My mom said today that there were three phases of her marriage; before kids, while raising me, and after. She said that the phase where she and my dad grew apart was when they had me. That before me, her marriage was like an extended six year honeymoon. Then with me, there was financial strain and other strain. Then after I left for college, things became wonderful again. That in retirement they were always together and very much in love.
At the age of 39 I heard my mom say, for the first time, that if she hadn’t had kids, she wouldn’t have regretted it. I don’t know what that means, exactly. I don’t feel bad that she said it, though perhaps I ought. I never felt unloved. It’s hard work raising kids, but in my case if I had not, I think I very much would have regretted it.
Things are different.
I am almost 39. A year and four days away from being 40.
My son is almost 3.
I haven’t written any fiction or poetry in a year.
We are about to move across the country. We are about to move away from the fireflies.
I have a new job. I am a scientist again.
I’ve been in a temporary job for 15 months. It was in the process of becoming permanent.
On the third anniversary of my dad’s death, I was told that it would not become permanent. Sort of like a firing. Well that afternoon they did extend me another three months, so here I am doing my job, sort of a lame duck.
Meanwhile my husband has found a fellowship on the other side of the country. I’m not sure what that means for me.
Also, I reached out to an old friend from my academic days and rekindled a friendship. That part was nice. We went out to a university restaurant for Greek food last week; falafel and octopus, and brussels sprouts.
It should be a happy day; it was once. It’s my dad’s third birthday since he passed, I think. I’ve lost count…that whole part of my life is a blur. What is it now? His un-birthday? My kids won’t even remember it…I don’t remember my grandfathers’. I miss him. I normally work from home on Fridays, but I found an excuse to go to work so I don’t have to be alone with my thoughts all day.
My good friend is doing the fade on me. I really have to go “no contact” on him. What a day.
My boss asked me today about Hinduism/Buddhism and detachment. “How,” she wondered, “do you have a detached marriage?” “And if you love someone and that person dies, are you supposed to not grieve?”
I don’t know the answer. It’s something I’ve wondered about myself, though I haven’t given it much thought in a long time.
My husband also thought that the Gita says not to feel at all–never to laugh too hard, or cry. And I disagree with that to an extent. I think the Gita says to feel the feelings, but not to let them govern your actions. Self-control, basically.
My son turned two a couple of weeks ago. He’s so big now–a boy, not a baby. My daughter’s first words were “up” and “duck.” My son’s were “car,” “ball,” and “mom.” My husband said “he’s a boy, all right.”
My friend requested to be his godfather. Which I was very happy about, except we don’t really have godparents in Indian culture and the only context I’ve ever heard the word in is in the context of Mafia dons.
I haven’t blogged much lately; I’ve entered into correspondence with an old friend, and I’ve been writing fiction and poetry.
We may have to move cross country for my husband’s medical training. This disturbs me as I have a very nice job here, we have a house here, my mom is here, and I have some old friends here. We have 11 months to figure out what we will do.
So that’s the roundup.
I read somewhere that a common reaction to bereavement was yearning and searching. That people kept seeing their loved one everywhere.
I don’t search in space. I search in time. I ruminate and relive old memories again and again, fearing that I will forget them; lose everything I have of my father. My dreams these days are incredibly vivid and detailed memories of small episodes from my past. I yearn for people in my past…old friends, acquaintances, who have long since forgotten me. They are anchors to a time when life was simple — before my parents fell ill.
The problem is that those people have long since moved on and forgotten me.
I feel the worst about my postdoc advisor, because he was really genuinely kind to me, and I don’t think it had to do with his own self-interest. I miss sharing things about work with my dad. My advisor was similar. I miss him too. These days there’s nobody left to talk to, or at least it feels that way.
I read somewhere that you can choose three of five: work, fitness, friends, family, hobbies. I guess I’ve let go friends and work.
My husband is unable to let go work, and work takes up two slots, so he has let go friends, family, and fitness.
I’m very lonely these days. I go back and revisit graduate school in my mind, still wondering where I went wrong; how I got kicked off the path of being an academic despite having sacrificed so much for it. In the end I think it had to do with my personality and my lack of self-confidence…too much second-guessing, and in retrospect, difficulty breaking into the “boys club.”
I feel so dissatisfied, and so tired.