Friday, January 8, 2016

Looking back, a little.

I haven't taken the time to write much since the traumatizing amnesia-based hospital visit. It's been updates here and there, and some minor posts, but I've found approaching the subject daunting.

In truth, it's also writing I'm finding difficult. Namely, translating the way my thoughts wander and wonder to narrative that's structured. On any given day I have these flashes of a place I can explore through writing but I'm often unable to take the time-out needed to write it down, or I'm quickly distracted by something else.

Over the holidays I often thought of taking out my laptop and taking the time to write something, but I was just so exhausted. Most of the holiday vacation was spent with family, cooking and partaking in Christmas parties. Then I went home around the 28th and just slept a lot and did my best to re-cooperate from the stress and exhaustion of the amnesia scare which was compacted by then going back to work.

Before I knew it, I was back to work on January 4th. My birthday was yesterday (the 7th), so focus quickly turned to my birthday. And now, in a month's time, I'll be visiting my friend out in Victoria, so my mind is occupied with planning and research. I'm also just looking forward to being away.

Last night I had dinner with my mother and my friend J. She came by the restaurant after work, and we had a drink and some good food. We were able to talk about my mom and catch up. She travels a lot for work, so it can be difficult to see one another. She's also a social butterfly and has a very active social life, so we don't hang out in the same circles anymore. She and I went to high school together. She's still friends with a lot of the guys who trigger some stuff in me that I'm still working on. We stayed friends even though I don't see the other guys.

I'm now 32. I don't really care that much about the number. I did find entering my 30's difficult, because all of a sudden the expectations of maturity and success seem increasingly important. This feeling was well described in an article I recently read in The Atlantic:
Being a Millennial and trying to adult is wildly disorienting. I can't figure out if I'm supposed to start a non-profit, get another degree, develop a wildly profitable entrepreneurial venture, or somehow travel the world and make it look effortless online. Mostly it just looks like taking a job that won't ever pay off my student debt in a field that is not the one that I studied. Then, if I hold myself to the traditional ideal of what it means to be an adult, I'm also not nailing it. I am unmarried, and not settled into a long term, financially stable career. Recognizing that I'm holding myself to an unrealistic standard considering the economic climate and the fact that dating as a Millennial is exhausting, it's unfair to judge myself, but I confess I fall into the trap of comparison often enough. Sometimes because I simply desire those things for myself, and sometimes because Instagram.
On most days I am resolute in knowing the things I don't want so I'm able to stand in my choices. I think the major difficulty for me is the guilt and shame I have of "losing my 20's" - that comes with a kind of mourning. I woke up 30, with little to show for myself in terms of social life, career or romance. My body was a mess. My heart and mind were traumatized, and I had to learn how to manage myself and live in my life. Even though I don't want what some want, and I don't value what some value, it can be difficult to feel zero judgement from self or other.

My birthday has been secondary to the amnesia scare. Seeing my mother disoriented, and initially fearing a stroke or alzheimer's really put me on my ass. My initial fear-reaction was that she was going to die, and that I was now "officially" alone. What if I would have had to be her caregiver? Would I have been able to cope? 

I know this is a normal fear. I feel though, that for me, and for folks who are socially withdrawn or struggling with mental/health issues it's just, more. The well-adjusted people in my life have partners. They have friends. They have plans. They have careers. Savings. I'm not quite there yet. My living at home has kept me in this child-like, dependent space. This experience highlighted my desire to have my own space, so that when my mother passes, my home doesn't fall apart. But, it also got she and I talking about what she wants, and what her fears are. Would she be more comfortable in a duplex with me? Separate but close? We both need to assess what we want, and talk about it.

I feel like 2016 is going to be a big year. There will be a lot of movement. For now I'm still tired and trying to take care of myself as best I can. Being in the emergency room with my mother for nearly 24 hours violently shook the importance of health into me. I'm trying to take things one day at a time, and am really trying to focus on taking care of myself from a kinder, more loving space.

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