Written on January 15, 2016 (12 days before)
Before I forget: I have a couple more clear, understandable Dad things.
I’m trying not to be sad all the time, but goddamn it, I am. Dad saying, “Be careful” just felt so…almost normal? That’s what he always says when we leave, and I appreciated that moment, but I get the feeling that he has to put out a lot of effort to do that. I don’t know.
The “sorry” though. God, I hate that sorry. Dad apologized to me after I threw one of his snotty/spitty tissues away, and just…fuck, I hate that he hates this. And I just want to be able to pretend that everything is normal, but it’s not fucking normal. This is so hard for me, and he knows it, but he has to know that I would throw away his nasty tissues and fix his cannula and help him drink water and fix his pillows and rub his neck and give him more blankets every day if he needed it. It’s not a burden for me to do those things. I want to be there. And I want him to know that I want to be there. I don’t want him to apologize to me for relying on me a couple hours a day.
This blog post probably makes no sense but I’m not going to read over it before I post.
In the past, I’ve kind of resented the fact that I’ve lived my whole life in Springfield. I hated myself for my many roads not taken. I didn’t go to NYU. I hardly applied to or considered any schools outside of Missouri. I went to grad school in Springfield. I got a job in Springfield.
For years and years and years—since before I started high school, for sure—I knew that I wanted to leave here. I always said I’d go to school out of state, or at the very least, a few hours away. I wanted to live in a big city…or really anywhere but here. So how did I end up here? Why did I end up here?
Initially, I think I stayed for a few reasons: It was the safe choice, I had good scholarships, and I wouldn’t have to leave whatever boy prospects I had going at the time. Later, I stayed for similar reasons. It made financial sense to stay, but I always had one foot out the door and my eyes on the horizon. When I started at the Honors College, I didn’t resent myself for staying quite so much. After all, I’d found my calling, and if I hadn’t taken these particular roads, I probably wouldn’t have found myself doing this particular thing that I loved. (Of course, I may have found a different passion, but whatever.)
Anyway, I had found something I loved, and I used it as a reason to let go of any regrets I had about going to school in my hometown (twice), near my boyfriend (twice). I was happy with where I ended up, but a big part of me still felt like I had sold myself short for years, and that I was doing far too few extraordinary things, or even just above average things. I didn’t want to live the life that most of my high school classmates were living. I still don’t.
That said, I’m glad I’m here. And I typically don’t believe in fate and serendipity, but right now I kind of need to believe that all of my possibly-shitty decisions have led to me being here for this. Because if at any point I had left Springfield, I’m positive I wouldn’t have come back. I’m glad I’m here. Somebody has to be here.
I don’t know, part of me almost feels like I was predestined to be the one who stayed. I can’t imagine what it would be like if Jaz was gone, and Michael was locked up, and I was in New York or something. As much as I hate this place, and as much as I want to get out, I will never regret being here with him.
Also, just an FYI for future me who looks back at this blog post and cries: When I leave, I always kiss Dad’s cheek and tell him I love him. And then he tells me he loves me. And then I tell him I love him again, just because I need him to know that I heard.
I swear I’m ending this post, but I just remembered something. The other day, when Steven was leaving, Steven said bye and kissed Dad’s head, but Dad didn’t seem super aware/awake. As Steven was walking out the door, Dad said (pretty clearly), “Thanks for stopping by,” but Steven was already half out the door and didn’t respond, because he didn’t hear him.
I never want that to happen when I’m leaving. I want to say I love you, and I want to acknowledge that I receive and appreciate his love, and I want to him to know that I know that he appreciates me. Right now, honestly, I think he needs to feel heard. He is seeking validation. I’m sure he fucking hates it when people are talking all around him, talking about him, but not talking to him. Not hearing what he’s saying.
Well, I may not hear what he’s saying most of the time, but I’m damn sure going to talk to him anyway. And I’m going to make sure he knows how much I love him.