Friday, August 24, 2012
It is done. I should be happy. But, I'm not. The goal has been fulfilled, yet I feel sad.
Today is the third day my daughter has left to attend college. The campus is only three miles away. She will be home tonight after work, as will my son. Other parents have to deal with their children going far away from home for their studies, only seeing them on holidays and special occasions. That hasn't happened to me...yet. I know it's inevitable.
Truth be told, I barely see my kids now. They have their own lives. They work, are becoming more responsible, haven't had any brushes with the law, and are leading productive lives. I think I've succeeded. I hope I've succeeded. Now what?
I can't help feeling melancholy. This is what everyone must mean when they talk about "empty nest syndrome." Rather than bask in the present, I'm allowing what hasn't happened yet fill me with dread.
My goal -- from as soon as I had children -- was to give them a better life than I had. I uprooted myself and moved far away from friends and family in New York to give them more opportunities here in Virginia. Roanoke didn't disappoint me, as far as raising kids were concerned. As to my own "social life" here...I have none. And lately I'm feeling sorry for myself.
I find myself becoming more and more depressed. I don't sleep well, have no energy, have been reaching for food as a substitute for friendship, and am totally unmotivated. My husband says, "Write." The muse is not here, I can't just "write." About the only thing I can "write" are checks to pay for the bills and a blog post once in a while. I haven't had the desire to finish formatting what I have already written for a paperback. And promotion? Who cares? If my stories sell, they sell, if not, oh well.
My husband is concerned about my lethargy and sad face so he's made it a point to tell me, "You're always welcome at the shop, or to come shooting with the guys." Oh joy. Maybe I'll even get an invite to the Gun Show. I appreciate his kind offer, but those are his friends, not mine. I don't want to stand around drinking beer and try to pretend to be interested in their bad jokes and boring stories about people I didn't grow up with and don't know. And although his friends' wives and/or significant others are nice, they have more in common with my husband than me. It's hard to fit into a round hole when you're a square peg.
When you move far away from where you were born and grew up, you have no history in your "new" town. And after 17 years, I still don't, and to the locals here, I never will. My husband has suggested that I spend time between Brooklyn and Roanoke. My fear is that once I go back there, I won't want to come back here. Then what?