michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 76)
my muscles still ache somehow... it seems to be worse than yesterday. i can only imagine how you felt, performing night after night on stage with arthritic joints. your arches must have been ravished. all i know is that my shoulder and neck are killing me. a little arnica should assist in the healing.
i do wonder if, the older i get the more emotional pain could be intermingled with the physical... or is it just a sign of getting older? i'm at that age where i could still be considered 'a baby', and yet the social expectations for me to have 'a spouse, a house, children and a career' hover, ever so near. i am at a crossroads, and my shoulder is informing me of this fact. i must make the decision to heal what aches.
the same goes for my heart, and my spirit.
i realized, right after i spoke with you yesterday, where i needed to be. i suppose i was alluding to this yesterday, but it became so clear to me: i want really bad to be a parent. i also intend for this little one to be raised by someone other than myself- a companion. a person i can share my life and experiences with. however... i am not looking for a 'mate'. this situation is not as contradictory, or as complicated as i think it is.
a companion is something i have searched for my whole life. the desire to entertain the trappings of a romantic relationship was never as large a priority. it was easy for me to make the two interchangeable though, because i figured that was the way to be the closest to someone, and consistently remain close to them over the years; so many people i considered friends- people who were at least a decade my senior- were getting married and having children. even at such a young age, i felt left out. at this age, due to my minimal experience, i came to the conclusion that falling in love guaranteed instant rejection. in a funny way i took comfort in that, knowing i wouldn't have to deal with the 'trappings of romance'. still, the hurt in rejection was extreme, where it occasionally isolated me from the world outside. i pursued and pursued until i made the decision to remain silent on my feelings for someone, to the point where there are no feelings at all. it may have not been the most pro-active thing to do, but at least i avoided rejection...
...all this to get to the place i am now. perhaps i have willed myself into avoiding rejection so much that i hold no stock in 'romantic' relationships at this point. i'm perfectly okay with being the 'kid sister' to my friends and acquaintances, as they still marry and raise children of their own. HOWEVER i realize, this approach i am taking does not warrant an action from me, to deal with my own growing desire to be a mother. people raising children together outside of romantic relationships is far from a novel idea (that is certainly something you did in your own life); my lack of experience in this is prompting difficulty in my knowing how to approach that.
even though the life i live is contrary to how i (and many others) was conditioned to respond to social situations; i do wonder if there is something to be said for the social relations between the genders... i keep hearing "this is how men do things, and this is how women do things". acknowledging that the concept of gender is in and of itself socialized (and that some people don't even consider themselves to take part in these constructions); i wonder if, the older i get, these constructions have taken root, even for the people in my life who for the most part reject most major (mainstream) social structures.
and then... i refer back to you. it's like, "it worked for michael! he wasn't affected by these constructions! he rejected so many of them!" and then i jump back to reality and realize that in many ways, you have not. and neither have i.
your experiences, just like mine, have definitely prompted you to question a lot of these constructions. how you view relationships; how children were a crucial aspect of your life's philosophy... your work ethic. but then, you desired to be with someone. you longed for the feeling of companionship. to be touched, to be loved. this is something which is inescapable it seems. all living species need companionship; and to another extent, all living species share the need to reproduce and see that their accomplishments have left a better impact than they.
these are things i have fought for the longest time, and now it's all catching up with me. as diana ross (as dorothy) lamented in 'the wiz': "is this what feeling gets?"
it's an arduous thing sometimes, to have feelings. you concealed yours quite well sometimes, behind glasses, layers of jackets or emblems, or on a stage. but sometimes, when you allowed yourself to be unadorned- when those glasses came off in 1984 ("for the girls in the balcony"), when you looked into children's eyes at orphanages; and yes, all those times you stood next to diana ross- you revealed so much more than you perhaps wanted to- or will ever know.
yes, to have feelings means that exposure (or nakedness) is inevitable. and that includes a possibility of rejection. "looking around in the lost and found of the heart". thus, the catch 22. where do people like us fit in?
sometimes you scream. sometimes you cry. sometimes you hit things. sometimes you withdraw. and ALL the time you just chalk it up to being a part of life. people will never understand you. oh well. such is life.
but is this really to be? everything has the potential for change, right?
i ran into a good friend of mine, as i was coming home from work. we walked together a bit, as she was also on a destination. we both revealed what was going on with the both of us. what ended up happening; she will never know how grateful i am to her. in speaking with her about her own struggles i saw the potential for my own ability to see light.
i see so much light in her (and in others), but don't always see it in myself. "you have so much love to give, you have so much love within you" she said. it was when she said that, it really hit me. i realized that part of this lay in my not wanting to give love to just one person. i want companionship, but i do not want to be tied to one person, in terms of how we are conditioned to view companionship. i want to give the love i have to share to the children, to the cats, to people who are hungry. to others who are struggling emotionally.
i love my friend so much. she has been there for me in my darkest hours, when i lost the desire to just get out of bed (and live). we had some struggles in recent times; and when i saw her i wanted her to know that everything was alright. i was there for her (as i always had been). i wanted her to see her own beauty, her own light. we embraced in the street for the longest time.
that is all i want: is to know that others see their potential to see light. this is mainly what companionship is to me. she said that she saw the light in me. she told me that it was you who really assisted me in getting there. THIS IS WHAT SHE SAID. so many of the doubts i had about myself in relation to my dedication to you just slid away. i didn't feel like such a crazy person.
still... i don't always see this light in myself. i struggle with what i could do, how i look, how i relate to others...
"before you judge me, try hard to love me." really, i must say this to myself. i have so much love to give to others, but i don't find enough time to give it to myself. the truth is, i don't know how to get there. i don't know how. and that hurts.