Empty nest – what empty nest?
Our nest has people. Some are not-quite mine, some (when they visit) are very much mine. Our nest is not empty. There is a dog here, and a man and a teenboy. And me. Not empty.
But, it is not full, either.
There’s an essay going around social media by a parent, whose son is going off to college. Toddler to young man in a blink – that sort of thing. It’s a tearjerker (no, I am not going to read it; my spawn left for college last fall, 2016. I’m a veteran empty nester compared to many of my friends.) Don’t be fooled: a year in and it still hurts. I miss her like crazy, in between worrying about her health, safety and welfare. We never stop doing that, the worrying, the parenting-feeling-stuff. The willingness to be needed, and hope that they call us when they do need us (and to check-in when they don’t).
It’s a weird between-chapters place to be, made weirder by my own life upheaval just over one year ago. Mid-August, Mr. Virginia and I passed the one-year mark of my move to be with him. A year living together went quickly, and was a lot of fun. Eight months after I moved here, we bought a house together. Eight. Months. We are almost fully moved out of his house and in to this new, shared space… . Our work keeps us busy, tired, and the last thing we wish to do with any free time is go back to ‘the other house’ and load the cars. It needs to get done – we know this.
Scrounging-around somewhat-empty-nesting I am uncomfortably perched on the fence between being needed and being completely and utterly without purpose. I feel lost and a bit dissatisfied at work, which, normally, I adore (try as I might to feel worthy and belonging), and feigning interest in any hobby or creativity. (Crochet ain’t doing it, sorry; neither is looking at other people’s maker ideas on Pinterest. Nope.) I need something and I have a feeling it’s not outside of me, like a child or a job or someone’s touch.
While I do believe opportunities are on the way, perhaps, I am simply not ready. To be honest, Mr. Virginia asked me earlier this evening if I was happy. (This, a sign of worry and caring, which I may never get used to. He is an excellent partner.) I told him that I was not very interesting nor intriguing these days, and would he mind me as a boring partner for a while? He said he would not mind. I also told him that, yes, in general, I am quite happy. (It’s just smothered by a steaming pile of angst, right now.)
What I am is frustrated with the whole reinvent yourself when you move thing.
Or maybe it’s not feeling like a useful person or the lack of creative brilliance, or that I am no longer someone’s long-distance desire but their in-the-next-room squeeze. Nah, that latter is nothing to whine about. *smile*
Whatever is missing – rather, whatever the “blah” antidote is – is probably right in front of me, so big and tall and obvious that – whatever it is I need to see – I’m too close to see it properly. What does one do, then? Take a step back.
And, then, a few steps more.
When the ‘aha!’ moment finally happens, I will let you know. Until then, all I’m seeing is a lot of tree bark and no forest.