The Disconnected Shell of Who I Used to Be

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Do you ever just feel disconnected? I don’t mean from the world around you, necessarily but from yourself. Your own person. The last few days have been particularly difficult for me for a few reasons and I was trying to handle what I thought was my subconscious crying out for attention when it occurred to me that that isn’t what was happening at all. I mean, it may have started there but that wasn’t the goal of my emotions.

Tuesday we signed paperwork for our wedding venue (hooray!) and ironically that appointment fell on our anniversary of 3 years. Let me say that was not intentional, we’re not that cliche’. Well the whole day Steve spent completely involved with his final project for a computer programming class he’s taking. I took a half day from work to make our 2:00 appointment and spend time with my fiance (I thought). I might as well been home alone. I cooked dinner. Tuesdays are typically his night for dinner but I knew the circumstances. I tried a new recipe for beef stew. That turned out so good and I had never cooked beef before. I typically stay away from it. I don’t like it enough for the mess of cooking it. Anyway, we ate dinner together for 15 minutes or so, then he was back at it. I cleaned the kitchen dutifully like always. I wrapped presents for our dog (yes, we ARE that couple) and a few others. I prepared for the following work day. I was so restless, partly because I was so aggravated that my whole day was spent this way and partly because I had NOTHING to do and so much time to do it in. I slept on the couch that night for the same reason.

The following day, we woke up, I took to my normal morning routine and then he woke up and went back to his programming. OK. I see how it is. I wasted no time arranging to go to my Mom’s after work for a couple of hours just for human interaction. I’m classically an introvert. But I require some interaction from people I live with or are very close to. I realized for the preservation of my sanity, temper and our relationship I needed to take off my “self sacrificial tendencies” hat and go away for a while. I came home later and again no change. So I got comfortable and dozed off on the couch while he worked more, eventually going into bed. I woke up to some sad news about a family friend. Because of more important circumstances my frustration from the earlier days was starting to dissipate until only a few moments later I came back in to see the same sight I had seen for days… and days… and days. I honestly can’t even tell you if I have had any eye contact in days.

On my drive to work this morning I was having an emotional melt down crying to Miranda Lambert’s “The House that Built Me” (why this song? See below) when it occurred to me why I’m so angry about the way the last couple of days have been spent. It’s not that I’m selfish and require attention. You want to come home and ignore me for days, fine. Whatever. So why does this bother me? His education will better him and our future together as a couple and as parents. What I’ve realized is that I have nothing left that I enjoy doing for only myself anymore.

When I lived at my dad’s house (nostalgic explanation of song choice) there was a level of creative expression that I don’t have anymore. He fostered my interest in horses, he got me my first and only horse. Justice was my pet, my friend and my hobby for 11 years. He has been gone almost a year now and I can’t say I’m handling it the best as we round that corner. The next hobby I delved into was the gym. After my first major break up I was at the gym every single day for at least an hour. I was running 4 miles a day on the treadmill. Since moving out on my own, again, I’ve given up that financial luxury. In reality I don’t have the time to drop Arrow off at home and then fight traffic for another 20 minutes to get there, fight the after work gym crowd only to make it home just before 8:00 with dinner to eat, shower, clothes to lay out and a lunch to pack before 10:00 bed. And finally mosaics. I used to do mosaics in my dad’s garage and I was quite good at it. I’ve done bird houses, stools, crosses, picture frames, you name it and I’ve probably done it. Since moving in with my mom (5ish years ago) I had to pack all of that up because it’s quite messy and my mom does not like messy. Out of respect, I put it in a tote and stored it away.

Of course, the obvious solution, you might say, is “well… do these things again”. But it’s not that simple. Obviously I can’t get my horse back and buying a new horse is out of the question. The only option I have for the gym is the limited equipment at my office. Believe me, I’m trying to work on building back my stamina on running again. It will be a long and hard road. I’ve already been at it a week or so and I can only run a half mile at a time. But I’m hopeful I can get there. Finally, I plan on getting some mosaic stuff out of storage in January after the holidays. That being said I don’t feel fulfilled and I’m not sure how to satiate the need to find stuff for me to do.

In an attempt to be proactive and solve my own problems, I’ve signed up to serve at our church. I’ve decided I’m going to start building up mosaics and maybe look into Etsy as a way to make some spare change. But I need to find a spark. I am starting to feel like I am a shell of who I used to be. Everyday is the same. I come home and take care of Steve and Arrow and then that’s it. That’s my night. 18 year old me would really kick my butt. She would hate grown up, 27 year old me. Something has to change or grown up me will hate me too. I guess my next adventure is to find a new hobby.

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