I don’t know what to do. That’s a thought that keeps bouncing around in my head, over and over. I don’t know what to do and it’s driving me crazy.
When my dad died a little over a month ago, the shock of it didn’t completely hit me. I was angry, I was stubborn and I was smart or foolish enough to keep myself distracted. For a month I worked practically non-stop on a variety of things, not giving myself the room to think, reflect and let it soak in.
That changed this weekend when I went up north for dad’s memorial. There, in the Railroad Flat Community Center, as the American Legion folded a flag in my dad’s honor while a recording of taps played and someone pretended to play a bugle, it hit me. He’s gone.
I’m not going to see him again. Living in LA, I only saw him when I went up to visit. Dad hated the city and his leg gave him so many problems that traveling was never fun for him. But this was my second time up (the first being when I found out he was gone) that I didn’t see him and when Taps started playing I finally realized that he’s actually gone.
That’s the kind of thing that sends a normal person for a loop. Someone who feels like he’s constantly teetering on the edge of depression, though? That will crush your world.
I spent the next two days not understanding what to do with my life. Suddenly, life was a thing that can be taken away. If I’m not happy, is it all wasted?
What’s more, now it’s clear to me that the people I love won’t always be there. I spent so much time not hanging out with my dad, I forgot to make so many phone calls, I spent so much time away … and all I can think of is how I could have spent more time with him, having more experiences with him. Fuck, I could have just spent more time talking and laughing with him. It’s what we did best.
Now all I can think about is the rest of my family. They’re not going to live forever and neither am I. Am I wasting time by just spinning my wheels by myself, not taking advantage of all of the time with them I possibly can?
When people grow up, some movie away but some don’t. I left the house at 18, moved to LA for college, spent many years here before winding up somewhere in the middle of the state. I then made trails for Wisconsin before coming back to LA. That’s the life I’ve made for myself and it’s led me to some weird things.
But there’s nothing like a death in the family to make you question whether it was all worth it.
I sincerely hope it has been and will continue to be. At the moment though, it’s hard to not think “It’d be nice if I could go over and have dinner with my mom tonight.” Then I’d probably go over to Kevin’s and play Xbox.
Instead I’m packing my bags to take off on another weird and cool trip tomorrow, where I’m going to play with the cast of one of my favorite shows and watching wrestling in NYC for a few days.
That’s the thing, neither end of the spectrum is the downside. I just need to be better about finding the balance and recognizing when it’s out of whack.
That’s my crisis of life. I need to be better and I need to feel better about it all. But I only feel like I’m drowning.