Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Angst

I am having an angsty day. I miss my kids. They're off doing their lives and I haven't seen either one for days. I need to get used to this, as this is how it will be more and more, now that they no longer live under my roof. My daughter was cranky with me on the phone this morning, which upset me. I'm too pushy sometimes. My son wasn't cranky with me, but he was upset about another thing, about which I could do nothing to help, so that left me feeling crappy too. I am feeling as if I have very little in my life other than my work, which isn't exactly true, but that's how it feels at this moment—as if everyone is out living their super interesting and connected lives, and I'm in this room, sitting at this desk, alone. Don't get me wrong; I am grateful to have work. But sometimes in this city, people get so caught up in navigating their all-consuming imperatives, it can get very lonely. That's how it feels right now. I also have two loved ones waiting for a diagnosis that could go either way. Their worry certainly contributes to the world seeming gray. I pray they are okay. This is a weird age and stage. We get ailments, and sometimes they are serious. We feel lonely. I was talking to one of my other friends last week. She was telling me about her plan to spend some weeks in Berlin this summer, living in an Airbnb and making art in a studio she's rented. She is looking forward to it, but fears she will be lonely. We fantasized about me joining her in Berlin for a couple of weeks, renting an Airbnb near to hers, the two of us working on our projects during the day, and then getting together to sip wine in cafes come evening. It sounds divine. And really, one can write anywhere. I'm thinking about it. But can I really be the kind of person who, now that my children are raised, kisses her sweet prince of a husband goodbye and takes off to the continent to write? I'm thinking right now that it might be creatively inspiring to be lonely in a different place, even for a little while.


15 comments:

  1. It took me some time to get used to my kids being off in their world. Sometimes I wonder about what's next. Am I just going to get up everyday and go to work and look forward to my days off? Three weeks off a year in which I can't afford to do anything much except trips around the island where I live? It's a bleak outlook. But then I get to feeling guilty when I think of one of my clients who has weeks left to live. How grateful she would be to have a normal and boring life, just going to work everyday.
    If you can pull off this trip at all, I encourage you to for it. So many possibilities because but even if it's just to break up the mundaneness of it all. Get away to regroup and reward yourself for bring ping up two amazing children who have left the nest. And because I never do anything or go anywhere. I can look forward to something through you!

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    1. Birdie, I can tell you understand the place in which I am standing. Thank you for these encouraging words. Hugs.

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  2. Birdie sure wrote some wisdom there. I, too, would encourage you to go. I seriously doubt you will ever regret it if you do but if you don't- you will always wonder how it would have been. And I'm sure your family would support your decision with all of their collective hearts. Think of all of the adventures you've encouraged them in- it's your turn now, sweet woman.

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    1. Ms. Moon, I am starting to think about it more seriously. I have to get used to the thought that I am now quite untethered, my husband would cope for two weeks, and i'd be back before my babies even missed me. xo

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  3. Your kids would be the first to tell you to go, enjoy the change of scene and re-energize! It is a weird time of life. I sometimes feel a bit down but have little patience with people or their platitudes and worry more for my dying cat than I do for myself. I hope you do go!

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    1. e, you're right. my kids would push me onto the plane! i am not an explorer by nature (walking for any length of time if difficult) but alone, I could go at my own pace, and pour myself into writing.

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  4. I'm so grateful for this post. There is a deep feeling of loneliness when they leave -- and it probably lasts for quite a while, especially if you are as close to you children as you are. My daughter left on Saturday, ready to move on with her life. She's met a love and I am sooo happy for her, but we've lived together for the past 5 years and I miss very much the time when she came home from work and we sat together to go over our day. It was delightful. The house is incredibly quiet.

    If you can, and there's no shame if you decide not to (!). I think that travel presents another kind of loneliness. It's calmer and it brings a certain kind of insight that you can't get at home. There are rewards....and opportunities to meet others to add to your list of friends.

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    1. liv, it's so hard when they leave home at first. i believe it will get better, but first we have to get unused to the sweet routines we shared with them. Thanks for being here, friend.

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  5. Yes, GO NOW - while you can! Trust me, before you know it, life will take another twisty turn and you'll be tethered again, even if temporarily, ... a writing retreat sounds like heaven!

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    1. jenny-o, I should go, and maybe I will! and you're right life changes and then changes again.

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  6. So much that resonates. This time when your children choose their own paths is also the time when you will find another direction and purpose. I would not say, a new direction or purpose, because there are so many that we mothers have ignored while we were focusing on our children.

    I found it hardest to give up our mutual seemingly all encompassing involvement in each other's life, which felt like my loss, her gain and also like a rejection. It was a massive learning curve but eventually it has brought us a new closeness, we are more equal now, in the way we communicate and the way we take each other for granted (this never stops).

    Go to Berlin, it is such an amazing place but beware of airbnb, it is illegal there now and we continuously hear bad stories of visitors being cheated by non-existing hosts, fake host IDs, having to confront nasty legal situations and basically ending up homeless overnight.
    Don't let that put you off. There are many other ways to find cheap accommodation in Berlin. Airbnb is just a recent idea.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/01/berlin-authorities-taking-stand-against-airbnb-rental-boom

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    1. Sabine, I so appreciate what you say here. It all feels so exactly true, and it helps to know that this is a process millions of mothers the world over go through, just another part of life. I actually found an amazing looking Airbnb with 131 excellent reviews, but now I wonder if it could all be fake. I will keep you posted. Love to you, dear friend.

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    2. Please don't let me discourage you. There must be a way to verify the reviews, surely.
      However:
      A friend of a friend recently booked an airbnb in Berlin for a month based on excellent reviews. She was asked to pick up the key at a local shop, never met the host, was instructed to pretend she was a student on exchange. She had booked one room in what was supposedly a 2-people shared place (the other person a Spanish woman for one month) and found herself confronted with several daily changing guests, one bathroom, one kitchen. Every guest she spoke to had booked it from a different host. In the end, she and two other guests did a google image search of the hosts' pictures and found these were stock photos from an actor's agency in the UK. She did meet a 'host' eventually, who admitted to it being slightly strange but felt he had no choice due to the city authorities and that if she felt insecure, she could move to another airbnb in Berlin.

      Check out waytostay.com and housetrip.com

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  7. You made me cry, between this post and the post about the people in Portland. The world seems to be a messed up place and it's often so lonely. I want to run away too. I have a good life but I want to do something beautiful. Does that make any sense?

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    1. Dear Lily, you have a tender heart, and this is good and needed. Love.

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