And I’m all alone, I’m all alone
And kid you better get the picture
And I’m on my own, I’m on my own
And I can’t go home
Springsteen, 10th Avenue Freeze-out
I’m slowly settling back into my second life. It was my only life once but I’ve left those days far behind. Jersey girl’s world is my real life now, there I am a part of a greater whole. In NJ, I am husband, lover, father-figure and have the love and respect of the people in her life.
Here in this colder world, I have a job, friends, and of course my son. It is enough to keep me from despair but it lacks the singular element around which my existence revolves – her. Without my Jersey, I am a fraction of my true self because, first and foremost, I am hers.
I think I have established here within these posts what qualities represent true love to me. They are nonetheless worth reiterating as they are the supports around which this blog is built. For love to be true, I would propose, certain elements need to be present. I’m going to offer them here in the form of questions.
- Does being with this person allow you to be completely true to who you are?
- Are you a better version of yourself with them than you have been with others?
- Do you trust them without question?
- Does being with them make you feel fulfilled, respected, understood?
- Is your empathy fully engaged?
For my part, I could no longer countenance a relationship where even one of these elements were missing. In fact, I can now no longer imagine any relationship but this one. We have both known from the beginning that this is the last person we will ever love. That is a very new experience for me, totally unique in my lifetime.
That’s what makes this second life so difficult to endure. I feel so complete when I’m with her and so stripped down without her. The life I live here feels like a glorified holding pattern. I love spending time with my boy but he is a very busy young man these days and there just aren’t that many opportunities to spend a lot of time together (cue cats in the cradle).
My life is mostly work and writing (with a good deal of skyping of course) and that’s fine but I’ve seen what life is like on the other side and I desperately want that back. Patience is considered a virtue but I’m tired of being virtuous. I need to be where she is.
Reading back over this post, I can taste the desperation in every word. The fact that I’m writing this at all indicates that the strain is beginning to get to me. I’ll stop now before I begin to sound like a miserable old git because the truth is, I’m actually very happy. I may be thousands of miles from the woman I love and who loves me but the fact that I have her in my life makes it impossible to be unhappy.
The truth is, once a love like this comes into your life, loneliness – real bone-deep loneliness – is no longer part of your world. Just knowing that there is someone out there that can make you feel this way is all it takes to never truly feel lonely again.
Impatient, yes – but not lonely, never that.
Words and images are my own.