It’ll be Fathers Day in two days. The absolute hardest day of the year for me. It’s for a few very obvious reasons. But, in recent years, it’s gotten a little bit harder for me in a pretty unexpected way.
I’ve talked a ton every year about my dad and his passing. How his birthday and the anniversary of his death aren’t great days, but how Father’s Day is the absolute worst for me. It’s a culmination of everything I always wanted, only had such a short time with it, and really just never got what I was supposed to have.
Here’s a blog post I did a while back that goes more into detail on the whole story with my dad.
So, like I said, now it’s Father’s Day, which this is the 12th one I’ve had without him. While I still dread this day, time has made it easier to deal with it. A few years ago, I started the tradition of going on big hikes to remember and reflect on my time spent with him. Except, there’s a been a surprise twist that has come up in recent years.
Many people who know me knows I can’t wait to be a father. For many years, the focus was on how I felt cheated out of the experience of having a dad and how that has profoundly affected me. And I have always been excited to give my future kid or kids the experience of having a father that I never did experience. Now that I’ll be 34 years old in four months, I am beginning to feel very panicked.
You know what a big feeling I’m struggling big time with is? It’s what am I doing wrong? Why haven’t I found a partner I can experience and share life with? Why am I not a dad yet? Is it something about myself that I’m completely unaware of? Am I damaged from past relationships in someway that I unwittingly sabotage potential relationships to protect myself? Oh, wait, I know that last bit is real thanks to my therapist pointing that out.
How do you explain to people that you are tired of being alone when you’re never actually alone? I am surrounded by the greatest people I love and cherish and I am incredibly lucky to be so, but I am alone. I am so tired. How do you explain that to people? Because I don’t know. I really don’t know. At the end of the day, I want someone to love me and I want someone to love.
Sometimes loneliness feels good, but it hasn’t felt good for a long time now.
Back in 2016, I truly learned how to be alone and enjoy it (it’s under the section titled 113.1 Miles). I think it’s so important to learn how to be alone as it creates a healthy space for yourself and helps create healthier relationships with others in your life. But I fear I’ve swung too far into the direction of loneliness where now I just isolate myself even when I absolutely shouldn’t. I got too comfortable being alone and now it’s starting to hurt. Actually, it’s been hurting for a while now. Then, I think the pandemic really exacerbated this. Made me realize how far into self-isolation I let myself slide into.
I work at a food bank and, as many of you may know and understand, that particular line of work was wild and chaotic for a good chunk of 2020. I had the love and support of my team, family, and friends but, at the end of the day, it would’ve been nice to have someone to come home to.
So, this is my big post just rambling on and feeling sorry for myself. I’m just frustrated, I’m tired and, ultimately, I’m sad about this. I’m scared I’m running out of time. And, to be completely blunt, I feel like I’ve never been loved. Of course I’m so dearly loved by my friends and family and know that I see that from all of you every single day. But I don’t think I’ve ever been loved by a partner, you know? That’s a different kind of love. I’ve heard the words before, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually been loved in that way.
I had to say goodbye to Arkansas two years ago and I just had to say goodbye to Iowa last month. Two places deeply rooted in my family but I likely won’t ever go back as those chapters in my life have finally closed. As I am getting older, more and more of these chapters are ending but I haven’t started a chapter of my own. I’ve been hit with writer’s block and I don’t know what is happening to prevent me from starting those first few sentences to truly begin a new chapter of my life.
Colorado is my home. Forever will be. I just want to create and set some roots here beyond just myself.
I want to take my kid hiking. I want to take my kid camping. I want to take my kid backpacking. I want to take my kid up into the mountains and imprint upon them the appreciation and love of the outdoors on a deep level. I want to teach my kid to ride a bike. I want to be there when they have their heart broken for the first time. I want to be there when they accomplish something and can’t wait to tell me about it. I want to teach my kid how to drive, even a manual if that’s still a thing in the future. I want to watch my kid grow up and find their love and start their own lives. I want to grow old with my kid and we can go get coffee when they need life advice or are struggling. I want to teach my kid the lessons I had to learn the hard way. I want to raise my kids learning from the mistakes of my parents and not repeat those. I want to give my kid what I didn’t have growing up and what I will continue to not have in my adult life. I want to give my kid all the moments I missed out on. Oh, yeah, and do all the other stuff a dad and parent does like high-fiving them when we successfully do a prank against mom.
I want to be on my deathbed with my kid or kids proud to have me as their father and know I did my best to be their dad.
That’s where I need to turn this sadness into rebellion.
I don’t know how yet or what to do for my next steps so I can stop feeling so scared, so panicked, and so sad. But I do know I need to trust the words and advice of my loved ones (especially from my compadre), trust how much fun and cool it is to be an unofficial “uncle” to so many of my friend’s kids and a padrino to Ellie Mae, trust the happiness I feel high up in the mountains and deep in the canyons, and trust the universe.
Oh, how I need to trust the universe. Time and time again, it’s shown me that even when I’m feeling at my lowest or nothing is working out right in life, suddenly it’s like a snap of the fingers and it somehow, magically, works out. Just when that candle seems about to be extinguished, a roaring bonfire comes to life. I have to keep hope that will happen again.
But I still feel like I’m failing.
I can have the greatest moments shared with my closest loved ones and have a heart that is so full that it’s overflowing and a smile so wide that it hurts. But then I come home to an empty apartment, set my keys down on the shelf, sit down on the couch with my hands clasped together resting on top of my knees, and just sigh. The reminder of loneliness, again, hits me so hard and I just sit there quiet with my thoughts.
And it hurts.
2 Comments Add yours
Thank you for sharing and being honest!!
I’ve rewritten this like 20 times but wanted to still leave some kind of comment. 🙃 I think this is the second blog I’ve ever read of yours, but I felt a pull to read this today. Feelings are so tough because even if you know what you are thinking isn’t completely true, you still feel that way! You are not alone in that AT ALL.
I can say when reflecting on past relationships that they weren’t actually love matches even if in the moment I totally thought they were. Hindsight 20/20 right??It sucks to experience that, but I truly believe all my relationships/experiences were there to lead me to the right person. Trust that you are still on course to find the right person and become a Father as long as you are making efforts and not giving up. The whole age timeline is complete bullshit. You can have all those things at any time and just because it isn’t happening now doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.
I can’t wait for the day all these things happen and I can remind you of how you used to feel this way. It will all be a distant memory someday! ❤️
(Also, maybe don’t tell a date about how badly you want kids right away…you weirdo 😉. )