Confession: I love to dance.
I could tell you that it’s only when I’m alone, in the safe confines of my apartment, where no one will see me, but anyone who knows me well knows that that isn’t the case. I was once a wallflower, but now, whenever the mood strikes me, I like to get funky. Today, a song came on my playlist that I hadn’t heard in a bit. I first heard it when I saw the band play live. They were opening for someone else, and when they played this song, I fell in love. The band’s energy was so infectious that I knew I had to have this song at the ready. It’s just so inspiring, so warm, so wonderful. All I want to do is to dance when I hear it, and let the rhythm move me where it will. I did a little jig down the street.
Yes, sometimes I dance in public, and lately, I’ve noticed another thing that I can’t stop doing: smiling. There is this inability to stop smiling, and also laughing. There’s so much joy. I smile and laugh at myself, mostly. Don’t worry, it’s all at my own expense. A long time ago, I stopped taking myself seriously because I realized that if I did, I wasn’t going to make it through this life. Both function as coping mechanisms. There has to be an effective way for me to deal with the negative parts of life. The pressure needs to be released, or I’ll go insane. Without the laughter, when things stop being funny, that is when I’ll be in some serious trouble.
I can be funny, and I can also be serious, and that’s something I’ve always enjoyed about myself. I’m always looking for the humor, but sometimes, I can dig deep and reveal something deeply personal. It’s all there, and for me, it’s all part of being a well-rounded person. I have always struggled with the people in life that avoid certain topics, or the negative aspects of life, because I feel that by not engaging with everything, that you are robbed of the ability to live a full life, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty. It used to really bother me, but at this point, who am I to tell anyone how to live? If I’m to walk this unconventional path, then I need to let others figure out there own way, and that’s how it has to be. You can preach and evangelize all you want, but nothing teaches people better than experience. We all need to make our own mistakes.
I used to be afraid I’d run out of things to say, but that fear has largely dissolved. As it turns out, once the faucet is on, it really doesn’t turn off, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. There was a time when I was worried I was running out of things to discuss in therapy. I like the idea of therapy and of needing it. It helps me be a better person. To borrow a quote from a friend of mine, “I wouldn’t be sitting here before you without it.” I completely agreed with his analysis of his situation, as it so closely mirrors mine. It’s eery to have so much in common with someone so much older than you, to feel like you’re a younger version. I do believe that you are the summation of the people closest to you, and while I greatly admire this person, I know that everything that they are is not everything that I want to be. There’s much to work out, but I welcome the challenge each and every day to get closer to the person I want to be. I’ll take what I like and leave the rest.
Lately, my therapist and I have delved into some new territory. We talked about what it means to be broken, and also what it means to be whole, and why these two things motivated me to pursue the path that I did. Another concept came up for me as well, being incomplete, and it inspired the title of this post. Why? Lately, the dating apps have been brutal. I don’t know what it is, can’t put my finger directly on it, but recently, something about online dating doesn’t sit well. It feels like I’m pouring in my energy, and getting so little in return. It’s becoming a time and energy suck, and I’m reaching the point where I’ve considered deleting them all and trying to figure out some other way to meet people. The energy and effort that I’m putting out there, it’s just not getting reciprocated. Maybe everyone is just run down from a combination of, well, everything. I can’t blame them.
Which brings me to my point: I don’t feel incomplete. There’s a part of me that has always wanted to walk their own path, to need no one, but as I told my therapist, that’s crap. The truth is, I do need people. I need a support system to keep me grounded, from floating off into space. And yet, early on, I realized what was happening with my friends, namely, that they were all branching off in different directions and having their own lives. I don’t blame them. As the years have passed, my circles get smaller, or at least they shift and change. I’m a little frightened to see what they will look like in 10 years. These circles are comprised of people walking a relatively traditional path, and although I won’t be pressured to do anything, there is a fear that I’ll be left behind. I am at least a little aware of just how different I am.
What does it mean to be incomplete? I don’t really know. I’d like to think that I’m complete as I currently am, that I need nothing else to live a good life. In some ways, I’ve never been happier. Work is pretty great, I’m seeing movies, going to sporting events, spending time with family and friends, and pursuing the hobbies that I want to. I thank the universe that I’m writing again. I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time, maybe ever as an adult, but should I want more? I don’t know. That’s where that interplay comes in. There is that battle between the urge to play it safe, and the urge to go for it, and if I go for it, does that mean I go for it in every aspect of life? I can’t say.
The older I get, the less likely having children seems. It’s not that I don’t love children, I do, I’m just not sure I have the constitution for having my own. My mental health being what it is, I’m not sure that’s something I’ll ever be ready for, and the last thing I want is to have children I’m not fully invested in. My theoretical children deserve better than that, deserve better than a father who wishes he had made a different choice, who is still struggling with his own demons.
When it comes to getting married or even having a partner, I’m iffy on that as well. I love the sound of it, believe heavily in love, and yet, I’m not sure I believe in myself. What worries me about adding anyone else into my equation is that I’ll likely be recovering for the rest of my life. I don’t want to saddle anyone with my baggage, to perpetuate the vicious cycle. So many people don’t deal with their pain, and while I am working hard on addressing my own issues, things just keep coming up. I’m not sure it makes sense to bring someone else in, knowing full well that I will always be a work in progress, and that the other party involved will need to be patient and compassionate with me because I can be a hot mess.
It’s all the more reason to stay single, and to just continue to enjoy life. After all, I really do love dog sitting, and I really do love being an uncle. Maybe I’ll forever be renting the movie, but never purchasing it, content to just rewind and take it back to the video store when the time is up. I probably dated myself there.
Maybe for right now, I have all that I need, and I’ll reevaluate in a few years. After all, I’ve been through, do I really need anymore stress? As it currently stands, having children is an abstract concept at best. Having a partner sounds lovely, but I don’t want to spend my days waiting for someone to come along. I don’t want to come from a place of lack, which makes things somewhat challenging and nebulous. I don’t want to get used to being on my own, but I also don’t want to wait for someone else to start living, someone who may not be coming. The journey continues. I’ll do my best to keep being honest with myself each and every day, in my journey to reach completeness, or maybe I’m already here. Thanks for reading.
2 thoughts on “Incomplete”
Said smilingly, curious minds would love to know what the playlist song is that gets you dancing… in the privacy of your apartment.
Another amazingly positive post, Adam. I would wager you will/have inspire(d) some readers to consider abandoning one of their fears.
Maybe in your next post, a video clip of you dancing?! 😎
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So great to hear from you. I saw your recent email, and then I got distracted. It happens more often than I care to admit.
The song is called, “I Know A Place,” by MUNA. I dare you to listen to it and not dance.
I hope so. I hope that when people read my writing, that they are able to find a piece of themselves in it, and if I can help someone make a small tweak that betters their own life, then I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m glad that my later writing has taken on a more positive tone than my earlier writing, which was honestly in some ways just venting and processing everything. I don’t mind venturing into some challenging places, but I also don’t want the reader to walk away feeling terrible, like there’s no hope.
Haha, maybe. I’m not sure everyone wants to see that, me dancing, but who am I to say what the future holds? I really can’t predict anything anymore, so I’m enjoying everything as it unexpectedly comes to fruition, and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m doing my best to see things as they are, and to recognize when something truly wonderful is right in front of me.
Thank you for engaging with my work, and for commenting. I’m lucky to have you in my life, and I look forward to more conversations via blog and email.
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