Clumsy on the Dance Floor of Life

I went on a date last night. My 2nd one with Joseida. The most promising girl I’ve dated so far. There were some awkward silences. At one point I said “I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to dating”. I realized later that this offhand comment is unfortunately true.

I’m not even fully divorced yet, I can’t stand to think about my ex without tears brimming in my eyes. I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for a real relationship. In a stroke of possible luck, Joseida told me that she likes to take things very slowly. Honestly it was nice. I wasn’t sure if she was fobbing me off, or just being straightforward. Either way I told her it’s fine.

I was in Oakland last night and my car window was smashed in. Just a random Oakland crime. It comes at a time when money has already become depressingly tight. I’m going to have to use insurance to get my window fixed which may affect Carrie’s insurance. As much as I’ve tried to completely disconnect we still have car insurance together, we still have a complicated tax situation coming up. At some point there will have to be some contact.

I dread it. I can’t help but feel this constant melancholy. After more and more time goes by with no contact, the reality sets in. She’s moving on, moved on. She’s dating this jerk and she’s settling back into her life. Considering how tense and distant things were for quite a while, I’m imagining it’s even not that difficult for her. I wasn’t exactly emotionally available, or ultimately there for her in any meaningful way for quite a while.

I don’t know what I’m doing. Clumsily going through the motions. Not talking to my ex. Dating. Trying to get work and make money. It feels like being 18 again, but in all the ways that were great and terrible. I have no stability, very few possessions to speak of. I have freedom, no limits, no schedule. But I’m alone. I have nobody on a regular basis for comfort, for love. I guess I’m dating because I want that again someday. But there’s no way to get it anytime soon. At least not in a genuine way.

I’ve taken this month, January, to not have contact. I think about having contact at the end of January, what that would be like, what it would mean. I still find myself getting angry, getting hurt, losing control even in the conversations in my own mind. Part of me wants to drop to both knees and ask for forgiveness. Part of me wants to spit in her face.

I realize that January might not be long enough. The more time that slips by with no word from her, saps what little hope I had left. She’s not trying, she’s not reaching out. She doesn’t even know I’m ignoring her this month, yet there’s no contact. I had some noble dream of her trying to contact me and my not responding. Fighting against my baser instincts by ignoring her contact. Left with silence, it feels hollow, stupid.

Am I making a mistake? Should I abandon my anger and throw myself on the mercy of the court? Should I ignore her forever, move on forever? I’ve hurt her already. She hurt me back, I lashed out. This doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel healthy or like adults yet. The more time passes, the more I feel trepidation about reaching out. About saying a word. The rift gets bigger. I get further away. I lose more hope.

What does marriage mean? I guess it’s a bond, it’s a promise and I broke it. Why am I so shocked that my life is gone? Why am I so hurt that she is gone. I did this to myself. I need to remember that, beyond all the anger and the hurt. I did this to myself. Maybe it’s time to stop blaming her and everyone. Taking responsibility for this, now that there is no fixing it. It’s infinitely harder than trying to make amends. When I was desperate to fix my marriage I had a goal, I had focus. I knew what I was doing everything for.

Now I’m doing it for myself. This lost, wreck of a person. I’m putting all this time and energy into me. What for? Sometimes I wonder if I’m worth the effort. What am I going to accomplish? Meet someone new who’s understanding enough to date a cheater, a divorced confused man? Become better than that. Then what? Live a new life. Stumble through it, ruin it again someday? I feel hopeless. I don’t want to kill myself, but I wonder why I’m alive.

Lately, I enjoy my freedom, but soon I have to resume life. Work, make money, pay bills. Find a place to live. Amass wealth and possessions. Find someone to share it with. None of it feels right. If Carrie was the one for me, will 2nd best be okay for the rest of my existence? If she’s not the best, not the one. What the hell do I know about any of it? I can learn my lessons, god knows I’m trying. But where to apply them and how, I can’t even fathom right now.

I still miss her. I still cry. It’s getting easier, but that makes me more sad. Sometimes, there’s just no winning.

Another date tonight, Kashia. She seems positive, cool. We’ll see how that plays out. It’s hard to put on my smile, to be charming. I’m on antidepressants and I miss my wife. Some date I am. I don’t know what else to do though. Except try to be happy and try to imagine a future.

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