A great weekend, but one that scared the crap out of me.
It was GORGEOUS out this entire weekend; the sun was out, it was warm, no wind or significant rain in sight. I grilled. :-) I also feel like I gained a lot of insight and managed to stress myself out at the same time. I think a lot of the time those two go hand in hand, insight and panic.
I learned that there is no way my parents survive up here in New England if I ever leave. I mean, I love Boston but I've always wanted to see what California would be like for six months. I don't think that's a possibility if they stay up here; there's just too much upkeep with the lawn and garden. Collecting and splitting firewood for the stove has become a three-season process. My parents are old; my dad limps on a bum ankle and has smoked cigarettes for almost fifty years. My mom is great from a domestic point of view but can't turn on a computer or do any heavy yardwork or lifting. My sister helps at times but she's got her own life to live; she'd rather be at the beach or out with her boyfriend/girlfriends than to ask "what can I do to help?" So it gets stuck on me.
Not that I'm not grateful for everything my parents have given me: I live rent-free at home, they paid for two years of college, and I've never been significantly let down by them. But I'm starting to wonder when I'm going to be able to make the choices I truly want to make without having to factor in other people. Maybe I never will; hell, maybe the people I think are making choices for themselves really aren't. Maybe the ones that truly are independent are a whole lot more miserable than me.
A choice I am trying to make for myself is whether or not to buy a house this year. There are plenty of reasons to buy now: the prices are low, the rates are great, there's a huge tax credit provided to first-time home buyers. But I came to a realization tonight that scares the shit out of me.
I was sitting on my porch with a beer, just lounging around in the warm air. It's a great feeling, being completely at peace. But as I sat there I started to feel loneliness creeping in around the edges. The truth is, I started getting bored sitting out on the deck by myself. Not bored in the sense of "I should be out in a bar or at someone else's house enjoying this" but more in the sense that I wish I had someone else with me at my place. There was an emptiness there I just couldn't shake.
That's what scares the shit out of me. If I buy a place for all the reasons I listed above, I'm going to be alone. Sure, people can visit and hang out but at the end of the day I'm going to be alone in some big house. I'm going to be talking to no one when I get home from work. I'll be lying in bed wishing more than anything that there were someone next to me to talk to; the gentle murmuring between two people as they fade off into sleep holding each other. Do I really want that? Do I really want to feel even more isolated and alone than I feel now? But can I really give up the opportunity to buy now and lose out on all the great reasons to purchase a home?
I've already decided that I don't want a condo; I don't want to pay some condo association $250 a month to take out my trash and shovel my walkway. I can't justify paying the same amount in rent that I would for a mortgage payment and having nothing to show for it. And I sure as hell won't live at my parents' house until I find the right woman and get married. Basically...I'm fucked because I want to buy a house but not be lonely inside of it. Awesome.
Speaking of being fucked (and I'm not going to an inappropriate place, don't worry) I had the pleasure of sitting next to a bunch of my ex's friends at a bridal shower today. The men of the wedding party were bribed into going with promises of free food and good-looking women. I actually had a blast though I had to duck out a little early. It was just ironic that I ended up at the same table as four women who graduated with my ex. Well, not really ironic, per se, since the bride-to-be also graduated with her. It was just a little awkward to be sitting next to a woman who doesn't really talk to my ex anymore and didn't know for sure that we'd even broken up until I talked to her (yikes); a woman I went to high school with who is fabulous in every way but is still really good friends with the ex; a woman who I've only seen when I was with my ex so I always associate her with said ex; and a woman whose wedding reception I went to in October of last year - the place at which I realized that I was no longer in love with the person my ex had become, leading to my decision to dump her three days later. Yeah, that was awesome.
So, where am I at now? I'm afraid to leave my family behind because they need me. I'm afraid to buy a house because I know I'm going to end up with a raging case of space madness from being alone all the time. I'm pretty sure the last seven years of my life are going haunt me for as long as they can. I'm afraid that I'm not going to have anyone to share my fears with other than this fucking blog and a night or two out with friends who either:
a) don't understand;
b) even worse, do understand but can't open up because we're surrounded by other people who don't understand; or
c) worst of all, think they understand but, since they don't, I could give a fuck less what their opinions are.
And people wonder why I drink so goddamn much.