My husband has been away on TDY for the past week and a half.

I do enjoy time alone. But I still miss him.

And the one day, I had a breakdown of sorts. While simultaneously enjoying my alone-ness here at my house (save for my three animals), I had to confront that bitter inner world of mine where I perpetually am isolated from everyone and everything.

The loneliness and fear surging up finally forced me to break down and cry. I cried over all the things- the fact that people I love one day will die, the fact that I have no idea what happens after we die, the fact that so many people are suffering every single day, and I can’t do anything about it.

I cried because I know my existence in some way saved my mother, or at least she thought having a child would save her from her own existential isolation, and it didn’t. I cry because I can’t keep my mother protected from her own loneliness and isolation. I can’t protect my own mother from the evil of the universe because I can’t even protect myself. How can I protect anyone else? I can’t save her or my father or my brother or anyone I’ve ever cared about.

I’ve cried over the fact that my dogs will one day die. This is my life- crying over the inevitability of permanent change and separation.

And I’m supposed to just accept it, according to many.

If I knew that we all go on when we die, if I had absolute proof in the way I know that I’m sitting here typing this at this moment, then I would feel better about these things.

But I have no proof or evidence that we go on when we die, and that doesn’t make me try to “live my life to the fullest now,” the bullshit sort of notion forced upon by privileged white people wearing yoga pants- it makes me realize that the only people who can possibly conceive of “living life to the fullest” are the people who have enough money and privilege to do so, that it requires relief from systemic oppression and wage slavery to be able to do anything we call “living” on that level.

I read Eat, Pray, Love and watched the movie. I enjoyed it. But another part of me, the realistic part, was furious. Here’s a woman who has incredible privilege and was successful in the world who destroyed her own life (instead of telling her husband she wanted to travel and didn’t want to have a child yet, she kept trying to get pregnant) and then decided to take a sabbatical and learn all about spirituality BECAUSE SHE COULD FUCKING AFFORD TO JUST WALK AWAY FROM HER LIFE AND START OVER.

Most of us will never have that chance. Our starting-over will either be forced upon us, or we’ll have to gradually change. It’s not something we get to choose to do just whenever.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about Eat, Pray, Love, and it probably won’t be the last, but the point is that people who spew that kind of bullshit really annoy me. They don’t know what they’re talking about and aren’t addressing real issues like existential isolation. That’s the point.

No one, so far, has told me how to deal with that inner pain I carry. No one has come along that could be a teacher to me. I need the person that I can trust because I otherwise trust no one. Half the people who claim to teach others don’t know what they’re talking about, and I can see that, and it scares me because I can’t speak out against them- it upsets the social order.

I need a teacher that I can test, and test again, and test yet a third time with real issues. If a teacher comes along and passes all three tests, I’ll follow them, probably into Hell and back.

But until then, I guess I have to make my own way, loneliness and pain and all.

Steve

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