This will be a fun one. Lately, I'm all about facing the ugliest, scariest, most uncomfortable, most embarrassing, most shameful - in my self, my life, my communities, my nation, my world. Here's a gem that I've been polishing since I was a little girl. My biggest fear: that I would end up alone; that nobody would ever truly love me; that I'd never have a true partner; that I'd never find a best friend who also likes to cuddle me; that I'd never find an adventure mate.
In fact, I feared it so excruciatingly that for the past 40 years, I put aside all reason, logic, morals, self-respect, dignity, and rational thought in the pursuit of attaching myself to someone I thought could fill that role. I have auditioned hundreds to relieve me of that piercing panic that I am the one person for whom life partnership will not happen. See, because what it means, if that is the case, is that I am especially unlovable. I am above and beyond when it comes to being not what anyone wants. I am not a person who other people want to attach themselves to.
For the longest time I truly did not understand why. I assumed it was because I was ugly, my face and body too scarred and unshapely. I considered, maybe it was because I had so much drama in my family life - heaven knows I wouldn't want to sign up for it if I wasn't already a member. Somewhere in my late 20s, I started reckoning that I had some anger issues that affected people other than myself. But, I didn't see the scale of that situation, not at all. I never understood why so many men wanted to have sex with me, yet none of them wanted to date me. I was confused because I thought that my body was the least awesome thing about myself, and yet, that was what was accepted, not my mind nor my heart. It was a mystery.
In my life, I have put almost all of my effort into making myself into someone who I think someone else, who I would like, would want to be with. That is where, I'll guess, 99% of my energy, effort and creativity have been invested. I'm always trying to learn and improve myself. I try to look ... good? I try to look cool at least, some form of glamorous but edgy, unique and interesting. I chose where I lived, where I worked, my hobbies, friends and activities, based on, yes, what interests me, but also toward a goal of manifesting a self and identity that I could be comfortable and confident in. I made myself thin. I grew my hair long. I traveled and painted and learned to sail and took a lot of classes at community colleges. I've tried and tried and tried to amass this self who I could feel sure about in bringing to a commitment to others, any others.
Yet, that self seems to be forever out of reach. I am probably now the most confident and comfortable with myself that I've ever been. Even as I approach my 48th birthday, and regard with interest the new lines and textures in my skin and the curious aches and twinges inside my body, I feel the most valid and capable and complete I ever have. For me, getting older has been, pretty consistently, an experience of becoming more myself. It's that simple. As I collect the days and experiences of my existence, and they interact with my nature, I am formed ever more intricately and completely.
After so many years of struggling towards myself, I am making huge strides this past year. And yet, in my soul, I feel I am farther than ever from the possibility of connecting my life with anyone else's. Am I discovering that the journey to getting to a place where I feel ready and worthy to be loved, was really only about feeling that way about myself, and means nothing in regard to my loneliness?
It's hard to have clarity on this, because I can only say how I am, not how I might be if my life had been different. I am lonely, sad a lot. I wonder why I bother to exist if my life is nothing but a daily grind of chores to make it possible for me to work so I can support myself and clothe, nourish and house myself, so that I can fulfill my chore responsibilities, so that I can work... and that's all there is. Lucky for me, I actually find a good amount of satisfaction in my work, but it seems a little pointless as an end unto itself.
If the work is not really for anything, why do it? Why write? Why code? Why search for answers and figure out methods and write code and break code and try new things and fail but sometimes win... if it's for nobody but me?
I am lonely, but more than longing to be connected to some one or ones, I long to not experience more of the misery I've already endured. I am afraid to open up to others. My many years of trying to be close to people has been unpleasant, disappointing, painful, tiring, and quite often, just annoying. Maybe my fear was valid, or it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe I am unlovable for reasons I'll never know, or just simply for the reasons I do know. Maybe I've become That Person and now it's just too hard to get out of who I've become.
I am more myself than ever. I am more alone, defensive, reclusive, hurt, angry, and suffering than ever. Sometimes I get my hopes up, or I get ideas of things I could do. And I make the effort more often than not to nourish these goals and dreams, but they rarely bear fruit. They rarely manifest. Instead they hang half-realized, haunting and taunting me. Shaming me for not being able to grow them into the world changing forces they could be.