Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Going It Alone

Lately, I’ve felt a streak of melancholy enter my existence. The streak is made up of two things. So I guess, technically, you could call it two small streaks. Or maybe the two streaks combine to make one big streak. Perhaps streaks are the wrong metaphor altogether.

I digress.

Let’s talk.

This past week, I came to a realization—the women’s BYU ultimate team is beginning to dissolve. People are jaded, injured, or ready to move on (marriage, grad school), and the time has come to say good-bye for awhile—maybe forever.

This change got me thinking about how many years of my life I’ve invested playing this obscure sport. How much joy and heartache it has caused me mentally, physically and emotionally.

(A side-by-side comparison of my legs after my second knee reconstruction surgery in 2006.)

I’m not really interested in a “walk down memory lane,” as of yet. What I am interested in talking about is the emotional hole I’m beginning to feel open up.

This loss is combined with another problem I’m starting to face—the loss of youth. I’m getting older, uglier, and fatter by the day.
(This 2005 picture of my bicep shows me in peak condition. Why don't they warn you're not going to feel that good forever?)

These are just the cold hard facts. Life is changing.

I’m not saying I don’t have some constancy. My older sister and my parents are a big help in that department. But I am single, and I'm sure most people would agree, out of preservation for healthy autonomy, single people require semi-permanent relationships in order to cope with their lack of permanent family structure. The only problem with this is, eventually, these structures fall apart, and one is left to emotionally fend for oneself.

Consequently, a festering question has formed in my mind—“If home is where the heart is, and the heart is where loved ones are, what do you do with yourself after everyone has left? Where is home?"

I’m tired of being the one left behind.

I’m tired of my ambition, because as gratifying as it is, it offers little consolation for this particular brand of lonely.

When I stare into my undivined future, I realize how many miles I have left to go. And I'm afraid I might have to go them alone.

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there’s some mistake.
T he only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost


Heidi said...

I so very much hear what you're saying--especially the home is where the heart is part. I have felt "homeless" for the last year and a half. It has been very, very rough. And just when I'd finally started feeling that I had found home, everything up-ended and uprooted and I'm more lost than I was before. Keep at it--we'll make it through!

P.S. Nice bicep. I love Ultimate, but I can guarantee I'm not as die-hard and awesome as you!

Shara said...

Becky - honestly I don't know what to say here. I hate to be the one now in the other shoes and say something silly and/or (worse) patronizing.

But I do understand where you're coming from. The years after my mission until a year ago were the hardest and most challenging. Not a day went by that I didn't question my singleness, or attractiveness, or worth or any of those things, many times I felt hopeless that it would ever end. Many tears were shed. It is not an easy time. I wish all the best for you and hope that you will find your home.

Debbie said...

I don't usually comment on blogs. I don't really think that I have anything very profound to say. Feel free to ignore my ramblings if you want.

It's interesting to read your post, because I have felt that lonely transition time lately too. There are many different brands of lonely, but I can relate to what you're talking about. Where something, it seems, is ending; and reflection on good times that seem to be over leaves you a little melancholy. Jack Johnson's song Mudfootball comes to mind.

Just don't stay there too long, or you'll miss what's beginning next (I'm saying this to myself too). I'm going to try to think about good friends I've made that weren't always my good friends and hope I'll be able to add to the friends I've made over the years.

And you are my hero. I wish I EVER had muscles like that. I'm such a wimp. (In more ways than one.) I'm glad we've reconnected!

Becky said...

*Heidi*-I appreciate your empathy on the subject of singleness, friend. Thank-you for your heartfelt words of encouragement, and please accept my reciprocal sentiments--we will make it!

*Shara*-I hope my entry didn't come off as resentful towards people who are married. Especially because I can appreciate so many have had to wait before love came into their lives.

I'm just trying to come to grips with my own situation, as it is. I think I'm scared. I worry about the personal tragedy I may have to experience in never having children or living an isolated life. Those very possible prospects leave me feeling dejected, restless, depressed, and even angry.

Of course, this isn't permanent fear. Thank heavens! It just comes in moments of personal ambivalence or great change--i.e. my best friend gets married (Bep), my favorite sports team falls apart (Utopia), and my other best friend moves to Flagstaff for graduate and post graduate work (Jaime). These changes represent irrevocable evolutions in relationships I've invested in for years. So my heart is reeling a little bit. It will pass.

ps Bless you for your sensitive and conscientious input.

*Debbie*-I am tickled all shades of pink that you even read my blog, let alone that you've commented on it!

Thank-you for your hopeful words with regard to the future. I'm reminded there was a time before I knew these people and before I became this person. That trend offers proof more than misery awaits me in the years to come.

It would also do me well to remember relationships-- regardless of how old or new--require investment and work. I shouldn't be afraid to put myself out there, or to work on relationships that have lasting potential. I've just gotten comfortable and lazy over the past few years.

As for the biceps? Usually, they're convenient, as far as utility goes. But I'd sure like people--especially men--to stop asking me what my work out regimen is. There's only so many times that you can say, "It's genetic. I eat brownies and Dr. Pepper for breakfast."

Sara Lyn said...

love you.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Okay, I finally decided my comment didn't belong.
But I still think you're awesome!

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

*This is my response to your removed comment.*

(It’s been a busy couple of days. I apologize for the wait. I had every intention of responding. Please don’t feel my silence WAS the message.)


Your first comment strikes me as rather ironic. When I was a kid, I always thought YOU were the one putting up with me, because I was Sarah’s little sister and Sara Lyn’s quasi-cousin.

Allow me to reassure you of my sincere love and appreciation for you. Please don’t ever doubt it. You are an amazing woman.

With regard to your hesitant desire to comment—this blog is an open journal/ forum. It will always be kept as a safe place to comment and share ideas or feelings.

You may say as you wish. I am above all, not afraid of honesty, even if it hurts a little.

As for the other comments? I am now the one reluctant to respond. I rarely think about the flipside of my current state, I merely regard it as the afterlife to this one—I don’t know what happens exactly when my time here is over.

I sympathize that it would be incredibly taxing to have as many kids as you do and still maintain sanity and emotional autonomy.

Loneliness in marriage is an easier one for me to grasp. I come from a family full of divorced people—not one of my parents, “step,” “real,” “biological” or otherwise, made it through their first. I am NOT suggesting that’s what could or should happen to you. What I AM saying is relationships are HARD.

Anywho, it’s been more than a week since I wrote this post, and I feel a lot better than I did the night I started writing it. I don’t do well with change. It always strikes a devastating blow with someone as sensitive as I am. Hopefully, I can do as Debbie advised, and look for ways to strengthen my current relationships.

Thanks for sharing.