6.30 The Misanthrope
You have to be careful when you get to my age. I caught myself a few weeks ago, having some thoughts and vocalizing those thoughts in a way that made me pause. Talking with some friends, I went off on a bit of a rant about how most people my age spend far too much time perpetuating the absolute fullness that their marriage and children provides for them. All of these people can't be that happy, right? Raising a child is difficult work and not every goddamn minute is meaningful in all the ways people seem to keep telling others. And telling them publicly through various social media outlets. What about other people who have not made the same choice? That are a little outside what society deems acceptable? And I used the word choice above, but during that rant, I mused about this being an actual choice. Perhaps there is an unconscious choice made for us that is influenced and pressured by things like media, movies, television, family and society in general. And when you choose to move away from that, to build a different kind of life with different kinds of choices, you, I mean I, are truly an outsider peeking in through the window.
Okay, that's basically the rant. Let me dissect this.
Sure, I've not been so lucky with love in the past, well, couple of years - all of which has been well documented - and I had an especially rough few months, but this doesn't mean that I was really regretting certain decisions I've made. The first thing I caught myself on was an old habit of mine, and something I'm quite good at. Instead of exploring what was going on with me, I instead focused that angry energy on to other people. This way, I could not only point out where they were wrong, but I could totally justify my own decisions and direction in life. There was a different tone though, a bitter tone.
This is what I meant when I said above that you have to be careful at my age. When I was in my twenties, I was a bit of a grumpy misanthrope, which can be charming and endearing. When you're still grumpy at my age and acting the misanthrope, the charm and endearment can be transformed into something else. There's no exact framework or timeline for when the misanthrope transforms into the bitter old guy, and I'm not sure I want to find out. And also, if I want people to respect the decisions I've made, than I should really start with respecting theirs. Just be happy for them and hopefully they'll be happy for me.
And I went further, deeper into why I was having these - potentially - bitter thoughts and feelings. Is there something I'm missing? When I think about having kids of my own, I really don't know, with a strong leaning towards a no. Yes, many people have said that I just haven't found the right person and once I do, my mind will change instantly. I don't feel this is the case. This isn't part of my rant, really. I have put a significant amount of time into thinking about this, given my age and what is expected of me, and I don't see myself having any. Maybe my mind will change, and I always welcome being proven wrong. Some people just don't want kids. Sometimes it can be as simple as that.
Before even coming to that decision, I've always thought that first I would need to have a stable and grounded relationship with a partner. Sure, I have someone specific in mind and maybe she doesn't exist, but I keep trying on that. To me, I'm thinking that this is the real source of that rant. I did not want to admit that I cannot even see a relationship with someone at this moment. I can't even imagine, even with the specific person I have in mind. This is not to generate sympathy, really, this kind of relationship has been so far removed from the life I am living right now that I wouldn't know how to make space for it. I need to make space for it. Can someone tell me how?
In addition to needing to make space for this, I also need to let go of any bitterness. Let go of the instinct to point my finger at the happiness of others and cut them down just to justify my own sorrow. Get on with things and get over it. I can still be my grumpy self, the misanthrope, but hopefully minus the bitterness.