We all end up alone.

Abandonment. Textbook abandonment. Whatever that means. For any child isn’t it sourced ultimately at the disappearance of a critical figure. A parent, a sibling, a close childhood friend. People leave. Accepting that is part of your life forever.  Or should I say making peace with it, or maybe never making peace with it and wrestling it forever in some type of Promethean torment. Consciously. Unconsciously.

Maybe I did carry it around. Maybe I still carry it around. I will admit that a cornerstone of my last relationship was built on a feeling a safety I don’t remember having previously. I spent over 9 years feeling like I had one less worry. That I wasn’t going to have to concern myself with being alone. I had a family that I made, even if it was just the two of us. I had a teammate, a partner. Someone to help tread this weird path we’re all on. Help me along. Take care of me if it all fell apart. Love me even if my body or mind failed and make sure that I wasn’t left discarded at the side of the road. He said forever. He meant it. I meant it when I said it. Then forever changed.

That’s the thing. I still want those impossible promises to be made. Knowing they can and likely will end up being broken. Maybe that’s what marriage is for non-religious people. The subscription to the belief that you are trying to make the same kind of iron-clad promise, that’s your intent. We all want forever but I don’t think any of us knows what that means, we see the end but we don’t see the journey. Here’s the point A, the goal is the point B, seems obvious right. But what about that fact that the path we’re talking about is this undefinable road. The not knowing is what you’re trying to use that promise as a shield against, to plow forward, to keep going, to free yourself from one of the litany of worries we all hang on to.

No one wants to do this alone. Not the exhilarating bits or the dull ones or the simple agony of being alive. It’s intended to be shared. But gods how we fuck that up.

The only peace I am ever going to make is accepting that the only constant in the entire world is knowing things will always change. We’ve been defiantly shouting it at each other since the 8th grade. NOTHING IS FOREVER EXCEPT CHANGE (ACCEPT THE CHANGE). If it was a thing when we were younger we’d all have shitty tattoos that said it. We tossed it at each other like we had an inkling of what it meant. Fuck we were idiots. Beautiful, optimistic, children. Thinking we’d sort it out, we’d find some impenetrable shield in each other, in our relationships to navigate it together and ride these changes like some epic tidal wave. But you can bet that we assumed we’d be on top. In charge. Adapting and doing it with grace and success.

It’s all an illusion. There is no grace anywhere to be found sometimes. And the success, the bitter reality of redefining that is understanding that success means getting your ass kicked again and again. Your heart broken. Your sense of stability obliterated. And standing up and moving forward because you are too stubborn to give up.

Kittens clinging to cliffs on shitty motivational posters.

Hang in there.

Sometimes that’s all that I feel like I’m doing.

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Guess What? It’s the Same.

All of that shit you’re waiting on. Dreaming about. Stressing over.  That list of obstacles or goals or specific life events you feel like if you could JUST get those done, you’d feel differently. Paying off your car, moving, getting through some specific project at work. Or maybe it’s the larger and more far reaching stuff. Divorce. Student loans.

You envision these milestones a bit like carrying around a stack of concrete blocks on your back. Only the truth is, even once you free yourself from those specific things you’re focused on, you will simply trade one block for another.

Life, if you chose to focus on it that way, is mostly the same. Atleast in the ways you’d imagine. The predictable routine of your ability to adapt to experiences, or changes, good or bad.

I sold my house. I got divorced. I moved. I paid off all of my debt (save for my car). My credit score is 825. I am Jack’s sense of pained irony.

And don’t get me wrong. It felt good to do all of those things. Necessary. Elemental even. To strip out the clutter in my life by moving, ending a relationship emotionally, legally and changing everything. To move towards something and feel like in the restructuring I was learning about what the things I’d already experienced meant.

Knowing that I can save money for the things I want. That I enjoy a level of freedom and flexibility that has in some capacity eluded me for the duration of my adult life in 40 years. It’s grand.  But it’s not such a sweeping mind-bending change that I don’t still wake up and throughout the course of a day, become preoccupied with the same petty trivialities that bothered me before.  Those larger successes that I waited so long for… they’re not a magical inoculation against manufactured anxieties. I still worry about dumb shit.  Different dumb shit, but by and large. I am not so dramatically changed that I have unshackled myself from the pitfalls of what it means to be a person. Forever struggling against your own patterns, habits, tendencies. Making hard won progress.  But only through dogged persistence, luck, and will.  None of those requirements change.

So now what’s the moral of this ramble. Hey look at that, I think it’s the same as the last post I wrote. Don’t do it. Don’t dig yourself into the promise of someday as a solution to your state of mind. Because all that matters is right now. You will arrive, perhaps – I won’t even add “if you’re lucky” because luck is irrelevant and it may not be lucky anyway – at your desired destination.  You will pay off that car. You will get rid of that student loan. You will move to that new city. And you will still be you. In a different place. And you will have done all that waiting. That anticipatory promise of changes, solutions, a blank(er) slate and you will still find yourself wanting. It’s a giant waste. A pile of misdirected energies. Speculating on how different you will feel with certain obstacles out of your way. The only actual obstacle is the barrier you created in your own head. Crush that shit and move on. You, are really the only thing in your own way.