As I pack up once more for move #11 in 9 months I find myself delicately folding some things, remembering what they were originally intended for, as others get unceremoniously tossed into other bags or boxes; for some even the trash. You might be amused to know that those shirts that were already getting worn and baggy before I left were some of the first to be cast aside. Others, that I had bought when I returned to the States as I was quickly shedding inches from my frame and intended to wear for you as symbols of the new person I had become while being away from you, the new “me” that I thought you might find more interesting and exciting, are stowed and ready for the new “me” that I will be at the next stop.
I have no real idea who I will be in this new environment but I am hoping to see some of the better qualities that earned me the friends and allies I have had who have stood by me or spared a thought for me in this most difficult time in my life rise to the surface and cast off this broken shell that I have manifested for the last 6 months.
In all honesty, I doubt our paths will ever physically cross again and I can imagine that eliciting a sigh of relief from you. That’s fine. I understand. In this time I’ve come to understand so much more about you and myself. I now know how, for instance, hard it is when your mind wants so badly to enjoy what’s around you, to appreciate an outpouring of concern and love; to feel joy that others feel, and to still feel nothing. The days when getting out of bed or off the couch seem pointless; when breathing feels redundant and hopeless or when you know going out for tea or coffee and people-watching will distract you, maybe you’ll even enjoy it, but you just.can’t.do.it. I now see how difficult it might have been for you and no matter how much I loved you it simply didn’t matter. Depression has its way with you and colors everything around you. It can make loved ones appear as avatars who might be “holding you back” or who “just don’t understand”. The truth is, unless you have truly felt this, you can’t explain it to others. I’m sorry I thought I understood but didn’t. Now I do, for whatever the hell that’s worth.
So, I am off to try another place on as “occupational therapy” and a chance to find myself again and anew. I owe that opportunity to my friends, one in specific, that I hope to honor. I hope I do not fail but I am willing to forgive myself if it is still a bit beyond my reach. We shall see.
That said, I cannot lie. I’ve never been good at it and I hope to never be. Unfortunately, it also means I am often too forthcoming with honesty that can hurt others. I know I did that to you and I’m sorry for that but, as I told you when we first became involved in this way with one another, I have a habit of putting my foot, sometimes both, in my mouth. But I never once lied to you or about you. And so, I say it again, I love you. I miss you. My life is far less inspired and far more empty without you… but I am trying to live now.
Stop #11 will also be temporary. As likely will #12. I am hopeful that #13 will be a lucky number and I will find a new “home” for awhile longer than a month or two at a time. I don’t know, though, for I have become much more a vagabond than I think either of us ever thought me capable of being.
That said, I hope this stop brings to an end, however long or short, to the days of isolation and the nights of contemplating, sometimes attempting, suicide. I’m still not quite sure I want to live without you in my life. I know I don’t want to love in a specific way without you but that could just be because I take promises and friendships more seriously than others.
At the end of the day, I’m grateful to friends who have made all 11 stops possible and to you for giving me the bravery to try unfamiliar places and things, even putting myself into potentially dangerous situations, to actually feel alive. I will never be able to go back to my “old” life so the search goes on for “home”. I’m afraid, still, that it will always be wherever I’m with you but I won’t know until I go. Again.
PS 11. It shows up a lot here. I think, if you should read this, you know what I’m referring to. God damn…. I miss you. I wish I could come “home”.