Thursday, November 21, 2013


It's Sunday night and I am having my  "customary" (as of 3 weeks ago, so, like, newly-minted customary) bachelorette evening where I walk the dog, do some chores, eat a rather lonely-looking dinner and then try desperately to savor my "alone" time. In my mind, during this time I spend free from the bonds of motherhood I should look very free-spirited and comfortable in my alone-ness but more often than not I look like an idiot staring into space as I try to decide what to do with myself. There are so many things I want to do that I don't know where to start. Then, of course,  I think "let me check my email one more time while I decide," and suddenly a whole hour is lost to mindless clicking and tapping on pointless links and photos of dogs.

But not tonight. Tonight I am seated in my living room with the gas fireplace warming my feet and my adorable dog curled up next to me. I am ready to be a writer and express my thoughts and feelings using beautiful language and grammatically correct sentences that flow along the page. My leftovers have been eaten, my kitchen has been cleaned up, my home feels serene. It's time to write.

The problem is, I can't seem to find the proper avenue to follow that will lead me into my mind and allow the thoughts and feelings to flow in an organized yet melodic fashion. I hesitate to address what's really on my mind for fear that instead of producing one ounce of creative expression all that will come out is a whiney, self-absorbed accounting of how sad and lonely and frustrating it is to be a SINGLE MOTHER. In truth, the term "single mother" may be trite and inaccurate used here. I am not truly single; I am still married, it's just that my husband is not currently living with my daughter and me. And I have not been abandoned and forced to provide every single second of care and guidance to my daughter. My husband remains quite attentive to our daughter and therefore we end up spending time together several days a week. But I have moved closer to the single end of the relationship/living arrangement spectrum than I used to be and the knowledge of this movement is constantly on my mind.

The real issue is learning to live as the only adult member of my household which I haven't been since 1996. And it's not as simple as going back to living a single lifestyle because now I am responsible for the care of my child and my dog so I'm not the least bit free to pursue my own whims and interests whenever I want. Yet I no longer have a partner to talk to, upon whom I can unload the tedious and mundane details of each day. And that feels weird.

Despite the emotional distance that had taken up residence between my husband and I, he still occupied a very definite space in our home and now with that space vacated I am unable to navigate my way around the empty holes. I can't quite fill them all myself as there simply isn't enough substance to me to take up that much space. My daughter and I only occupy so much of our house. What is to be done with all that emptiness?

I never intended to use Facebook to announce my separation from my husband, oh-so-casually drawing everyone's attention to the minor fact that my relationship status mysteriously changed from "married" to something else that inadequately describes what is truly going on. But I do want to write about it and so inevitably I am (partially) baring my soul to the world (actually only about 5 people but "world" will do here) by posting this on my blog. Is it too much? Do I reveal too much? Of course, I know deep down I have revealed almost nothing. Being prone to a touch of the social anxiety, though, baring all can be terrifying and regrettable so I have to obsess over every word and hope my self-expression is genuine but still filtered enough that I don't sound like a psychopath. In the end, however, I am really just creating a story in which I happen to be the main character.

I know the story would be a lot cooler if the dog could talk and crack funny jokes all the time so if I can work that into the storyline, I will. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Yours is a journey just begun. Sometimes, in the beginning, one must close both eyes and simply jump in. It may start with being over your head but soon you surface and find your shore. I am your loving friend and will always be.