I Missed the Exit
What a crazy week this one has been. I’ve been feeling like I needed more introvert battery recharging than usual the whole week, which has been odd. I haven’t had the negative feelings associated with it, however, which is a good thing. I just have noticed that I really have been enjoying my alone time more than usual. Maybe cherishing it is the better term because as I think and type this out that’s the word that is coming to my head as a better way to describe how I’ve felt. I think I started realizing it Monday afternoon as I was in bed watching a movie on my phone at around 6pm. It came to my attention that there was nobody asking me to do anything, nobody to say what a piece of crap I was for “wasting your life away” in bed. Screw that! I wasn’t in the mood to do anything else and I love the dark serenity my bedroom gives me. Similar thing happened Tuesday as I got home and got right to watching a film on Vudu.
Anyway, I say all of this to tell you of a strange thing that happened to me yesterday afternoon. I ran into a cousin of mine (2nd or 3rd, I can’t remember but it’s down the line) whom I haven’t seen in about 26 years. After a bit of general small talk, dude asks me, “So, what about you, man? Are you married? Do you have any kids?” Internal me answered him with, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiit dude, if you would have only known the hell I’ve been through relationship wise, you’d understand. Sweet God…” then I really answered him with “No dude. No kids, never married.” His response was pretty funny because he immediately got this shocked look on his face and answered as such with, “NO?! Why not?!” Again, I thought of even worse self-deflating complete lack of self-esteem and self-worth responses but instead I answered him with the short, short version of why not with, “Ah, man. Well, all the girlfriends I’ve had were just horrible and evil and I’d rather not deal with that shit, you know? *further stumbling of words followed here*” So, the quick conversation continued and he went on his way and I got to thinking about things, comically of course, about just how my life has turned out and why. I made jokes about it on Snapchat when I got home and thought nothing more about it and enjoyed the rest of my afternoon.
Just this morning a co-worker of mine and I were talking about the cycle of life and how there have been studies he’s read about how our lives are generally in the shape of a U. We start off happy as children, dislike a lot about it during adulthood, and then end up happy before we die again. For the most part this is true for people. That’s not to say that there are people who are generally happy and never experience that dip in demeanor, etc. but I would say with some sense of confidence that each of us experience displeasure of some sort once we get into adulthood. Homeboy went on to tell me a few related stories about how he’s been accompanying his girlfriend to doctor’s appointments and school functions for one of her daughters and he was having a weird time with it since, like me, he has no children of his own. It was like he was speaking for me when he said that he feels like somewhere he messed up by being middle aged but not having kids. There are people in our age group who have kids anywhere from elementary school all the way to college staying busy with different school functions, medical appointments, etc., and all the while he’s been just living an existence that does not involve any of it. He, and by extension me, wonder what’s the norm? Are we the lucky ones to not have to have dealt with or still deal with all the responsibility that goes into parenting? Or are we the failures for not living the typical life of a late teens to early twenties human by getting married and having kids?
Personally, I have no problems with parenthood. I’ve been with women with kids and I’ve been in situations where I was falsely identified as the father of said kid, and it didn’t bother me at all. I found it comical, actually, but never was or will I ever say “I never want to be a dad! I don’t want kids!” It just hasn’t happened yet.
With that said, I’m going to keep on keeping on living this solo deep life with a very organized house, a sleeping schedule that my friends with kids and/or spouses don’t understand (they don’t understand the freedom I have), and doing the things that make me happy like barricading myself in my apartment and limiting human contact. Hahaha! If I somehow talk or stumble my way into a meaningful relationship, cool. If not, that’s cool too. I’m already too old to worry about it anyway. Gotta keep on keepin’ on, my friends!