It's a year today. It doesn't feel like you've been gone a whole year. You're still on my mind daily. You're still showing up when I sleep. I haven't seen your daughter. She'll be 7 next month. Jade says she still remembers me but I have my doubts. I think next time I see her, I'm going to show her some pictures of you and ask her if she remembers when we went to the dinosaur show or when you cooked the tortellini soup for us or how you called her Panda. When she's older I'm going to tell her that you loved her more than anything in this world and that you only ever wanted to tell her the truth and not blind her from the ugliness of the world. I'm hoping we can keep your soul alive, even though you're gone. This year has been hard.
I wonder how you would've handled the pandemic. It is so unfair that you were evicted before the moratorium. I would love to have heard your opinion on the election... on the insurrection... on the anti-maskers.
I wish I could've saved you... I tried so long.
It's been suggested that I should write to you. A long letter about why I stopped being there for you, about how much I love you. You're not here to read it but it wouldn't really be for you anyways, and possibly lessen my guilt? I don't have much faith. Letting go of you was one of the two biggest decisions I've made. Neither worked out for me.
Every time I hear Styx and System of a Down and Electric Six and Say Anything and Chromeo, I think of you. Every time I see Eric Andre and Batman and Bojack Horseman and Ghostbusters, I think of you. Every time I watch hockey. Every time I cut an onion (wrong). Every time I'm in Browne's Addition. Every time I write on my arm. Every time I eat at Hong Kong Express. Every time I drive past Donut Parade. Every time I think of Robin Williams or Elton John or Ed Sheeran. And I know when I go through Ellensburg on Wednesday, you'll be on my mind yet again.
Before I stopped seeing you, I didn't think of what things might be like without you here. I vaguely recall moments of thought around how horrible you treated your body and how that might be the cause of your early passing... But I never actually thought of what life would be like without you - not even when I intentionally stopped picking up the phone. It's hard to breathe some days, knowing you're never going to call me again. Besides James, you're the only one who ever really spoke to me on the phone, as opposed to conveying something quickly through text. Like you were actually interested in what I was saying. Like you wanted to hear me laugh at your bad jokes. You were the only person who ever actively asked me to hang out. Every now and then some people in my life will say we should do something - and we mutually agree - but with you, you asked me if I wanted to go grab dinner or come over or have you cook for me or take Miranda out somewhere. I know I should be a presence in her life, I know that's what you would've wanted... But it's hard. It's hard to look at her and think of you. That's selfish, I know. And I will be there for her, I will. But it will be difficult for a long time.
You always mattered to me and I know I could've shown that in clearer ways when you were still around. You never really see what you have with someone until they're gone. Cliche, sure.
I came across a post on reddit yesterday that made me ponder. It is strange how much of our life decisions are still determined by innate, biological drives. The nature v. nurture debate is gripping specifically in reference to having children. Mating was made pleasurable to further the human species. We've gotten advanced enough to form intricate societies with critical thinking and dependency on entertainment over other biological needs such as the search for food and shelter. But the motivation ingrained in our organic history to have children still pushes people who have no business raising a child to create them. Despite the lack of means, know-how, or emotional intelligence to raise a fully-fledged human, people have babies because biology says to. And despite my knowing it's not a good idea for me at this point in time, that desire still very much moves me and makes me question my own experience.
One of my friends tonight asked me what I wanted. It's something I haven't truly had an answer for until my recent serious soul searching and deep analyzing about my life and times.
I think peace of mind is the answer. I want to be able to be calm and even enjoy my state of being. I haven't been truly content for so long it's hard to envision it coming to fruition... Not worrying about the future or agonizing over my past choices or being anxious about how others perceive me... true peace of mind.
Whether this presents itself in the form of financial stability or being in optimal physical condition or whether it comes from further deep emotional awareness and connection - however it comes - I can't just hope it stays. I must actively harness the motivation it takes to get me there and keep me there. This is no small feat because, as we all know, my interest in self improvement wanes about every 6 months for 5 months at a time. Debilitating. Depressive. Immobilizing. My will power does not stick around.
Somehow I need to keep myself going through the strenuous occurrences and also the overly appreciative and loving times. Obviously stress hurts us but also when I get too much love and attention, I feel like I'm where I want to be and I don't have to be any different. When in fact, if I don't continue actively self-discovering/self-improving, the cycle starts all over again and I'm right back where I started: not achieving a meditative state of bliss, eventually leading backwards.