I’ve decided to leave Staunton in May when my lease is up, and now I’m looking at what to do/where to go next. I love the theater where I work but I’ve done what I can do there for the time being and I need to go back to school and get some more experience before I can go any further. Plus I’ve gotten myself entangled in some really fucked up romantic situations (that’s what happens when you live in a small town and you go through a breakup) that I might need to skip town to escape. And, there’s Max Power. The long and short of it is that we’ve been seeing each other frequently (Danger visits plus just visiting each other) but we both refuse to do long distance, though we acknowledge that breaking up was a mistake, and since he’s living in Philly now with a lease of his own we’re just going to be miserable for the time being. So we’re looking at what we want to do after May or, more specifically, where I (or we) want to go to school.
The whole world is open to me. There are so many places I want to go and things I want to do. We both very much would love to live in London for a few years and I would die to go to school there. We want to live in the Pacific Northwest. Fuck, I want to check out Austin. But we’re looking at maps and I’m looking at schools and I’m talking to my parents and I realize that we are not going anywhere. Not for the foreseeable future. Staunton, at 6-ish hours away from NYC, is the farthest I can stand to be away from Danger.
Maybe we’ll feel different about that when he gets older and is able to communicate with us on his own, but right now I just can’t stand the thought of being even as far away from him as I am right now. So much so that I’ll probably move back to NYC (if I get into the school I want). And I know that we’re lucky, that we get to see him all the time (about once a month) which is a bonkers amount, I know, but it’s not enough for me, even, and if it had to be less I would be really sad.
What are we doing, here, really? I mean, isn’t the idea of making an adoption plan that we are not beholding to him? He has wonderful parents who are raising him; that’s not our job, we gave that job away; and yet we are limiting ourselves in our careers, educational opportunities, and general life experiences because he is more important. Most of the time I feel like I got the best of all possible worlds in my adoption (I got to have the JOY of a son without any of the hard work of raising him, and yes, I am indeed well aware of that) but these days I’m really feeling the flipside of that – I have all this emotion for a little boy who is not and will never be part of my daily life. I have all the pain and anxiety that comes with bringing a life into this world without any of tiny satisfactions that come with nurturing that life: his smiles, his bumps and bruises, when he says a new word or discovers something new or just goes through his life. I’ve accepted that I don’t and won’t get that. And yet I stay, hovering around the edges of the 200 miles radius I’ve set for myself, because I simply cannot go no further. (And yes, that’s a Shakespeare quote – Celia in As You Like It, look it up, Shakespeare occasionally purposefully used terrible grammar.)
So why why why? Because this is life now. There is no way to have a baby and not be changed. You don’t ever get to walk away. I don’t care if I’m raising him – I had a baby and so this is what my life looks like now. I am tethered to him. It’s a very large tether (I’d say 200 miles is a mite further than, say, Paul and Linda’s tether of about 20 feet, depending on sight lines) but a tether nonetheless. Maybe that’s not healthy or maybe I shouldn’t feel this way or maybe I should just cut the tether so Paul and Linda can get along with raising him, but that ain’t ever gonna happen from my side so this is where we are.