Having just arrived home yesterday from my 1 month Africa trip, I had been looking forward to our family dinner tonight, to seeing my family and kids. But half way into dinner, I felt very empty and very lonely. It was almost as if I didn’t belong there. It felt like everyone was “normal” and I was the odd man out that came from a different world – call it the “traveler’s world.” I felt very alien to the rest of my loved ones’ world. I felt very disconnected to the people that were supposed to be closest to me…
The first statement my mom said to me after asking how my trip went was, “How is it even possible for your trip to be good when you are traveling alone?” Wow! How can I not recognize the misalignment of values between my dearest ones and me now? I felt like a complete stranger. But I was with my family, the people who should be the first to understand me. Will we ever be in sync again? I have no doubt they will always be there for me, as they’ve demonstrated to me over the last few decades; but should I just accept that and not expect them to see my other values in the same manner that I see theirs?
What’s worse is that tonight, I felt strongly that I have failed as a mother. I didn’t feel any connection with Kel at all. Instead, like what I felt with my Mom, I felt like a complete stranger. I texted him after dinner to let him know that I would be going for a business meeting in Costa Rica on May 18th and to ask when he wanted to have dinner with me but he didn’t reply. This made me think: what could I have done differently back then to create a stronger bond with him now? Was it really that wrong to focus so much time on making money as my language of love to my kids since I was the only financial provider for them? Right now, outside of being the mother who supports and provides for him while he is on his way to becoming a pharmacist, is there anything else that he feels for me? Will I have to wait till he becomes a dad in order for our relationship to be stronger?
I used to convince myself that it takes rain to see the rainbow but I am left questioning if I ever will see that many colors again. I have never considered killing myself but I do often fantasize on days like this when I feel very down to never wake up again or for the world to end after I wake up. I really don’t like seeing grey as the only color. And I am sick of sleeping on wet pillows.
The 30 day solo Africa trip has been a real painful personal growth journey for me. It opened my eyes to many things. I now question the whole essence of humankind. I now question where my center is and who I am. When will I find me? One thing I do know: I am an experiential learner, and therefore, I will continue to grow and to learn via traveling.
After tonight’s experience, I don’t feel I belong to this city anymore even though all my dearest ones are here. Perhaps I need to be out there in the world for another few years to explore the “real” world and widen my views before coming back here to settle in with mom and spend her final days with her? I really want to let the real Amy emerge. Whatever that means and whatever that takes is yet to be answered. What I do know now is that there is yet so much in me that I have yet to discover, so much that I have yet to unleash and so much that I have yet to share. I just wish that my loved ones will have the patience to bear with me. I just wish I will have enough time to be able to share with them what I want to share.
I have been working hard to fight my severe depression (per test results) for a while now but just as I think I had already overcome it, reality reminded me I haven’t yet. I realized that depression is indeed an uphill battle and those battles are so hard to fight. But I won’t give up. I have to look at the battle as a personal growth course where I need to take breaks when the growing pains becomes too hard to handle.
I accept that growing never stops. I am not afraid of growing slowly. But I am afraid of standing still.
Do I even want any of my loved ones see this? Part of me says Yes so I can be more in sync with them, but part of me says No for fear of hurting them in any way.