My world is going to stay small and sad if I continue to do things that hurt my well-being. No one will come find me if I stay in this enhanced state that is ultimately doing more harm than good. My motivation to do anything is zapped. It’s like nothing I do matters because it’s not what I ultimately want to do.
But truth be told, I have no idea what I want to do. Because it all seems empty and pointless if I don’t have someone there to do it all with.
Connecting with anyone seems so impossible these days. Living in New York City pre-pandemic wasn’t always one-hundred percent amazing, but I did have a lot of fun. There was at least fun to be had. Right now, there’s nothing. I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself lately. It’s like I’m stuck in suspended animation, finding less and less opportunities because I’m stuck holding my double-edge sword. In order to meet people, I need to go out, but in order to go out, I feel like I need people to go out with. New York City life right now is about being with people you already know. Anyone you managed to snap up pre-pandemic are the people you go out with right now. Yes, indoor dining is back, and we’ve been able to eat outside all of last summer. But it seems like everyone would rather stick with the familiar than introduce the new. And who could blame them? When there’s the threat of a deadly virus still lurking, why risk the foreign when you find comfort and safety with those you trust?
So I sit. And I wait. And I allow my sadness and victim complex to run rampant. Being pandemic-solo is allowing me to justify all my sad feelings, justify the endless weekends spent alone in my 500 square-foot apartment without talking to anyone I’ve saved as a phone contact. I’m stoned, stuck, and sad. And while there’s a distinct part of me that knows all this is temporary, the self-inflicted wounds I keep digging open and prodding at what lies beneath is making my journey all the more difficult to move forward with.
There’s always been a case to be made about me that I play the victim very well. I love complaining, too. It’s like it’s second nature to me. It’s the most interesting thing about me. The only thing I have going for me. And it’s not like I complain about just myself. No, I can complain about anyone and anything, at any time or any place. It’s like a waterwheel in motion; one rung is about my love life, another is that dumb bitch on the street who looks obnoxious and is dressed like a puttana, still another is my career path, and one could simply be morons on Twitter. What I’m not telling people is that every morning before the workers come to work, I lie in the river just below the waterwheel, facing up, in a position where I can let each and every rung hit me in the face as the flow begins. No one put me there against my will, no one told me to go it, no one even knows I’m there. But it’s become my job, becoming the cold, drowning, self-inflicted victim.
I just have no reason to stop showing up for this job right now. No one’s given me a reason. It’s starting to feel like my lot in life, not something I chose to do. I’m right where I’m supposed to be in this moment, and I see no reason to ever stop.
I want to get to a place where I can just enjoy the beauty around me, and not dip myself into the cold water over and over again. I’d rather enjoy the view, not become part of the scenery that makes people question me or at the very least throw some pity my way. My place under the waterwheel does not seem sustainable. Eventually, I’ll drown. I’ll get knocked out so hard by one of the rungs that I’ll never get back up. This has to remain an option for me, because if I cleave to my “anything is possible” mantra, then this scenario is a possibility too.
But I really don’t believe that to be true. No, at the very tail end of it, I know this feeling will wash away eventually. Like the tide, the feelings associated with being under the waterwheel will come and go, but that job I’ve created for myself will no longer exist. I don’t know how and I don’t know when this will all happen, but at the very depths of my soul I know that it will all work out exactly as it’s supposed to happen for me. I just can’t shake this feeling that it needs to unfold in the most difficult and painful way possible. Why do I think this is the only way for me to know that what I eventually get will be worth it?
It’s not. Somewhere deep down, I know that it’s not the only way. I just haven’t found another way yet. .And I’m still banking on my idealized view of things. If I complete myself and choose the best options for me, someone will see it. They’ll feel it too. They’ll see I’m ready and have found a new job. A new perch. One that’s not so painful and has become manageable and comforting. That someone will find what I’ve created so irresistible, they’ll come running just to see what I’ve created. That’s what I want. That’s what I’ve been placed on this earth to find. At least, that’s my hope. But I am opening up myself to the possibility that it won’t happen for me. I’ll be observing the world from my new spot away from the freezing cold water, only I’m by myself. But as I watch everyone pass me by as I nestle into my comfy spot, I see that they’re happy. They’ve found their happiness just as I’ve found mine. That’s all I could ever really hope for. I’d rather see genuine happiness versus something manufactured that could so easily fall apart when one chink in the armor is detected. If I have to do it alone, I will. I’ll become the ultimate ‘victim’ here; sacrificing my chance at happiness with another person if it means the rest of the world can find theirs.
I hope this isn’t the endgame. But it remains a possibility. I don’t see why we can’t all get what we want, at least at some point in our lives. It’s never too late, and I have to keep remembering that. One door closes and another opens. I just find I’m surrounded by a lot of doors without locks on them. I could go through any one of them at any time. But maybe someone will come through one of my doors and I can fully leave my watermill job and head elsewhere.
I have to believe this is at least possible for me too. Because I’m tired of the cold. I’ve scoped out a better spot, I just need your help to get us there.
Won’t you join me in the hot springs overlooking the mill? Come on in, the water’s perfect. I promise.