This week has strangely tossed me about. Moments of clarity followed by moments of fog, hopefulness followed by helplessness.
I think the last few weeks have been marked by one clear thought though: It's just going to be me. I've been alone a long time now, but I've never really realized how fully autonomous that makes me. There's always been a sense of another, even when I've felt isolated. At times it was a wish or hope. At others a memory. And sometimes a more vaguer conjuration.
Of course, there are others; family and friends, many loved ones. I don't mean to let you think that I'm so desperately isolated or lonely. But what I do next, where I go, the decisions I make, the holidays I take, the work I do, the writing I do... I have to stop doing it with the idea of another who doesn't exist. More... I need to stop not doing it because I'm waiting for somebody to bear witness to it.
And I know many people will think I'm talking about romance here. I'm not. Sometimes it's a parental figure, sometimes it's that childhood idea of being looked down on from a vantage up on high. Even at my most bolshie I've thought about what anonymous others think, if I become more loveable or admirable in the eyes of others because I make certain decisions and not others.
This is hard to admit, because I put on such a front of defiance of most expectations: I'm sensitive to what people think. It's likely why I react so strongly to be "shoulded" in comments, to readers who express parental ideas towards me, even though they're not possibly equipped to make such judgement. And so this idea that it's just me isn't as lonely as it sounds. It's liberating. Because the idea of another I was carrying was something felt strangely beholden to.
There's no Team Jane, there's only Jane. I don't think I've ever really embraced that.
I hope you have a lovely (Thanksgiving!) weekend.