Let the record show that I have not forsaken my therapy homework, something which I have been very prone toward, partly because some of the homework hasn’t felt that relevant to me, partly because it’s been too hard, and partly because I genuinely forgot about it. I’m quite sure Melissa will be shocked to find that I’ve bothered.
I’ve continued to think about what she asked of me. For a little while I thought maybe I was missing the point focussing on love and relationships and not the grander scheme of my life. The fact is our entire conversation that day was about Alan’s disappearance from the last remaining vestige of connection we had… (well, I had. He’s forgotten all about me) and where I expect my so-called love life to go from here. The last thing I expected my “homework” to be was to think about what I want to “manifest” in my life, following that conversation.
Look the fact is, I simply don’t believe in “manifesting” things in our lives. Life happens to us. We don’t have much control over it. In fact, I think trying to exercise control over our lives is part of what makes most of us unhappy, and I’m as guilty as anyone of it.
Alan was everything I dreamt of. Look where that got me.
I think the most we can hope for is simply to do our best in whatever situations we find ourselves and wait for the inevitable crushing blow that will remind us that we’re really not all that… we’re not even the bag of chips. The sooner it all ends, the better. But since we apparently don’t even have much control over that, we just keep doing the best we can with what we’re given and wait for the next crushing blow.
I do not believe I will ever love again. I do not believe I will ever find myself in another meaningful relationship again. So, sure, I can try to picture an ideal scenario relationship and hope that somehow that will come to pass, but I don’t believe I can cause that to happen through “manifestation”. And still, at this point that so called ideal scenario relationship is Alan, getting the help he needs, coming back to me and professing his love that he was too scared to accept and face when we were together, begging my forgiveness and willingly living up to the list of conditions that I have in place for the very unlikely event that he does come back to me.
(“Conditions” may be too strong a word. In order for me to give him the second chance that I want so badly to give, he has to acknowledge his problem, sincerely apologize, go to therapy, prove he’s in therapy, stay in therapy, acknowledge how badly he hurt me, and accept that it s going to come up from time to time, not because I want to hold it against him but because I’m human and healing takes time. And he doesn’t get to be angry or defensive when it comes up because it’s his fault. He did this and he has to accept that. He also has to agree to go to couples counseling separately from his own therapy. For him to agree to any part of this, let alone all of it, would be a minor miracle.)
You see, I can’t conjure up an image of myself in love with anyone else. It’s Alan or it’s no one, and since it’s clearly not going to be Alan, I guess we have our answer.
But setting that aside, for a moment, the next best scenario I can imagine, as I mentioned in a previous post, is a wealthy man, who has no compunctions about being with a very much not wealthy man and providing for my every need for the rest of my life. He should be young, and handsome, and physically fit with a full head of hair. He should have a great smile, and a fantastic sense of humor. He should be filled with self-assurance without being arrogant or condescending to anyone. Oh and he should NOT be a workaholic to accomplish and maintain said lifestyle. And somehow in all of that should be some semblance of genuine love, though, again, I have no idea how that could happen.
I can’t get any more specific than that. I don’t believe in going into relationships and situations with preconceived notions of what I think it should amount to and look like. That’s a sure way to get hurt.
Since I don’t believe any of this is going to come to fruition, I started moving on, thinking about other aspects of life and what I want to “manifest” in it. A year and a half ago, I made the decision to get out of the corporate world and go to school to learn to be a massage therapist. I had equally altruistic and self-serving motivations for this… Maybe not “equally”. I have always wanted to do a job that I felt mattered, and made a difference in the lives of the people I serve. I also wanted to stop making other people rich, stop working 60 plus hours a week, pursue other interests in my life, and make a decent living in the Bay Area. I also wanted to stop working for and with other people and no longer have to deal with the inevitable personality conflicts and workplace frustrations that I have proven incapable of avoiding thus far.
I became a Certified Massage Therapist in January and started a massage job in February. It’s a great opportunity that is genuinely more than I could have hoped for coming out of school. The pay is the most I have heard for a payroll position and the location and clientele are excellent. I work 24 hours a week for this place with no benefits, and then spend another 30-40 hours a week driving for Uber and Lyft to make ends meet in one of the most expensive economies in the country. Not only am I not making someone else rich, I’m not making myself rich, either. I sure don’t have time to take care of myself, let alone pursue other interests.
I choose to believe that this is temporary. I have begun working to build my own private practice and I do have a few clients, but it’s slow going and unsteady work, for now, so I keep working longer and harder hours than I ever have before to try to survive.
So what do I envision my future looking like? What do I want to “manifest” in my life? I want steady work, but not more than 25 hours a week. I want reliable, consistent clients who pay my fee without batting an eye, and who when, on occasion I feel the need to raise my rates, will continue to come to me, and will pay those new rates, still without batting an eye.
I want to be able to afford my life without stressing over every little expenditure. I want to be able to afford health insurance, and not just health insurance, but health insurance I can then afford to actually use. I want to be able to set money aside for retirement, because I know I’m not going to be able to stay in this career until I die. I want to be able to do my taxes each year without fear of how badly I’m going to get screwed by Uncle Sam. I want to be able to afford to take time off a couple times a year to travel and reinvigorate myself.
Most of all, I want to be able to be happy. But I don’t even know what happy looks like for me. I never have been truly happy, except when I was with Alan, and even then, I wasn’t completely happy. There was too much else going on in my life that was stressful and making me unhappy, but when I was with him, when I was in his presence… Yeah. I was happy.
So, no. I do not know how to answer the question. I do not know how to “manifest” anything in my life. I do not know how to do anything more than wake up each morning (grudgingly) and slog my way through whatever shit I encounter until I can finally fall back into bed, drift off to sleep and wait until I have to do it all again.