Reflection in Book Seven: Reconstruction 2020

  • Sept. 19, 2020, 7:13 p.m.
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So, it’s kind of… really weird.

I can say with all sincerity and authenticity: I do not want Nancy back. I am better off without constant arguments, being insulted repeatedly, and being disrespected regularly. NOT having that kind of toxic 24 hour environment IS better.

I can say with all sincerity and authenticity: I do not feel tragic or terrible about “being replaced.” My epiphany was genuine and has stayed strong. Changing the metaphor slightly… as cool as I may find the Honjo Masamune; I’m not going to be upset if someone would prefer the AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun. VERY DIFFERENT experiences and weapons and uses and history and everything. So, I’m still actually relieved and pleased to know that Nancy’s interests are more geared towards something that isn’t exactly where I am/who I am.

AND YET, there is still an undeniable, aggressive, sometimes consuming sadness within me. And the best way to describe it or understand it may involve some backstory.

I was an actor from the age of 5. Not because my parents pushed me into it, quite the contrary. I constantly asked to audition, I constantly pushed them to sign me up for acting classes, I was always the one making a big deal out of it. They were always trying to be straight with me about “Remember to develop who you are as a person, too. Not just spend all your time learning to be other people.” I broke into semi-pro acting and was even in a few movies. In fact, I selected my college based on which school offered me the most money to act! I had a sizeable scholarship for Drama my first year of school. Now, there are A LOT of reasons I quit acting. The politics, the social gamesmanship, the horrifically unethical practices… all played a part. But something that really called to me? College Theater wasn’t like anything I’d experienced to that point. This was “Class from 8 am to 5 p.m. Costume Shop work from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. And then I had to mend, repair, and inventory all of the costumes after the show ended but first they all had to be washed. So I was typically at the theater until 3 a.m. most nights. Before college… a 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. kind of shift wasn’t that unusual for me. But this was ridiculous. And I realized, most of all.... that this wasn’t the kind of schedule I could maintain professionally if I ever wanted to be a husband and father. So a large reason I left acting (thereby losing my scholarship and NOT knowing what I wanted to do professionally for the first time in 15 years) was because it was more important to me to be a husband and father.

So… a pretty strong dream of mine for quite a while has been to be a good husband and become a good father. And I accept that I did do everything I could to be a good husband. I worked my butt off to try to keep the marriage working. But ultimately? There’s now this giant whole in my timeline of “15 years sunk into what now amounts to literally nothing.” And it is more than just “I want those 15 years back.” It is more… I want all of it back. The time, the energy, the patience, the emotion, the effort, the work. I wish I could talk back everything of those last fifteen years because it was all just wasted effort. And that is a big part of my sadness. How I put so much into this thing and… not only did it never matter, now it doesn’t even have a “failed” sign to let people know I tried… now it’s just a decade and a half gone with nothing in its place.

And I do have to admit… if this had been a normal year in any way, I think this sadness wouldn’t be devouring me as much. I mean my Friday Depression due to Date Night could have been dealt with by going to the local pub, or taking in a movie, or making sure to spend those nights visiting friends or family. And all of the “wasted time” concerns could have been swept under the rug as I could channel the patience and compassion into my work. And whenever things got really bad, I could cheer myself up with a reminder that I was going to travel to one of my Bucket List Countries this year… so something to look forward to!!
But… things have gone from bad to worse to hell this year. Visiting people and leaving the country were all cancelled. But the repeated and brutal traumatizations we’ve encountered? Wildfires, Hurricanes, an Impeachment where the investigators actually PROVED corruption and unlawful behavior but the GOP stated “politics is more important than law”, then COVID shutting things down, followed up by additional Trump Felonies being committed openly and on national television but again “Politics is more important than law”, all amidst a Refugee and Immigrant crises, Gov Reynolds persistent stupidity in regards to “It’s more important to open Iowa on a specific day than it is to actually consider the science of infection”, which of course made COVID get worse in the state, as race relation nightmares started exploding all around the midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska), police brutality being a massive issue which MEGA impacts my job as I have police all around me saying “Fuck those protesters” while I’m trying to suggest “Maybe a significant history of brutality and murder is something to change? Maybe?!”, followed by a mid-west hurricane i.e. Derecho, even more wildfires, even more hurricanes, my own local government embracing the political moment and literally investing in corruption, the GOP admitting (now, vis RBG’s passing) as loudly as they can that they have no regard for law or Americans or the Constitution, and of course during all of this: my local court docket has EXPLODED since we couldn’t hold trials for 6 months, so we have at least 85% more cases than we’re supposed to have this time of year, we only have TWO trial dates left for the entire year and my personal court docket is exploding with lots and lots more Sexual Assault cases. It is into THAT year that I enter the “divorce, added sadness, added emotional labor, added stress and anxiety.”

I mean… I know I shouldn’t beat myself up over it. Getting depressed and sad in the midst of ALL OF THIS makes sense and is rational. But… it also sucks. Because just like everyone is feeling with the pandemic right now… I’m feeling with “all of this”. I just want to wake up tomorrow and be done with all of this bullshit. But the tricky bit is… there’s no “waking up” from this. Any of it. Climate Change is killing us, the GOP have dismantled democracy, a reliable COVID vaccine won’t be available for at least 8 months and then too many Americans will refuse to take it because asshole Anti-vaxxers and “But Bill Gates will microchip me” conspiracy morons, racial issues will persist, my own officers will refuse to acknowledge that we (as law enforcement) ALL have a part to play in healing the divides caused by police brutality, the local government will do whatever it wants because the only people paying attention are the ones involved… it’s just. I have a “big sad” because I’m farther away from being a husband and father than I’ve been in the last 15 years. I have a “big sad” and “big anxiety” because the world is burning. And I have a “giant sad, wish I could just sleep for 15 months” because I know that if I don’t do my part to try to make things better, I can’t be surprised if nothing gets better.

It’s just… really tough.

Deleted user September 19, 2020

After my ex-husband and I separated I wanted him back. It didn't work out. So I left again. Not long after that I woke up and realized I didn't miss him or live him anymore. It just takes time.

Park Row Fallout Deleted user ⋅ September 20, 2020

The joy of me having an academic and emotional side that stopped talking to each other. My rational mind says "be patient" but my emotional side jumps straight to "I did my waiting. 12 years of it! In Azkaban!" So while the dichotomy is entertaining... it can certainly be frustrating.

Deleted user September 19, 2020

Hey, the world is burning literally and figuratively. And your world is in a cold season. Seasons pass which you know, so keep holding out for the next one. And you are allowed to feel all of these things. Sadness, anxiousness, exhaustion.. all of it. And when the spring comes, you'll be better for it i think. Good luck, friend. 💛

Park Row Fallout Deleted user ⋅ September 20, 2020

HA! Love how you put this as I have been feeling particularly Mr. Freeze lately!

Always Laughing September 19, 2020

It's very tough so to try and help make a list of all that is good and positive in your life to focus on.

stargazing September 20, 2020

Break ups are always difficult. A counselor friend of mine told me after mine that it was the end of a dream. And she was completely correct. You are grieving the end of a dream. When I called off my engagement I had a really difficult time. I spent a lot of time alone in my apartment, shedding some tears. Then you throw in the pandemic and all the rest of this bs of 2020, and I'm sure that makes it all the more difficult. But you'll get through it. I promise you, you will.

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