Now What?

April 30, 2006

In moments of lucidity, brief moments of calm snatched from between bouts of crying and rage, I wonder what happens next. Where does my life go from here? Will I become an eccentric old man who carefully observes the routines that allow him to navigate the endless cycle of weeks until his death? Or will I reinvent myself as an eligible, slightly tragic figure of a man, who is perhaps attractive to someone, and end up with a new relationship?

There are days, to be perfectly honest, when I can't see continuing this lonely existence. Since I am currently in a place of pain and suffering it is hard to imagine life with out those emotions. I'm just of half way through the year long period of no major changes I set for myself following Michele's departure from this mortal coil, and now I am faced with the loss of my mother. Not to give mom the short end or anything, but I am not going to languish for twelve more months starting now - I can't.

Waiting a year to make major changes is fine and dandy for moving or taking on a new job. The emotional ruler I have to measure my reaction to a new dwelling or a new employment engagement is long on angst, anger and pain, but rather short on happiness and joy. Any situation that I felt good about today would likely be one I'd hate in a few months. So I won't move, and I'll only change jobs if I must. Certainly meeting new people is (or can be) as momentous as finding a job or moving. Since I don't have a spare emotional ruler to size up people; I'd have to use the same one that would have me living in a cave and working for Ebenezer Scrooge.

The other factor working against me are the limited opportunities I have to meet people. Being an introvert I don't gravitate towards social settings where I might come across new friends. I have started spending time on the weekend camped out in the nearby Panera Bread just to get out of the apartment and at least see other people. While being out like this is nice, it does at times make me painfully aware of all the people who are together. Having been single until my mid-thirties I now full well what it is like to be single in a world full of couples. My fear is that the landscape for people in their mid-forties is even bleaker.

I guess being an eccentric geek isn't the worst future I could face.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.