Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Needing purpose

Overall, the extended 4th of July weekend was quiet. I went shopping for an entire day which was exhausting. Shopping takes on a very different tone when you're actually looking to find something specific. I was supposed to spend some time cleaning the house, but I didn't get to far. What a surprise. ;)

Each day during this long weekend, I noticed people. I'd see couples at the mall. The guys either patiently waited in chairs or gave opinions on the girlfriend's outfit each time they stepped out of the fitting room. In the parking lots, families were getting kids in and out of their strollers and car seats or buying them a treat at the food court. Near home, I always observed families at the park - exploring the play equipment, shooting off toy rockets, having picnics, playing tennis. I've never noticed so many groups of people biking through the neighborhood streets together, such a wholesome family activity. I like the idea of the simple pleasures. I think this was a wonderful time for a lot of people.

Many of my friends were busy with family matters - parents visiting, future in-laws arriving for wedding, recently engaged couple preparing the new house for the parents' visit next month, boyfriend taking girlfriend for a getaway weekend.

Chi loaned me one of her books to read, The Between Boyfriends Book. I managed to read a few essays from the book over lunch the other day. I think she's hoping this will lighten my spirits and help me build the courage to try some more online dating. So far, reading has inspired me to consider different ways to write and incorporate my thoughts better.

I did spend a little time with friends on Monday night. We did our usual chatting before playing a game of "Bang!". The game is a little like "Mafia," if you have ever played. In "Bang!" there are several different strategies playing out. The sheriff and deputies want to kill the outlaws. The outlaws want the sheriff dead. The renegade has the toughest challenge in that he wants everyone dead, but the outlaws must die before the sheriff. (Got all that? ;) ) To make things even more challenging, you only know who the sheriff is at the start of the game. You must determine everyone else's identities based on their actions during the game. Ig made the bold move of trying to shoot the sheriff early in the game. Unfortunately, that also meant that within only two turns, the sheriff and two deputies managed to kill off him AND another outlaw - a very rare occurrence. We laughed while Ig sat stunned at how he could go from full health to four bullet wounds (life points in the game). Making the first move can make you a HUGE target.

Tuesday I went out to learn how to throw a Frisbee before attending a BBQ. Tim plays ultimate and was teaching Ig and me how to throw better. Boy, I'm out of shape. Who knew I could feel so tired just running after a Frisbee.

The BBQ was pleasant and mellow. It was nice to visit EJP's new home since I missed the housewarming. The only thing was that I felt like I was the only single person there. Later, a few other singles showed up, but year after year, the couples and families have begun to dominate the crowd.

I went home to meet up with Tim to watch a couple episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" before calling it a night. It's a very funny show. I also can't help like the fact that there are Asian people behind the scenes like someone named Kourtney Kang who has written some of the episodes. I wish I that good at identifying and retelling the humorous moments and the adventures I've shared with my friends over the years.


In those moments of quiet at home, I realized that life has slowed a bit in the past few years. Ig joked that it's only because TJ is not here to organize a big party. Did he not want to admit things are changing? Still, I feel like something is missing.

Spending so much time alone also reminded me of this holiday, three years ago, the first weekend after I broke up with Ryan. It was a weekend of crying at home all day or going to friends' parties where I pretended to be fine after people would innocently ask, "hi, where's Ryan?"

I don't know why that memory came back to me. I think of him so rarely these days. Part of it was probably because I spent the 4th this year at EJP's, something I did that year, watched fireworks from the same hill where I watched that fatefull year EJP now live up the street from my old place, and because I wasn't with Tim who has been present the past two (one as a date, one as a friend).

Sitting on my couch, surfing the Internet while watching a old movie on Monday morning, I couldn't help look down the hall and up the stairs thinking there should be somebody there (like a toddler trying to stand up). I should feel lucky that I have the freedom to do what I want. I know I'd complain just as much if all my time was consumed by cleaning, cooking and diapers, but it all sounds so much more blissful right now. I always have this desire to feel needed, wanted, and that doesn't exist.

When it comes down to it, I've lost focus in my life. I feel like I'm just living day to day. I'm lonely; I just happen to keep busy enough to not notice. This is not where I expected to be. What is my purpose now? I know some people would say that I should forge my own path and not feel subject to society's (and my own) expectation that I should be married. Others reassure me that I will meet my man. (I suppose it's nice to hear that people think I'm a good person.)

The fact is that it's what I want NOW. I have my college degree; I earned an advanced degree; I bought a new car; I've had a few long-term relationships; I own property; I've had three careers; I've traveled every year. I feel like I've had my fun and had the opportunity to explore. Sure, I take classes for fun, but they're really just a time filler - a way to forget what's missing from my life. At this age, I expected to be raising a family. That was supposed to be part of my identity. My current instincts include cultivating and nurturing, but I am being denied the ability to act upon it.

It's not that I haven't tried to find a man to marry. I've been at this for some ten years now. There's no good explanation or excuse for the lack of success. But let's face it, if I could read the minds of my mother, her friends, and my aunts, they'd all be thinking the same thing. (Insert your own family's thoughts here.) I know they all think there's something wrong with me. I tend to wonder myself more and more. This is why I have a therapist.:->

I honestly feel like I'm about to reach a dead end. (I know... I'm being overly depressing. And though some say you shouldn't dwell on the negative, but I think it's important to acknowledge it, otherwise it's like ignoring a nail sticking out of your skull.) I feel desperate because I no longer want to be alone. Now, when I spy a nice guy at the store or at some event, he is usually too young or taken. Where can I go to meet people (in real time, not in cyberspace) who I can get to know them in a natural setting who are eligible and interested? (Ah, the holy grail of dating questions.) How can I rationally choose the right person?

1 comment:

zerodoll said...

It's really really tough to feel lonely. At some point, you have to really be ok with being alone which is different than being lonely. It's hard when you know you have so much love to give. But I think you're right, you have to acknowledge what you're feeling and not ignore it.