audio | the foreign exchange – daykeeper.
on christmas morning, my wife traveled to the philippines for the next 3 weeks to visit family and attend several weddings of relatives. i was unable to go with her, for various reasons. my wife and i both knew for awhile that this time would come where i would be home by myself and would potentially go for long stretches without hearing from her via phone or text.
so i’m using this time to reacquaint myself with… well… myself.
originally, i wanted to use this blog as a way to document me being “wifeless” for this period of time. i certainly understand that i’m not the only one who’s ever had to deal with not being with their spouse or partner for long stretches of time. but for the first time in our six years together, i’m pretty much flying solo.
being left to my own devices isn’t always the greatest thing in the world.
on the positive side, i’m challenging myself to do a lot of things on my own that i wouldn’t normally do. go to restaurants on my own. frequent bars without calling my friends. catching up on some long awaited reading. writing again.
challenge is the operative word. it’s been a challenge. i’ve found myself restless, just anxious for her to come home. i’m not used to the person i am without her.
that saying of, you don’t know what you have til it’s gone? yea. i get it. love the song… both versions, from joni mitchell and janet jackson.
my wife is everything i’m not. everything that makes her the most perfect fit for me.
i told you this blog would have some sap in it.
i’ve been exploring who i really am, who i was before i met her, before our lives became intertwined. some of it is good, other parts dark. i’ve used the past week to understand just who i have become over the past six years with her.
as well as what i need to become without her.
not that i’m exploring any possibility of an indefinite period of time without her. but in order to be a better husband, a better partner, a better (somewhere in the distant future) father… i have to challenge myself to be a better man first.
this requires looking into my past and realizing whether i have actually grown from my experiences. i’ve been digging as far back as my childhood to find instances of incidents that have built me into the person i am now. for better AND worse.
i’ve always been fighting something. trying to prove something. having a chip on my shoulder. struggling against something not so tangible. cultivating instances that motivate me to work harder and becoming better.
i’ve never been satisfied with who i am. why? i fear complacency. i fear complacency this very mindset breeds sleep. and you know what nas said about sleep…
sleep is the cousin of death.
30 years from now, i want to look at my kids and see that they’ve been able to learn from my life, as well as my wife’s. that they’ve learned from our paths enough to be able to build their own. that’s the mark i want for us to leave on this earth. to help people build their own paths, devoid of expectations from anyone other than themselves.
but this doesn’t happen unless i continue to build upon the lessons placed before me. i’m exploring all my insecurities to do my best not to impose them on anyone, particularly those that i love. and let me say, it’s fucking crazy to understand what you could be if you let your insecurities influence how you act.
that’s not to say that my insecurities don’t affect me. but i’m certainly aware of them. there was a point in time, before i met my wife, where i stubbornly believed that i could be on my own, without a person to love intimately, for a prolonged period of time.
the crazy thing is, i had no clue how much she made me a better person until she packed her bags last week.
i’m still very much an introverted person, save for this blog. but you know you’ve met your match when the person you love pushes you outside the boundaries of your comfort zone, to explore places emotionally and mentally that you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
she probably doesn’t realize that her… just being her… does this for me. but when you’ve met the right person… they just do it.
so in the next two weeks until she comes home, i’m going to keep peeling away at the layers. something i’ve neglected to do over the years while i was pursuing my graduate degree. i can choose to either wallow in my loneliness, which i am somewhat shameless about. or i can go down the route more turbulent and more rewarding, which is to face my fears and insecurities and understand what they are to become wiser.
on the third night, i wrote my first poem in YEARS. it was triggered by a song that just… for whatever reason… tugged at my heart’s strings. music does that to me, if you haven’t already figured from my first three posts.
anyhow, i just couldn’t fall asleep after that. i hadn’t torn away at myself like that in years. more significantly, i hadn’t been honest with myself in quite awhile. the song i was listening to just repeated… and repeated… like a broken record. the chorus just echoed in my head forever.
i realized something that night: i fear losing what i love.
i’m pretty sure everyone else has this fear too. maybe it’s not as pronounced for others as it was for me on this night. but shit. being hit with that possibility humbles you. it also drives you a bit stir crazy for a moment. but really, it just centers you in a way that other experiences can’t.
when you realize that there is a possibility, albeit ever so slight, of losing what you love, you love it that much more. and you want to better yourself so that you never have to face that possibility.
i also see that i can’t neglect who i am. life is going to take me to some crazy places. but no matter what happens… at the end of the day, i am the culmination of everything that i have been through.
i can never forget that.