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As if my dating life wasn’t already a laughing stock, with the choices in my age group amounting to the leftovers of broken marriages, divorce settlement beat downs, and the complete failure to commit (launch) types scrambling around in the age of Tinder. Now I have been dealt an even harder blow. My dad’s health has declined and now I am struggling to keep him around as long as possible.
For the last year or so, I was relying heavily on my dad being able to take his medications, eat healthier food I kept at home and self-care as much as possible when I had to work and be gone during the day. I attempted to get home health care for him, to lighten some of the load, to no avail. I basically ran out of energy, time and most days with a 5 AM to midnight schedule, I was a walking zombie just trying to stay afloat. Balancing the kids, my dad, Twiggy’s after care from cancer, work, more work, and even more work to pay for it all, had caught up with me and ran me over like a Mack™ truck. I was on auto-pilot. The only time I felt I wasn’t failing, miserable and on the verge of a breakdown was writing.
I went on occasional dates (keyword, occasional) with my regular failed connection and maybe one or two others, but I knew none of it could amount to anything with my life being what it was. Ever present in the back of my head was the thought of how out of touch this (interchangeable descriptive term) guy was with my life and real life responsibilities. Their biggest worry was what drink they would order at happy hour, or arguing with their ex over who picks up their child from soccer, while I was over here trying to figure out how long I was going to be able to keep going without falling apart, or when the next disastrous emergency would take me out. I saw their problems as trivial and felt sick hearing them complain ad nauseam about them. Their loneliness and disconnectedness was tied back to their own actions. I was highly aware of the fact that had they any knowledge of my actual life, they’d run quicker than they did from their marriages they passively and subconsciously compare every woman to. The only reason I was attractive to them, was my lack of being ‘wifey’ from my aloofness, to my not giving a damn or wanting to fight them about their bad life choices. I just didn’t see the point in it.
Why would I want to add another fight to my life? Why would I need another human needing something from me when I am already spent? Even the regular one I became serially monogamous with required entirely too much energy due to his fragile ego and constant need for validation. I became bored with him every few months and left him to focus on the ample life I am the sole proprietor of. I did it alone for the most part, and it made the fact I always would sting a little less. I expect nothing from them, therefore I would feel no disappointment when they did what they always do.
They aren’t the constants in my life. They were and still are merely a mental vacation from my very real life circumstance. Most people hit this point of their lives I have found myself, after they have established a relationship or at a much older age. I am single. By the time I get to stand still and breathe, I will be too set in those ways to ever go back to a couple mentality or to trust another human being to let them in. This is my new normal. I am a moderately attractive most days, likable, witty, and charismatic woman who will be alone for the rest of my life. I am the mom, the daughter, the co-worker, the friend, but never the significant other (and significant takes on a whole new meaning in this context). I will never have a significant connection again. Every day being alone is getting more and more comfortable, and every day I am growing more and more attached to my role. Every problem, every day, every emergency handled, and every lonely night I make it through, I am beginning to enjoy the solitude. Does this make me damaged or evolved?