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.
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.