A Ban on Milestones

It’s not a great attitude, but if you don’t look into what happens in your life that much and don’t reflect, it’s pretty easy to get through; it’s most difficult when you’re really paying attention.

Despite saying that, things are genuinely going really well for me. It’s been half a year since I’ve last written something for this blog, and in that time I have: been hired full time at a company that I love with coworkers that I enjoy, with a subset whom I genuinely love and consider friends; gotten back into exercising, albeit not at an ideal level, but at one that sustains an okay amount of self-esteem; I’ve moved out with a close friend and we’ve figured out a decent life together; I’ve had some off days, but overall I haven’t had a big mental health breakdown or regretted going off antidepressants; done an alright job at balancing seeing my family and friend groups; and, most recently, started dating someone, and it feels very real. There are good things in all categories of life and I’m checking off boxes left, right, and center.

The crux is that my dad isn’t here to be a part of any of it.

The crux is that when I was offered the position for my first full-time job, I couldn’t show my dad that all the work I put into getting through all my schooling and all the efforts that he and my mom made to get me there had paid off.

Moving out from Montreal was the first time moving somewhere without him, but this Toronto place was the first time I had to move into a place without his help; closing a chapter that he was a part of is one thing, but starting a new one entirely without him is another.

The day we found my Montreal apartment (May 2014). Classic dad: long sleeve collared shirt tucked into pants tucked into shoes, casually and unknowingly modelling.

He saw my decline into depression and anxiety over the years, but the closest time that he saw me mentally well was April 13 2015 when my therapist said I was okay to end my therapy, but that might have gotten overshadowed by the fact that he also got diagnosed with cancer that same day. It took me three years of pills and therapy to get better, and while things can always loop back to bad because mental health is like that, it would have been nice for him to know that, if only for a while, I am okay again.

It would be nice for him to know that we’ve done a decent job of taking care of my mom. As much as my siblings and I have been through, she’s still been through the most because she lost her partner after 30 happy years of marriage, but at least she feels that he’s with her and she still lives in that house where they built so much of their lives together.

What guts me the most is my love life, partially because it’s the newest development and partially because it’s the area where I’ve been happy the least. When my dad was giving us our individual ‘parting words’-type talks, he told me that he didn’t worry about me; he knew I’d end up alright because I’ve always been able to take care of myself. While that still (and hopefully, always) rings true, I’m also with someone whose heart is overwhelmingly full of love and whom I’m certain my dad would like. Even if things with this specific person don’t pan out, the issue will always remain that my partner will never have a relationship with my father because he fucking died when I was 23.

Grief and bereavement will stay with you forever, but likely shrink and become easier to live with on a day-to-day basis; if it’s going to be a part of me, I’d rather my day-to-day be full of love and good rather than suffering and hardship, obviously. It’s just to say that the reverse is true: as good or bad as my regular life goes, the grief will persist and resurface and demand to be acknowledged. In some scenarios, love begets grief, but also, vice versa.

(Source unknown)

My emotional exhaustion is reaching its threshold as, for weeks, I’ve been fixated on the important dates to come for the next few months:

  • this Friday, my brother is getting married
  • next Thursday is my birthday; I turn 26
  • the Saturday after that is my mom’s 60th birthday. In addition to people generally caring about 60, it means something extra considering my dad died a week and a half after his 59th
  • April 13th is one of my best friend’s birthday (I mention it because it helps to not mar that day entirely), the day my dad got diagnosed, and thankfully this year, the day I leave for a trip
  • April 24th 2018 is my first anniversary with this company, a first  that I’ve never had
  • April 25th would have been my dad’s 62nd birthday
  • May 6th 2018 will be the third Noticing of my dad’s death

It’s a lot of good things (Except that last one). My life is generally full of love and support, and the most dramatic thing in my life besides this are my struggles with the TTC delays everyday. I took today off from work to recharge my head and my heart (through writing this and having a good cry), and hopefully I’ll get through the next several weeks fairly fine. It’s just that no one else is allowed to have any good or bad developments in their life for at least this year, which includes any births, deaths, marriages, big purchases, or moves in homes or jobs, please and thank you. Like an old person with a pacemaker, my heart just can’t handle anymore excitement.

View More: http://tamaralockwoodphotography.pass.us/sturtonwedding
We do the “full of love, despite the grief” thing pretty well though (August 2016).

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