Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hopefully my last whiny blog post for a while. (But I can't make any promises.)

When my ex-husband and I first separated, we were both committed strongly to making sure that our kids knew that they still had a whole family. We spent more time together--the four of us--than I would guess that most families with married parents do. It meant that the kids had both of us there just about whenever they wanted or needed us, and we both got to be a part of all the important things that were going on in their lives.

For reasons that I suppose really don't matter, that changed last year. Now my kids are gone half of the time, and I've never even seen the inside of the house they live in when they're away. When I do have them, it's always just the three of us. I used to tell people that I wasn't a single parent. I was just a parent who was single. I think I'm a single parent now. 

It's funny the things you miss.

There are the big things: making all the decisions yourself without having anyone to talk them over with, not knowing what your kids are up to and how they're doing, having no control over who they're seeing and what those people are saying to them. Those things are hard for obvious reasons.

Then there are the little things: I miss that quick exchange of amused glances over the kids' heads when one of them says something they didn't realize was funny. I miss the conversations I get to have with them when just one of the kids comes to the store with me. I miss having someone to tell about the cutest thing one of them said, even though I know it's really not that cute and you'd have to know her to get how funny it was. Those things seem silly, but they're the bits that make me the saddest.

I think my kids still feel like they have a whole family. I hope so. I don't think they feel like they're missing out on too much, although I know there are things that they wish were different. But I feel like I am. I wanted to have a whole family, too. Even though there are certainly perks to the current arrangement, I wanted to raise my kids with someone

Maybe all along, I was just being selfish, and it was never for them that I insisted we stay some kind of family even if we were separated. Maybe it was always just for me. I mean, they seem to be pretty okay with everything. And their dad is the happiest he's ever been. I'm the only one who's not all right with this.

I don't suppose I'll ever get a second chance to do this over again--obviously not with these kids, anyhow--so I better find a way to enjoy it more and accept that me not getting exactly what I wanted doesn't really matter that much. I got two great kids, and that's a lot. It ought to be enough for anyone, really, so it's probably time to suck it up now that I got it out. I'll go see about doing that.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A fork in the road, a divergence in the wood, and other fun travelling metaphors.

I haven't blogged in a long, long time. I've been sort of insanely busy, and I had no internet service, and that always helps a lot with logging things on the web. So, let me quickly bring you up to date, gentle readers:

I moved. Yup. I finally got well and truly out of Listowel. Not just moved away for school. Real, grown up, changed-the-address-on-my-license-and-everything moved. That was basically my only goal for life, and I never really thought it would happen for reasons that clearly are no longer worth mentioning.

I achieved my only real goal for life. Did you hear that? That's pretty good. Most people don't ever get to say that. I do. You know who doesn't? Bill.

Who's Bill? Bill is Kilgore Trout's bird. Probably stop reading if you haven't finished Kurt Vonnegut's collection, or at least Breakfast of Champions.

Oh, you've read it? Then let me go on.

I think the moment that Bill doesn't leave his cage in Breakfast of Champions is one of the most poignant moments in all of literature (or at least the bits I've read so far). And yet, I left my cage. And do you know what? I suppose in the back of my mind, I always thought Bill was wrong. Right in a way, but also wrong. Because you know what's better than hope, Bill? Flying. I mean, I've never done it, but I bet it is.

Anyway, that's kind of where I'm at. I left my cage, and I don't know where to go now. I'm not a bird, though, so I'm sure I could find something else to hope for besides getting out. But I haven't yet, and while I'm kind of enjoying flying (read: having a huge library, and a gym, and 24-hour grocery stores with strange produce, and a garbage chute), I'm also not sure what to do next, particularly in terms of finding my career path.

About six thousand roads just diverged in the wood, and I--I have no idea which one to travel by. And that is making all the difference to my current level of contentment. Which is to say, I feel a little weird without a goal in mind. I don't like being stuck standing still, but I'm pretty sure most of these roads are gated and locked and I don't have the key, and the remainder are undesirable to me.

Somewhere here, surely, there's one where I'm supposed to go, like Katy Perry says:

No joke: I adore Katy Perry. Immensely.

But I haven't found it yet. And I can't decide what to do. And okay, I'm going to be honest, I'm so afraid of failure (because I know  feel that everyone is waiting for me to fail) that I'm kinda paralyzed with fear of choosing the wrong thing and dooming myself to ridicule.

The annoying thing is that I make enough money now that taking a really crappy job, even if I'd like it more (I would. I undoubtedly would.) would be irresponsible. But I don't make enough money now to stick with my job, which actually is not entirely secure over the long term.

Probably I'll just wait until I lose my current job, and they release the hounds of poverty to drag me down, and I have to tear recklessly down one of these many divergent paths, and I'm no betting gal, but if I were, I'd just go buy the McDonald's uniform now.

But until then, if you need me, I'll be here, standing at the fork in the road.