I pride myself on being independent. I can go to happy hour by myself. I take
myself out to dinner alone. I go to movies alone. And I enjoy every bit of my
solitude because I have so much fun inside my own mind. I pretend like I am
invisible—a grand spirit floating through this existence with no attachments
and no worries of people using me or hurting me. I thrive on my solitude, which
gives me the chance to study, write and create my own masterpieces of art and philosophy.
My solitude was pleasantly interrupted a few weeks ago when my two
sons made their first cross-country trip to visit me in Los Angeles. We enjoyed
a week of blissful vacation time hitting all the hot spots and even discovering
a few new ones that I never knew existed. We played cards at the beach by
moonlight and we hung out with the bohemians on Venice beach. We ate at
Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, visited Madame Tussauds in Hollywood and even
caught a flick at El Capitan. A day
after enjoying a free introductory kid boxing class at The Long Beach United
Boxing Club, my sons were in pain from the intense workout but excited that they
had a chance to put on boxing gloves for the first time.
The hugs, the cuddles, the secrets shared, the laughter, the
hand holding and the quiet moments watching them sleep are all
vivid memories now that they are back with their dad in Florida. For the first
time in a long time, I don’t want to be independent. For the first time in a long time, I want someone
who depends on me daily. I want to matter. I want to help. I want to support.
When my boys were here, I felt like I existed.
All of those days when I floated aimlessly, enjoying
conversations with myself and developing philosophies in my mind don’t seem as
appealing anymore. The heart connection,
the physical presence of loved ones, the exchange of energy and love—they
validated me. When my boys were here, I felt like I existed.
Now that my boys are gone, I feel invisible again. I used to
find freedom in walking to the store at my own pace and now I find myself
wishing I had someone to tell, “Hurry up and cross the street.”
Yes, there are perks of being a non-custodial parent: the freedom to work as much as you want to
without distractions and the ability to come and go as you please. But, really, as
much as I flitter and I flutter with no connections and no attachments, today I
want some gravity.
Outside of the work I do as an invisible voice in the Internet world, there is really no ... me. I have nobody near me to validate my
place in this world. I desperately want
to exist. It is sad to say that it seems
like I only exist when I am with my kids.