The aroma of french vanilla wafted from my coffee mug, and the sound of raindrops dancing on my window filled the air. It’s another lazy Saturday morning, and I have so much to be thankful for in these turbulent times. My health, job, home, and of course, my family and friends. Yet I feel something is missing—that special person to share my life with, the sound of children laughing. Having been blessed with so much, just the thought of feeling incomplete makes me uncomfortable. Who am I to feel incomplete when so many in the world today have so much less and are suffering? As a result, I keep the feeling of loneliness deep inside, never letting anyone know my true feelings. However, on mornings like this, keeping my emotions trapped inside me can prove to be incredibly difficult. As I sit sipping on my coffee and look forlornly out the window at the raindrops dancing on my windows, my mind pushes aside all I have been blessed with and focusses on my feelings of solitude. I am determined to see my glass as half full, but I cannot lie; it is often difficult. If only I had the strength to share my feelings, not be concerned with others’ judgment, to not be so guilt-ridden for feeling this way. If only I weren’t so good at hiding my emotions, perhaps someone would see the tears my smile hides and ask what’s wrong? I take the last sip of my coffee, sigh, and vow to myself not to let this get the best of me, to concentrate only on that which brings me happiness. So why do I feel so sad?
It was a cold January moment and as I was getting ready for work Queen was emanating from my radio
Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you’re doing to me
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief,
Can anybody find me somebody to love?
I thought to myself you know when Freddie Mercury wrote those words he probably didn’t realize just how many people he was speaking for. People like me who find themselves alone at this time of the year. Sure, I survived going to the family Thanksgiving dinner solo and answering the dreaded question of when I am going to settle down. Then I made it through that empty feeling of waking up on Christmas morning with no one to smile or hug, and say I love you to as they unwrapped their gift. New Year’s Eve quickly followed and of course there was no special person to kiss as the clock struck midnight. I did it all with a smile, a smile that hid the tears that I kept to myself and only let the mirror see. But the calendar keeps moving and now here comes another hurdle, Valentine’s day. It’s seemingly everywhere. Go to the drug store and there are heart shaped boxes of chocolate and teddy bears with I love you sweaters everywhere. Turn on the radio and television and I swear if I hear one more commercial for 1-800-Flowers or Kay Jewelers and their annoying little jingle, every kiss begins with K, I’m going to scream. Even my e-mail account gets in on the fun with a reminder from 1-800-Flowers that Valentine’s day is coming up and I should make it a special one for her by placing my order early this year.
I thought I would be over her by now. I did everything I was supposed to. I focused on myself. dropped a few pounds, brought some new clothes, followed all the self-help books right down to the letter, hell I even stopped going to that psychic who I hoped would tell me that she was coming back. Ask anyone and they would tell you that I’m getting better and I would tell them don’t even think about her anymore. But when I’m alone in my thoughts she is all I can think of.
Why? Why did she leave? Didn’t I show her how much I loved her? Didn’t she tell me she loved me? Freddie Mercury was right, I just can’t get no relief. I don’t understand, is it so much to ask to have someone’s hand to hold, lips to kiss, someone to lay down with every night and wake to every morning, someone to love? In many ways my life seems empty and I wonder will it ever not be. But despite all the heartbreak I do feel myself getting a little stronger each day and when I look in the mirror and see my tears I try to remember who I am and what I can give. I try to remember that I do have someone to love, myself. Now I can’t pretend that remembering that makes all the pain go away but hopefully it will help me understand that one day I’ll have two people to love myself and someone special.
Look it’s a shooting star. Even among all the shimmering lights in the sky it effortlessly captures your gaze. Its brilliance undeniably unique even among all the other stars in the sky. But look quickly because in the blink of an eye it will be gone.
Like the shooting star someone special will one day capture your gaze as they streak across your heart and in that moment do not not blink but act quickly and take hold of that feeling because before you know it will be gone and all you’ll be left with is a memory and a question of what might have been.
Oh, hi love, how are you doing today? Come on in and have a seat, you’re right on time. You know I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a while now. I’ve got a question that I really need you to clear up for me.
Now to be clear I’m not mad at you, in fact I’m one of your biggest fans, but I am just a little puzzled by one thing. You know I’ve always admired you, I mean from the second I was born I had a front row seat to one of your long running performances, the enduring love affair between my mother and father, so I am aware of how beautiful you can be. I also have seen the strongest man in a room openly weep when you abandon him, and the smallest woman tap into you for the strength of a thousand of those men to protect her child. So yes, I am aware of the power you possess as well.
But for the life of me I can’t figure out why you so often hurt those who believe in you? It’s as if you take joy blissfully dancing into their hearts only to walk away when they fully committed to you? Wait, don’t answer that, something tells me the reasons for this are best left unsaid and that even if you told me I probably wouldn’t understand. You know what, let’s just pretend this conversation never happened. Because no matter what the reasons may be I’m still going to have a lot of love for you love. Sure, you upset me, flip my world upside down and cause me to be bitter from time to time. But it always passes, and I always come back.
Do you know why? I’ll tell you.
