Day 37: The Man and the Secret Path

Back when Beautiful and I were in college I used to take her at night to the park in my town. We’d park on the side street parallel to the park’s lake and sneak in long after the park had closed. There was this one perfect location right by the lake, a secret section. The path to it was hidden by two weeping willows and it was hidden from the view of cars (and security) passing by because of some reeds. I would take her there past midnight and we would lie on the stone paver looking up at the stars. We would talk about love and forever and fears and our family and we’d know that our deepest secrets would be safe between us, the moon, and the stars.

I haven’t been back to this park since college. Even in our brief time together again we never really had a chance to come back, during the day or at night. But, because of Pokestops, gyms, and a general lack of direction or purpose, I found myself back here today. The park was packed today. There were definitely some roving gangs of Pokemon trainers, but just in general the weather was great for families and couples to be walking around and enjoying the weekend. I am more used to the eerie quiet and solitude of the park at night. I needed to be here though. The noise distracted from the monologue inside my head and the warm sunlight felt good on my skin. I even found myself enjoying the sensation of perspiration beading on my forehead and the small bits of dirt and stone that crept into my shoes and hurt my feet.

I feel bad, because I didn’t post yesterday. And I didn’t post because I was busy with friends or out living an adventure. I didn’t post because my arms were limp, my mind was doubtful, and my will was shot. I barely left my bed yesterday. I had no meetups planned with friends, I didn’t feel like going to church or eating with my family, for the first time in a while I was alone by choice, not by work or circumstance, and in the face of it I reeled back in insecurity and hid in bed. I did nothing yesterday and felt purposeless and it only fueled more feelings of loss.

A year ago today maybe I would have been on tinder, or OkCupid, or CoffeeMeetsBagel. Maybe I would be meeting up with some cute girl from the city or at a mall with a Jersey girl. For better or for worse, it gave me something to do, something to look forward to. Now I am on my own and have to find my own purpose to move forward. I need to ask myself what I want, how I want to pursue it, and where I should go to find it. I can’t rely on some app to tell me my new next purpose is less than 10 miles away, or that all I need to do is swipe right, or fill out some questionnaire to tell me that what I want is 95% compatible with who I am. I’m not hungry enough yet. I’m not driven. I’ve been beaten down to the ground and I have yet to discover if I have the gumption to get back up. Not focusing on pursuing a new relationship is going to be good for me, of that I have no doubt. But it is going to destroy me first before it can ever rebuild me into something better, stronger, more resolute. And in the meanwhile, I have realized that along with highlighting a departure from prioritizing new relationships, I have to learn to let go of the past ones. I cannot remain living haunted by the events of the past two months. I am lost, wrecked, clinging to flotsam and jetsam, and I cannot focus on looking to a new shore until I shake off the debris that still clings to my leg. My head is just barely above the water at this point.

Relationships were a pleasant distraction. They diverted my gaze from everything else in my life, even past relationships themselves. It’s been easier to get over old flames by lighting up new ones. I didn’t care about shitty jobs because rather than leave it or fix it I had someone to complain to. I never missed the lack of relationship with my father or my relatives because I spent all my time with my girlfriend anyways. I never worked on strengthening bonds and discovering shared interests and hobbies with friends because what I wanted to do, I held back and did it with her. There’s so much in my life I need to fix. So much I can work on. So many areas to improve. My life could absolutely be better, and if I could just get over this obstacle, forget about Beautiful and not worry about where or when or who my next relationship is, I could be happy.

Secret Path.jpgThere is a reason and a result and a goal. But there is no purpose. I don’t feel worth the effort. I don’t find myself wanting this for myself. I’ve never wanted for myself. I’ve only ever wanted so that I could have for someone. I want to see the end of the tunnel. I want to tell myself it’s worth it. I will come back to this secret area again. Alone. And I’ll keep going until it’s mine again, not hers, not ours. And after that, when I’m ready, and prepared, and worthy, I’ll make it someone else’s too. Right now I just need to remember what it feels like to be hungry for change, for better, for me.

Day 37

Man: 25 Loneliness: 12


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