Long Walk Home
Posted on January 14, 2012
I took a long walk home this evening. Truthfully I couldn’t face the prospect of getting home due to the unhappiness I knew would confront me when I arrived. Of course when I got home that wave of upset hit me – as I expected it to – and so with nobody else to talk to I thought I would turn to my little blog.
Taking a good few hours to walk a distance which would usually take about 40 minutes, I had a lot on my mind. During my walk I was confronted with the reality of my life and that made me feel the way I do now. I feel pretty upset – again – this evening, and so it is arguable that I am writing this more for myself than anyone else.
A few days ago I wrote a post entitled “My Only Faith“, which described in some detail the event which lead me to becoming who I am right now. Whilst I know it was a shock to some, mainly readers who have been drawn to my blog due to a mutual love of music and of Bruce Springsteen, it was something which I received a lot of support for too. I didn’t write it for support, I just wrote it for the purpose of documenting something which defines me. Still, the support I received was heartwarming, and actually provoked a series of thoughts which have lead to tonight’s new post.
No doubt I will regret posting this, but I will with equal truth regret not posting it too, so in this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation I might as well show some courage and post this.
Walking home I was overwhelmed by a sense of self-worthlessness. This is not too uncommon, in fact I think most people feel this way at times. What did strike me though was the terrible feeling of isolation which I felt so painfully when experiencing the aforementioned emotion. This week at school I was reminded of the lack of a friend who, as I have talked about in recent posts, was the primary person who has helped me through my difficult years. Unlike any other person I have ever met, I could speak to him at any time, about anything, and be assured that in speaking to him I would feel at least a little better. Sadly January is the 4th month now that I have been separated from him, and whilst I am arguably more used to the reality of my life without his support, from time to time I feel the intensely crippling lack of his care in my life.
I often feel immensely isolated despite having, especially at school, a large group of people I know around me. Many of them are friends on one level, a few are real friends who I can engage with on most levels. However to this day I am yet to form the sort of relationship where I feel able to be truly honest about how I feel, and so that gives rise to the sense of isolation which I described. With the exception of the person I am now separated from, this remains true. My inability to feel able to be honest all of the time with even my closest friends is not their fault. It is my fault for a reason I can’t quite describe. I am, like many, someone who struggles profoundly with showing honest upset and a genuine need of support to those around me… It makes me feel self-conscious, and actually a little embarrassed. This is true with the majority of the interactions I experience in my day to day life.
The interesting thing is that, due to this blog and The Boss, I have met a few people now who I have formed such a relationship with. At least I think I have. I feel more able to be honest with them, through writing, than I am even with my own ‘family’. It’s a sad fact though that many hundreds, and thousands, of miles separate me from the people who right now know me best.
This stage of my life is characterised by intense unhappiness, loneliness, fear, chronic worry, and serious self doubt and some self-loathing. When thinking about someone who I greatly care about but feel distanced from, something hit me – sometimes I wouldn’t even want to be my friend, so why would anyone else? Whilst I recognise this thought to be contrary to my emotional health, I must recognise the truth behind feeling this way regardless. How could I ever expect someone else to love or care about me, when my own parents laterally never have? At least not enough to help me when I have needed it.
These days life seems so incredibly bleak, as where in the past I at least had the promise of school as the way to spend my time until something ‘better’ happened to me, I will – in 19 weeks – be leaving school, but what awaits me? Either University, which I don’t want to go to anyway right now, or pursuing the dream of travelling, teaching English, and writing, which – whilst I would love so much – will no doubt not materialise. I’ll be seeing Bruce Springsteen this year, but even that doesn’t inspire me to any great degree right now. Don’t get me wrong, my love for his music is as great and key to my life as it always is, but I’m scared because beyond his concerts I face a life with potentially no direction, possibly no happiness.
I feel trapped in this life here in Scotland, unable to break free and experience the joy and happiness which I always felt everyone was deserved of. Maybe I am not entitled to it. Frankly the only thing which keeps me going is my obligation to life, and a love for the people I care about. I wake up every morning, and currently nothing seems to threaten that cycle. I certainly won’t ever disrupt it in any way. So I am stuck. Sure, I can carry on wishing and praying to wake up a different person to the one I am now. I can hope to awake as someone who has the happiness, companionship, and ability to fulfil at least some dreams, which many do… But I won’t wake up as anyone but myself. Unless God himself kills me I’ll still be here, and so most likely I face another 70 years of life minimum.
Thus, I must accept everything and seek to make the changes I can in my life to enable me to enjoy living again… Problem is, I have done literally everything in my power to make that happen. I try my best, all the time. For myself, and even more so for others. I care so deeply about people, and I have friends who I hope and pray for even more than I do myself. Sadly I currently don’t seem to be getting anywhere.
The question remains – what do I do? What does anyone do in this situation?
I hate appearing to be the depressing bore which I must seem right now, but this isn’t self pity. I genuinely feel so lost in life, and don’t know who to turn to anymore. I wish with all my heart I could be with the people who, at least in talking to, make me feel more complete than I usually do… But I can’t right now. This is my life, and my family is my family. But God, does it really have to be this hard all the time?
Speaking of God. Where is he? Why do so many people with no good in their actions have such apparently “blessed” lives, when I know a few people who deserve nothing but happiness and yet receive every negative emotion under the sun? I try my hardest… I really do. I get up every single day trying to make life better for me, my family, and those I care about. But can I manage? No I can’t. And short of just giving up, what can I do but ‘carry on’. Finally, whilst this post has been quite negative, the majority of my life is spent approaching life with the most positive attitude I can muster. Thus I think I am entitled to ‘vent’ my upset, at least every now and again.
Despite it being only 22:00 on a Saturday night, I’ll go to bed after finishing this. No doubt I will regret it in the morning, but what can I say – this is just how I have been feeling recently. Before I go, here is a song which is sustaining me right now.
From “Darkness on the Edge of Town”, I present you with “Racing In The Street”. As performed here in 2009 at the Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park by the one and only E Street Band. Lead by The Boss (of course), this piece is so profoundly intense and passionate. Note Max Weinberg’s ferocity on the drums, and the deep melancholy and truth in Springsteen’s voice.
At roughly 4 minutes and 52 seconds, when Bruce looks directly into the camera, I feel so incredibly moved. It is like Bruce is looking into my eyes, into my soul, and seeing in me the pain which he is singing about. It’s a beautiful moment which signifies the power of music within a personal relationship such as the one I have with the music of Bruce Springsteen… A relationship which I know many other people share too, for countless different reasons.
That song always reminds me of the power and extreme determination which can only ever be born out of suffering. In listening to that I am reminded of the reasons to keep fighting. For my love of my family, those I care about, and also in some way a love for myself. It is pivotal to love oneself as well as loving others, as therein lies our ability to be truly happy in life. Or at least recognise our potential to be happy.
Love is, after all, what life is all about. And it is love which will cause me to get up tomorrow morning, and face another day to come.
I know that the day will come when my feelings today are but a memory, and I know that one day – I hope at least – that I will live a life of happiness with those who love me as much as I do then… In the mean time however I must recognise – as we all must – the difficult things which define us and shape our characters. In the moment I wrote this post my feelings above were validated in their truth, in that they felt real to me.
I guess sometimes we just have to ‘keep on keeping on’. And as my old friend put it; “You can cope – hang in there!”.