Sometimes my life feels like I’m in a constant state of taking two steps forward and one step back. And maybe I am.
Just a few months ago, my whole world fell apart for the third time. The first time was getting sick. The second time was my dad dying. And the third was that I lost my job, my boyfriend and I parted ways, and I moved back to Michigan, all in the span of less than a month. I had no job, no man, no car or driver’s license, no place of my own. Thankfully, my family and friends have been there for me, but there’s only so much they can do. Everything else falls on me.
Oddly, though, my boyfriend and I breaking up didn’t gut me. At one time, it would have. It was more everything happening all at once. I am still struggling with it, to be sure, but I am not a depressed blob of a person that is unable to function on my own. And I think this is because I have suffered far more horrible losses.
Like when my dad died almost two years ago. Or like the friend that I recently lost to cancer. Losing someone somewhat voluntarily (i.e. a breakup) is so much different than losing someone in a way that one day they are there and the next they are gone forever. Because in reality, if I really felt compelled, I could contact my ex-boyfriend, or if he felt compelled, he could contact me. But I will never have another conversation with my dad. I can’t call him and talk to him, no matter how much I want to.
And as I think back to my ex-boyfriend and I, I don’t think I lost him when we broke up. I didn’t lose him then, he was already gone.
I’m feeling really frustrated lately that I always have to be the bigger person. Even when I have been wronged, I have to be the one to act like everything is okay. I shouldn’t have to be forced to break bread with people that I can’t stand to be around. I know that life is too short to hold grudges, but sometimes people don’t just get along. So while part of me wants to take the high road, part of me just wants to lay low, protect myself, and forget about the rest.
So my life is, albeit slowly, moving forward.
Now, I have a job that I really enjoy. I am working on driving. I am in the preliminary stages of looking for an apartment.
And yet, I want more.
Several of my close friends are having babies, and several of my chronic illness blogger peeps are also having babies. So I’ll admit, I’m kind of jealous.
In my last relationship, I think that one way I went wrong is that in the back of my mind, I always had a timeline. So if I was 26 when we met and we date for two years, and then we are engaged for a year, and then we are married for a year, and then we spend a year trying to get pregnant, and then we have a baby…And then the fear becomes reality because now I’m 30 and single. I’m 30 and totally not where I want to be.
But I’m not ready to date again. Right now, of everything I have to do, it’s honestly the last thing on my list. I don’t want to be alone forever, and that’s definitely a fear that I have. But I also need some time to get back to myself. I need to be totally self-sufficient again before I can consider relying on someone else.
I don’t always want to be a person who wishes for a life that they don’t have. I just want to be happy. And I know that before someone else can make me happy, I need to make my own happy. So that’s what I’m working on right now. Making my own happy.
And of course, chronic illness fits into this. I’ve been working on some diet changes, and trying to learn how to balance my first real full-time job with having lupus and RA. And I haven’t actually disclosed to most of my coworkers that I am sick. So that’s something else I have to work on.
There’s a lot I have to work on. And I’m trying my best to see the forest through the trees. I’m trying to convince myself that I have time, even though I sometimes worry that I don’t. I’m trying to remain optimistic, and to tell myself that just because I’m sick, doesn’t mean I can’t have the life I want.