Time passes you by and before you know it you’re wishing for a break from it all. . .but then life slows down and you can see the leaves falling to the ground ever so gently and with no rush in mind. Life falls as it may and pieces land where they should and after you wanted a break from the madness you realize the madness is your life. . .and what is life but a little bit of madness.
I don’t know where to start. . .
What would Johanna do?
It is a question I ask myself everyday. I am not talking about the things that are clear but more so the things that are unlike myself. When I don’t want to be moral or do the right thing, I ask myself. . .What. Would. Johanna. Do? Being good comes easy, being positive even better and yet there are times when I just want to crawl into my own shell and hide from the world. Making decisions. . .the right decisions, is exhausting. Even so I choose daily, sometimes it doesn’t come easy, sometimes it is pretty clear but no matter the what or when I must decide.
So here I am on the eve of another Monday. I have had some tough decisions to make and I couldn’t help but to feel alone in them. No matter what I decide I have had support but I am reaching that point that I am so tired of having just support from friends and family. . .I feel alone. . .lonely. I don’t like to admit it but it is true and I have become a worse liar by the minute so I shall spare the lies for one who knows how to tell them.
It’s Christmas again, my favorite holiday in the world and the other night I found myself walking hand in hand with my little brother. While it is sweet, I couldn’t help but notice all the couples and families strolling through the park enjoying the holiday festivities. I don’t get jealous but I found myself rather envious that night of the people who had a person. Whether they walked hand in hand in silence because their company was sufficient or if they walked hand in hand speechless because they were the fighting type. How funny is it that I even regret not having someone to fight with.
I’ve been single for quite a bit now, with a few bouts of dating. I have been alone long enough to understand my own silence but that silence is enough to crowd my brain with a million thoughts and my heart with a wrenching pang of solitude. My son once asked me if I got lonely when he wasn’t around and at the time I said no. I needed the alone time to get to know myself and to figure out what I wanted and to also learn how to love myself. The time has come that his question is ringing in my head and I am afraid to say the answer has changed.
When my son is around, nothing else in the world matters. It is as if we live in this world and it is only he and I, but when he is gone my life feels empty. It is as if he is the sun and I am the moon wishing to see his light. When he is back, that frozen time that feels like an eternity comes to a halt and I can breath again. I love my son above everything else but we all have needs. The need to be loved for our quirks, for the silly way we say hello or how crazy our hair looks in the morning.
The past few years I have said I wasn’t ready for something serious and that I was ok with being just a portion of someone’s life because I had goals of my own. . .but. . .things change. I don’t want to rush into love, I don’t want to rush into anything but my tune has changed and I know I am ready for something more than the occupancy of someone’s time. I don’t think that is too much to ask.
Maybe it is the biggest truth or the biggest lie I have ever told but I am pretty sure I am being honest with myself. . .I think. Oh hell, I am confused.
WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT.
The answer is clear for many aspects. . .
I want to publish and live off of my writing
I want to stay healthy
I want my son to be happy
I want my dog to stop having asthma attacks every time I walk in from work
I want a flat belly with ridiculously long beautiful locks of hair. . .that’s enough right?
WHAT. ABOUT. A. RELATIONSHIP.
Ummm. . .here goes.
I have been the boss of my life for a very long time, so much so that I honestly don’t know what I want or how to get it. There are so many aspects of myself that I get to know and love every day but I am finding that my biggest weaknesses are those things that I love about myself. I thought I had discovered myself a long time ago but it turns out this too was part of the life long journey of getting to know me. I have mommy and daddy issues and while I do not make anyone else pay for their mistakes I have somehow etched in the scars of the shards so deep that I didn’t realize I was hurting myself time and time again.
