I Don’t Know What I Want
Honestly, That’s Not Okay
“What do you want to do? Whatever it is, I’ll support it”
My husband says this, once again, when I tell him I’m restless. That itchy feeling under my skin coming up to choke me. The urge to yell, cry, stand under scalding hot water, and run away from all of my responsibilities has been an almost constant companion for the last few years.
A few hours ago, I got home from work and didn’t go to a networking event I promised I’d attend. Tomorrow morning, my boss is going to ask “So, how did it go?”, and I won’t have a suitable answer. Life is never a suitable answer.
I sat in the living room with our pup and tried to get up enough energy to walk to the corner store two minutes away. I ended up playing Law and Order in the background and halfheartedly trying to get our taxes started for an hour. Our dog peed in the kitchen and tried to run away when I came in, but I grabbed her and hauled her to stick her nose in it.
Something about her refusing to get anywhere near it frustrated me. I ended up getting the tips of my hair and my clothes wet while shoving her nose into it. Then, I let her outside in our backyard for the third time in an hour and a half.
I wrote the other day that all I do is watch tv. It’s the easiest choice, but it makes for an unfulfilling life. A few times a year, I’ll rouse myself and say “I’m going to get my s*** together.”
For a few days, I do. I shower regularly, brush my teeth, wash my face, cut back on the junk food and nicotine, amp up the exercise, cut out television and social media, go out with friends more, visit family, keep up with the house, do productive work.
Then, I don’t. I fall back into bad habits with the slightest bit of low energy, a hint of colder weather. I become lethargic. I don’t shower for days. I hardly brush my teeth, never mind wash my face.
I trade in long walks with the dog for letting her out in the backyard. I withdraw. Laundry and dishes pile up on the coffee table, kitchen sink, and corners of rooms. I don’t do anything but work, walk to get snacks, and watch tv.
Doesn’t matter how I frame it. Whether as self-care, trying new things, healthy living, #simpleliving, or that hideous word, “adulting”. (It’s only hideous to me because the struggle is relatable and real.)
Doesn’t matter how I practice it. Tackling one habit at a time, focusing on my mental health, changing my scenery, or that hideous practice, “shaming myself”. (It’s only hideous to me because it doesn’t work long-term.)
I find myself wondering if my generation really is of a weaker timbre than the ones before. I’ll watch period dramas or talk with my grandmothers. There is no mention of depression. There’s no character that just can’t do the chores that day because they’re so tired. If they don’t cook, no-one eats. If they don’t clean, everyone gets sick and dies.
I find myself wishing I lived in a physically-taxing era, without television or computers. Wishing some of that “Back in my day” make-do was in my bones. That “get up and at ‘er” was my personality in life. Wishing I had that inner sense of “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” Truth is, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. I just can’t get myself to care. I want to care.
Instead, I probably still have dog pee on me right now. Really. I’m looking at the clothes I just peeled off sitting in the corner of my bedroom. I’m in bed which means I’m probably going to go to sleep after promising myself “I’ll shower in the morning.”, wake up late, and rush to work smelling faintly of pee as I tell my boss I didn’t make it to that event.
I don’t have an interesting answer to the question “What do you like to do?”. While that’s a big reason I don’t like sharing that I have no hobbies, I’m realizing it’s not the main one. I just really want to care about something. Anything.
I feel I’m drifting through life, and I’m tired of feeling unfulfilled when I’ve got everything going for me on paper. I’m tired of wanting to run away, to escape when I don’t even know what I’d do with myself if I did.
People will chime in with every new hobby under the sun, but that’s not what I want.
I don’t know what I want. I just know that I’m no longer okay with that.