I know that people love me and I love them back, but it’s not quite enough to feel like a normal functioning human being. Sometimes (often) I wish I could ask everyone I love permission to end it, because I don’t want to keep going and seeing other people connect and love and share tell stories and not be able to do it myself.
I wish I could leave without leaving a mess behind. I couldn’t do that to my mom, to my brothers, to my friends who love me but are far away. I have no one group to belong to, though. I have no cause to back and no job that really matters. I write stupid stories about cows and doodle shit. People say it gets better, but I feel like I’ve been struggling with fitting in and making meaningful connections for my whole life. When you don’t feel like you fit into any piece of the puzzle, it gets really tempting to leave.
So, the long and short of it is, I’m not okay and I don’t know why I started this blog, other than to hope that things get better and that I can look back at what I wrote and can see improvement. Back to that story draft.