When I was around 9 years old my mom and sister were in a pretty serious car accident. I remember hearing about it and crying. I was scared. At that age I didn’t know the difference between a bad accident and life and death. My mom was nowhere near life and death but I didn’t know that. When my sister came home that day she knelt down in the living room and looked me in the eyes and said, “Johanna, you need to cope, you have to, for mom.” I’ll be honest, I had no idea what cope meant, but the look in her eyes and the all too familiar story of taking up after mom was resounding in my head. See my mother is one of the strongest people I know but in the same note I realize she is also about as strong as a sheet of paper in the wind. As a family we have gone through so much and when I was growing up my mother held it all in as best as she could but she also exploded quite frequently. When my sister told me to cope, I knew it meant that I’d have to cry in silence again. I knew that I would have to console myself and avoid showing my mother how I felt because everyone else’s feelings were too much for mom to add on to her plate.
My mom made me the woman I am today. I am thankful but she didn’t give me a manual, it was almost as if she handed me a complicated system and said, “you figure it out!” So here I am, this algorithm of feelings and experiences that amount to the confusion I live with to this very day. My behavior has become predictable but I don’t know how to change it. I think I may be at the point where I realize the error of my ways but I do not know how to fix what I also consider to be my greatest strength.
My grandfather was my best friend for the majority of my childhood. He would joke and make me laugh. He played his guitar so much that at times I almost expected it to be the background noise. I was the center of his universe but when he passed and for many years now after, I have no idea what it is like to be someone’s world. I have been bits and pieces to people but never their everything. You see as a child I had my mother in bits and pieces. She worked so much that she failed to show up for anything. I remember running up to show her my first straight A report card in High School and she brushed it off because she had to do dishes. So I hung up my report card to look at it every morning because I was proud of myself.
I remember having bouts of depression as a teen. I also remember huffing every possible chemical my mom had around the house. I felt so much and couldn’t let it out so I dealt with things on my terms. Over the years those bits and pieces of me that belonged to no one began stripping away. I hid my feelings and walked around like the happiest person on earth. I stopped expecting others to acknowledge me. My siblings were all living their lives and I just internalized everything and never said a word. . .I had finally learned how to cope.
As the years have mercilessly gone by I have been in relationships with people that benefited from my up bringing. I did all for them while I continued to cope and internalize my own wants. I did not necessarily know I was doing this until now. I say I want so many things. . .I want to be happy and of course I want to be in love. I would love to be in a relationship with someone but I finally know I have ruined every one I have come across because I lead them to believe I am ok with being an after thought. How do you stop feeling like you’re second to all? When people let me down, I say It’s okay I understand. When people don’t choose me again I say, It’s okay I understand.
IT’S OKAY I UNDERSTAND. . .those. . .my final words of every short lived relationship.
I have made it ok for people to push me aside. I do not like feeling like an inconvenience or a bother. I do not know how to expect anything from people, not because I am jaded but because I truly don’t. I have done everything for myself my entire life. I have taken care of myself financially, I have motivated myself and I have coped with every tragedy that has come my way. I do not know how to tell people I expect them to be there for me, to love me and to care for me. I do not even know if I truly expect anyone to do all of those things for me, I just wish there were someone who would want to.
When I was a child, thirty was the age when it all ended. I didn’t know better when I assumed that everyone was old and everyone was done. . .done living I suppose. I didn’t have a real role model and I lived in my imagination. There was no go big or go home motto, let’s face it, I never left home.
There are so many things I have learned in life and many I have yet to learn. The years flew right by and all my childhood fantasies of what I would become at this age have come and gone. Now. I will say, most of those dreams changed all together.
I have been in love and I have broken hearts. I have been hurt and I have hurt others. I have made wishes and cashed them in and I have taken leaps of faith and fallen straight on my face. What I have learned that no matter how often we all point the finger we both have two sides of a penny, the good and bad. . .the funny and dry. No matter how different those two sides are it makes us versatile, it makes us unique but it also binds us.
I don’t know what another thirty years of life will give me. I had no idea what this life would bring but so far I am happy and thankful of the journey I have partaken in. It’s been a little messy but I have never been worried about getting my feet wet.