I was reading the Bible and I came across the verse that said you never give up, never lose faith, that you’re always hopeful and that you endure through every circumstance. Wow that’s powerful and frankly doesn’t sound like something to quit but something worth believing in. So, I keep the faith because I’ve got a hunch you have something big planned for me.
So, thanks for dropping by today I hope my hunch is right and I see you again real soon.
The final bows have been taken the stage lights begin to dim and the curtain comes down. It just me all alone in a quiet and empty room and now with no need to pretend this mask I can remove.
The mask, my face to the world, it hides my true feelings, my true emotions. Alone and without my mask I can be who I really am if only just for a few fleeting seconds.
A single tear rolls down my face as I envision your smile and while I know you’re not there I still reach out for your hand to pull you close to me, to feel your touch, to look into your eyes and tell you that I love you one more time.
If only in my mind.
If only for these fleeting seconds.
I can hear them now, the crowd settling back in and your hand begins to slip from mine. The stage lights flicker, and my mask is back in place the curtain rises the show must go on and our seconds, well our seconds were only fleeting and now they are gone
It’s been a minute hasn’t it been, but there you were in my dreams again tip toeing into my subconscious when I thought I had forgotten all about you. I’m not going to lie seeing you again brought a smile to my face, all the good memories we created together flooding my mind. It’s funny now to think there was a time that the thought of you and I, what we were and how that is no more made me sad. But that time has passed, I’m so much stronger now. Aware now of all the love that had always been afforded me by so many. To finally understand that the love of the Lord is stronger than any love I could ever desire. I’ve learned to embrace myself, to love myself. So yes, now the memory of the happy times between us, and there were some damn good times, makes me smile for I accept now they were an essential part of the journey I’ve been on to be the person I am today. Goodbye for now it was nice seeing you again and I hope you have found the happiness that you were a part of in me finding mine.
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How do I know I love you?
I know because I would choose to walk through the raindrops with you by my side than bask in the sunshine with someone else.
That’s how I know I love you.
I close my eyes and listen for the silence. I have subconsciously transported my soul, my inner self, to another level. A level where I am all alone, where nothing or no one can touch me. It is here where I find my peace unburdened by expectations, free to speak, even if no one is listening, my feelings, unafraid of what obstacle a higher power has deemed I must jump over this time. Here I feel free a sense of calm. There is no show to put on for others, no feelings to hold on to so as not to offend others, no worries about the next setback. Here I can just be me. But I know I can not stay in this place. So I open my eyes and the light shines through, the noise is all around and I am transported back to reality. It is back to who I am or who I pretend to be. Others will live their lives unencumbered by who I’m really am. They will live with only a hint of the true me that slips out from time to time. I guess that is the way it must be for as Mr. Spock once said the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and I am the few.
Two people, one for the outside world to see one for only me to know. The outside world sees the smile, the upbeat optimism that makes it seem nothing can ever bring me down. But inside I’m hurting, wondering what I did to deserve this lot in life. Feelings of loneliness flood over me even when I’m in a room full of family and friends. Thoughts of dread preoccupy my mind. The slightest mention of you don’t look good or the question what’s the matter with you is met with the response I’m fine or nothing. But the truth is the question itself is frightening and I don’t want to hear it or think about it. Often times I’ll snap at the person asking the question. I know they ask out of concern but I’m tired of thinking about the negative and those questions just flood my mind with the negative.
Alas in the times when I’m feeling good there is no family to share the good times with and by family I mean MY family, a wife, children, grandchildren. I missed out on that, stupid decisions and wrong choices on my part I guess. This is just one more thing I bury deep inside. Because when I express it to family members they don’t understand the hole it has left in my soul, they feel as if I am not valuing them. That of could not be further from the truth I know how much they love me and I love them but as close as we are they’re not MY family not my wife, my children, my grandchildren. It’s something I have always dreamed I would experience in my life but never have. Instead I look on with jealousy as others share stories of their child’s success or even failures. Their lives with their spouses good and bad. Especially the bad because they found a way to work through it while it seems it was always easier for people to walk away from me. Am I that hard to love? Is it not worth the effort to try and make it work with me? Has anyone ever really loved me?
I have always been a believer in a higher power if not religion itself, after all who needs a third party to talk to God. But lately that belief has been shaken. I always tried to do the right thing. I always tried to live right. They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle but you know what I’m getting pretty close to all I can handle.
Many times I am thankful for that other person, the side the outside world sees. He is filled with high self esteem and boundless optimism. Truth be told if I didn’t have that side to pull from I don’t know where I would be. Work is my refuge. It’s there I pour my heart into. It gives me purpose, I know I’m respected there, I know I’m good at what I do there. I don’t really know what I would do without it besides the obvious loss of income I wonder how losing it would impact my self esteem. Without it would I just fall into a pit of self despair. Again not something I share with anybody most times all you’ll get is the cliche answers – it could be worst, at least you’ve got better than (insert name), be thankful for what you have. Guess what I am thankful, I know it could be worst, I know others have it tougher. That doesn’t make it any better for me because I’m looking at how it impacts me and only me not someone else.
Anyway I know this post has been kind of all over the place I guess I just needed to vent. In the meantime i will lean on the happy side of me and hope things turn around after all I’m Carl Cooke damn it and at the end of the day nothing can stop me…at least I hope.