Angst is so five minutes ago
This is the time of year that's hardest for me when I live in the north. It's still fully winter and really dark, but the festivities are over. This is when I start missing the sun.
But I'm okay! I will be fine.
I have a calling, and I'm putting together/discovering the plan to answer it. I'm going to start planning my summer visit back to the States. I might also try to go to Greece to meet Niki and her family, if I can swing it. In the meantime, I'm keeping busy. Work starts up again the day after tomorrow, and I'm going to start Icelandic classes as soon as possible so I can learn better grammar and more advanced vocabulary. And I'm thinking of going to study theology at the University in the fall, if I'm still living here. Presumably I will be, because of shared custody. Depending on how things go here in the world and in life.
I don't want to do online college again where the classes are a teacher reading a powerpoint presentation to you. I've been down that road, and it's just not engaging. But I'm taking graduate-level theology courses for free online through a non-profit organization called The Bible Project and it's fascinating with an engaging user-interface. I honestly think they should trademark that user-interface and sell it to universities, it's vastly better than what I think most colleges are using now for their online courses.
So that's what I've been doing every night for the past week or so, along with reading and of course, watching junk on television and texting with friends across the ocean.
I was talking to a good friend of mine, she's separated but not yet divorced. She said the best thing the other day, she learned it from a therapist: "Neglect is a type of betrayal." So good, right? What I've learned over this first portion of my life so far is that I've been on the receiving end (is it even receiving if what you're receiving is nothing?) of emotional neglect in many of the major relationships of my lifetime, romantic and otherwise. I just didn't realize there was a name for it until now. And I didn't realize how conditioned I'd become to endure it, also until now.
It's like when a potential romantic partner makes big promises to themselves and to you about how much they're going to be able to love you, but then it turns out they can't deliver. And rather than admit to being emotionally impotent, they try to twist it around into something you've done wrong. When really all you've been doing is going, "Yes, I am ready to receive this love from you. Here is some of mine, all ready to go." They let you go, they come back around, they let you go, they come back around, they let you go again. Every time it's like, you know there's nothing to end when you've never truly begun it, right? It doesn't count anymore if we don't talk or touch or anything, you know that, right? Like, beautiful soul connection, yes, but when that doesn't give way to actual contact then there is no "you're letting me go," there's just, "you never had me." You never came to get me. You never had what it takes. So, who are you to think you have the ability to let me go? I'm not yours. Because of your inaction. That's not a relationship. Not anymore. Not for me, anyway.
The thing about having years of emotional neglect under your belt, and this is honestly a blessing, is that there comes a time where you learn the other person's pattern, and you can see it coming, and it doesn't hurt anymore. Like, a family member who is nice, and you get along well, and you talk regularly, but then eventually they start to create tension, and it builds, and then they manufacture a reason to get mad at you or fight with you, and then there's cruelty followed by distance. Rinse, repeat. You eventually no longer attempt to go to them for emotional nourishment. You find that in friends, in your spiritual path, in parenting your child to the best of your ability, and even from yourself. You learn to self-care and self-parent and self-partner and self-nourish. If a person you're interested in romantically or are even married to seems like they're really starting to connect with you, like they're really going to change this time, like they're really going to join you on this adventure called life and get on the same page... And then you get to the step where it's like, "Okay all this talk is great but now it's really time to take an action step! You can do it! I'm right here! Let's go!" But then they backslide and chicken out. They won't go back to school. They won't get a better job. They won't put down the beer. They won't call you. Or come over. Or say hello. Or look at you.
The first several times it really hurts.
But after a while, you withhold your reaction until you see some action. Then the action doesn't come, and you don't even have a single tear in your eye for them anymore. Just a shrug and a, "Yeah, that's what I figured." Because people don't change without... well, without actually changing. Like, if they've been stringing you along, real change is when this time they come knock on your door and say, hey can we start over? Not the same well-worn donkey trail they've traveled over one hundred times. Just to go back and forth up their own buttholes.
Angst is so over, you guys.
We all have a right to our emotions, of course, which includes real pain and suffering. I mean we're still on Earth, aren't we? That's the one thing that's ultimately promised to us all. But I feel like, if there's one thing that I've learned from the experience of last year, including all this time being held back from so much of normal life, it's this. I may have the privilege and the luxury of indulging in just about as much angst as I can possibly handle, but why would I? Now I know things on a more a visceral level than I knew them before, because even though I've had a health scare or two in the past, the memory of them wears off after a while. But hey, this pandemic brought it all back with the quickness! I know that I don't want to die. I know that I don't want to just sit in my apartment and refuse to participate in life. I know that I can't rely on another person for happiness or salvation. I know that the answer to what's missing in my life isn't a guy who can't or won't meet me where I am in life and share my vision for the future. I don't want someone who fears change or growth or leaving his comfort zone. I am and always have been a nomad/traveler/vagabond/"gypsy" (you're not supposed to say gypsy anymore though) on a journey in this life. A journey. Not a sit-still-and-wait-til-someone-else-is-ready.
I've got things to do. The world is changing, and I want to be a part of it. I want to help push the change in the direction of good. I want to be a "public mystic," like my astrologer friend told me it was written in the stars for me to do. I'm down for that. I enjoy public speaking. I've always considered myself a mystic, spiritually speaking. That's fun for me, it's a good time.
So, we just had our Gregorian calendar New Year. It's ten or eleven days after the Solstice, which is essentially the Earth's New Year. It's a nice amount of time to marinate and think about what you want to leave behind, and what you want to claim.
I leave neglect behind. I do not accept that anymore. People who constantly approach and recede, unsure of their ability to love me, can just recede and stay gone now. Because you're not allowed to approach again unless you've gone through rehab, therapy, a vision quest that humbles you, a rebirth that actually sticks. When you've got some mileage under your belt and you've actually acquired the ability to be a real friend, family member, lover, what have you. Then you can come knock on the door and say hey, can we start over. Not the well-worn donkey trail of bullshit you've traveled a hundred plus times. That trail doesn't lead to my front door. It leads to your own mirror, honestly.
I rise up and claim... Let's see... What is it? It's shimmering. It's light. It opens. Like a doorway. A portal. It has no face, but it's definitely smiling. It has no hands, but it definitely beckons. It looks familiar. But I've never met it before.
It's my life! Ha! Hey, there. I thought I recognized you!
I rise up and claim my life.
|Álfrún at the beach today :)|