I was out to dinner with my mom the other night and due to my most recent Instagram posts, she asked if I was in that place again. You know that place where you start focusing on the negatives and not the positives. That place some people would lead you to believe doesn’t exist. Well I was, but not as deep in the depths as I have been in the past. I’m able to bounce out of those black holes a lot quicker now. A culmination of recent occurrences led me to writing in response to the title above.
I knew being single again wouldn’t be easy (well truth be told, I thought it would be at first, hi ego), but I never imagined it being emotionally so hard. I have no attachments! No children, no child support, no ex bleeding my funds dry, nothing. Sounds like a pretty easy life right? Well it is, and it isn’t. On a recent solo trip to Philadelphia, I was once again reminded how much I miss an intimate human connection. I’m not talking about a swipe right, your hot, lets get drunk, fuck and never speak to each other again type of connection. I want to be able say “hey let’s get ice cream, sit in the back of my truck and talk about the world”, or “hey lets sit in the park, lay back and watch the clouds float by, searching for dinosaurs” type of connection. Why it is so hard for me to find someone to do that with even platonically boggles my mind, but I’ve also learned to accept, I’m not your typical 38 year old American.
Not a day passes by that I regret not having walked down the traditional road of school, workforce, marriage, kids (should we add divorce), retirement, death. It just wasn’t meant for me. I would never say never on having a mini me, because I think I’d make an amazing dad, but right now it’s just not part of the plan. I commend the parents out there though who have decided to responsibly have children, you’re much more strong willed and sacrificial than I could ever be. Well I guess we’ve both sacrificed things, but in different ways.
I’ve been single for close to 3 years now, add in a couple more because the final years of my last relationship was a shell of that. As time passes by, I’ve really started to question, why not me? Why haven’t I found that thing, that so many others have claimed to have found? What am I lacking? Do I smell? Am I intimidating? Are my standards too high? Do I come across as arrogant? Do I seem desperate? Am I not man enough? Am I too soft? Am I gay? Am i destined to be alone? There are times I seriously feel like I repel people away.
Do I really think I’m lacking? No, I don’t. Do I really smell? I don’t know, you tell me. Are my standards too high? No, I’ve settled once, and I won’t do it again. Do I seem desperate? I don’t think so, I’m quite content doing my things by myself and spending time alone. Am I not man enough or too soft? No, I’m just being me. Am I gay? No, I’ve never once been intimate with a girl thinking this just feels wrong. In fact I’d argue that being in the presence of the right woman is one of the most beautiful things a man can experience. Their skin, hair, touch, smell all intoxicating. Am I destined to be alone? No, some lucky girl will eventually scoop me up. Unfortunately underneath the clarity of it all, is a core wound that I’m worthless, unlovable, and unwanted. Excavating those feelings has been one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever had to face. Especially when you finally think you’ve gotten over the hump, but the same things keep happening over and over and over again. How do I make it stop? Will it ever end? We can practice self love techniques all we want, but at our very core, we’re still humans seeking a real connection. A person to call our home.
I look back on my life and sometimes think to myself, geez Ryan you’ve gone about it all backwards. I isolated myself during my high school years, when I should’ve been experimenting with life. I had a little bit of fun from 19-22, had my heart crushed at 24, spent a year not realizing how hurt I really was, then spent the next 10 years in the prime of my life, unbeknownst to me at the time, with someone not compatible to the person I was becoming. Now here I am, feeling like I’m in high school all over again, but at the age of 38. Although this time, I’m not purposely isolating myself. It just seems to be happening. I’m watching some of the adults around me isolate themselves, while I’m out experimenting with life. Did I miss something while I was growing up? Am I supposed to be healing high school trauma now, that at the time I didn’t know was simmering inside?
Would I’d rather be alone dealing with uncomfortable human emotions, than settling for some monotonous, half assed forced connection? Most definitely. Would I trade in being alone, to be able to write an epic real life love story experience? In a heartbeat. I want another chance, I deserve another chance. Maybe I need to stop looking, stop searching, wipe out every idea of the person I have in my mind. Go out, continue to do my thing and let love find me. I question that method though. What if we all stopped looking, all stopped searching, would anyone be able to find each other? Or would we all just be aimlessly walking around hurt and injured, silently looking for the same thing?
Am I enjoying the freedoms of being single, pretty much having free reign to do whatever I want, whenever I want, yes. Do I miss the intimacy of a one on one connection, yes. Can I have both, yes. I just need to find another like minded soul who says, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Someone told me today to enjoy my freedom while I still have it, because once I’m locked down it’s over. I snickered, but I don’t believe in that at all. Life is what we make of it. We’re in control of every decision, good or bad, that we make.
If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that I’ll be ok. I’ll still have some days where I swim beneath the surface, but the days spent floating above enjoying the warm rays of the sun are becoming more and more. I’ve made it this far on my own, and if it takes another week, month or year(s), I won’t give up. I won’t stop longing to be touched again by an angel who this time will not only know how to hold my heart, but how to sing to my soul.