Well, somehow tomorrow marks a new year. If I am being honest, I do not feel cheery or happy with the ring of the new year. I feel like 2021 was just a year of surviving and getting by. My dad’s health took a turn in late December 2020 and since then he has needed 24/7 oversight and assistance with almost everything. His short-term memory is fading, it is difficult to have even a short conversation with him, his hallucinations are frequent, and his mood is erratic (he has Parkinson’s and dementia). It is truly exhausting. And, Boris is not here for it. He isn’t here to be my partner through it. Right now I live with my parents due to financial reasons (I am in grad school and not pulling in much income) and to help with his care. I love being with my family and I am so lucky to have the family that I do. Most days I like living here and I am so grateful for the extra time I have with my dad as his health continues to decline. However, I can’t help but think about the life that I could be living. I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if Boris had not died. I want to have some autonomy and independence from my family, especially at 31 years old. But, Boris died suddenly and traumatically, and then two years later we entered a pandemic, and then my dad’s health went south. Everything happened so quickly while I was still grieving and still in a fog. Now, I don’t feel like I have my own separate life. And I think if Boris were still here I would have that. I would have him. I would still be able to be here for my family, but I would also have Boris. Why can’t I have him?
I feel stuck in some ways, or like I am just treading water. The pandemic has been a constant source of anxiety as I worry about my dad’s health and my community. And, now here we are in yet another surge! I feel stuck in my Ph.D. program. I am in my dissertation-writing phase, but it feels like it isn’t going anywhere. I am not making progress. And I feel stuck in my grief in some ways. I did so “well” for so long–all of the therapy, support groups, books, etc. And then life got so anxiety-filled and exhausting. On top of the grief! I don’t feel that I have continued to move forward. I wanted to start dating, but the pandemic plus my dad’s health made that incredibly difficult. And I have found someone that I think could turn into something special, but life has continued to get in the way. On top of that, if life were not in the way, would I even be ready for a relationship? Am I ready for that? I don’t even know.
So, that is my NYE rant. I am not sure if it makes sense to other people or resonates with anyone. I just feel a bit stuck and I hope that 2022 brings some movement and growth. But, I sure wish I was ringing in the New Year with Boris. I could use an NYE kiss.