I wrote this yesterday and sat on it for a while. I probably should have just put these thoughts in my journal, but I decided to put them up here instead. I always hesitate to post serious stuff, because usually by the time I get it out of my brain and onto the screen I feel better, and then I just end up feeling sheepish when people try to give me sympathy.
It's Leap Day again. Just like it was four years ago when I wrote this post. Early 2008 was a good time in our lives; we had a good year from the middle of 2007 until the fall of 2008. I don't regret too many things, but sometimes I regret the fact that I didn't just listen to my feelings and stay in Utah during the summer of 2008 instead of moving us to California. At the same time, I think regret is kind of silly. The past is done and over, and it is impossible to imagine redoing it because the threads of so many decisions wind together to make our lives. How can I judge the decisions of the past through my current wisdom, when it was those decisions that gave me the wisdom I have now? Thoughts like this make my brain hurt. (And I don't think I ever would have given up on the idea of a PhD without trying it first and realizing that it wasn't for me.)
I also hesitate to write about the past because it is so easy to change the narrative. Lately I've been feeling angry and sad again. It's weird. Most of the time I'm fine, even incredibly happy. Sunday evening we ate dinner and then had Family Home Evening, and as I sat looking around at my three children, I realized that I was very happy with them. With my life right now. I have good friends, a nice home, two fulfilling jobs, a supportive ward. I have so much. I actually enjoyed Valentine's Day; I wore bright pink socks and smiled at everyone at work, and that night we took decorated sugar cookies around to the kids' primary teachers to thank them for their hard work. I actually felt a little relief on Valentine's day as I remembered past years and the effort I always took to try and make it a special day, even though I could never find the formula that would somehow ignite an equal depth of feeling that matched my own.
I think that's part of why I feel angry lately; I changed my interpretation of the past. I really don't know if our relationship was ever good or if I was just ignorant for the first few years. I have no idea. For quite a while I've told myself that the capability to return affection just wasn't there and it wasn't my fault, but now apparently all the time and money and attention that never were there for me have suddenly appeared for someone else. So I guess it was me after all. Or maybe not. I still think that love is a choice and that you have to keep chosing to love when you are in a relationship. I also think that I'm pretty good at loving people and I hope that some day I will get that chance again.
I think that's also why I feel a bit angry and sad. I know it's only been about six months and that I still have a lifetime to possibly have a relationship again. But I'm impatient and I lack self-confidence. I've spent several months on a dating site without yet getting anyone to respond to me at all. I know I'm not hot, but I don't care about finding someone who thinks I'm hot; I just want someone who wants to spend time with me. That's the paradox of dating sites--they make it easy to find people, but they also make it easy to prejudge people and to not even give them a chance. I feel guilt for dismissing people so easily while expecting them not to do the same to me. I've been in a relationship with someone who thought he should love me more than he actually did. I don't want that again, and yet I don't want to be lonely. I vacillate between my moments of just wanting a living, breathing human being to notice me and realizing that I'm happier alone than with someone who doesn't really love me.
And so, here I am. Happy and sad and peaceful and angry and tired and energized and I don't know what. What I really think I need is less self-pity, more sleep, more exercise, and fewer romance novels. Maybe I'll try some of those things for a while and see what happens.