Well, today was another day of what is an annual tradition in my family – the family reunion. This is a day when family members come from far and wide (sort of) to see each other. Well, that is what it it originally was. Now…well, let’s just say that the size of the crowd has gone down considerably. Very soon, these events will be incredibly small. Part of me doesn’t feel much for that, another part of me feels very much sad and a little bit hurt. Part of the dual nature of my existence. Let me explain.
The first family reunion I can remember was after my head injury. I wasn’t there, because I was in the hospital. Bummer. The next one wasn’t much fun for me. Still in a lot of pain. The one after that is the one that I remember the most pleasantly. It was a great experience. So many cousins and whatnot were there. At this point, I was still getting to know people. You see, post head injury, I didn’t remember much of anybody. My connections that were being made were new and each experience was unique. Very quickly I found out that I had little in common with these people, but I was able to still have fun getting to know them.
There were so many there. It was a giant occasion. If memory serves, it was at the lake where my the mother-unit’s cousin and what have you live. There were three places that these events took place. The first was at the lake. The second was at the aunt’s place,
300 miles away, and the third was at my family’s home. It was a lot of work, for whoever did it. Everybody showed up. Getting around 50 people was a pretty good chance. My old man always complained about having it here. I get why. It was a royal pain in the ass. I’m sure that others had just as much complaint. Still, it was the family tradition, and that was respected.
For a few years, this kind of turnout ran strong. But very quickly, things changed. Everybody seemed eager to move away, to get out on their own, and not to look back. I don’t blame them. I mean to do the same in the not too distant future. Still, the turnout got smaller and smaller. It went from being a giant event that was held for an entire weekend, involving a lot of work and a lot of coordination and planning, to a one day lunch and dinner, with some socializing in-between. The family reunion was now a very small event, and likely to get smaller in the not too distant future.
You see, the family is getting old. Many of those attending have far more years behind them than they have ahead. It’s a sad reality of life. Once they are gone, I often pause to wonder if this event will happen at all. I know that it will for one side of the family. An aunt of mine has a bunch of kids. Each of them now has offspring of their own. Well, all but one, but he has expressed interest in this concept in the not too distant future. For my own family, I doubt it. I have no plans to have children. My sister seems to be of the same mind. We are both going to go our own way.
But today was a reminder to me of just how little that I do have. The family reunion is seeming to me to be, more and more, a club for the people who are married, getting married, and have kids. I am single, have no romantic prospects because…well, I guess that I am just the kind of person who is friend material or whatnot. I have no kids, nor plans to have kids. I am an atheist and a liberal. I have no common ground with any of them. I ended up talking to one guy. He’s a gamer, like me. It was the only person I found that I could talk to about anything that matters to me.
They all have these substantially different lives. The way I look at things and the way that I plan to live seems almost alien to them. But it was also a reminder to me of what I have lost. Last night, I hit up a friend (I am always having to talk to people. It’s rare that somebody talks to me) and she told me that she was going to climb the Butte. It was 1 in the morning. That sounded so amazing. I find out now how great it was for her. People seem to all have these amazingly fantastic lives, and where is my life going?
No-fucking-where, that’s where. It is going nowhere. I am stuck here, with nothing that I can do. All my friends are busy when I try to make plans. Where I live doesn’t have a large amount of prospects for things to do, and see the first part as to why things I try to do don’t work out. It is so fucking frustrating how I am legitimately trying to get out and have a social life, yet all my plans either backfire, or go nowhere at all. This family reunion reminded me that while everybody else has this amazing gift and finding ways to connect and be social, here I am, on my fucking chair, having come home and felt like I was socially dissed. All the fawning over the kids. All the dialogues about relationships and the families. Where did I fit in? Nowhere.
Camille, why did you have to pass away? There are so many days when I don’t know if I can keep doing this. I am trying so hard to get out there and to make something stick. I am greeted by brick walls and a lack of enthusiasm on others’ part to make things happen. I don’t know why.
The family reunion was once an event where, even if I wasn’t able to find a lot of joy and happiness, I was still able to enjoy. Now I am an outsider at a family party. I would cry, if I had some tears left to shed. I ran out of those a long time ago.
I am starting to lose faith, in making anything happen for me. It’s getting harder and harder. Was it all for something? I keep believing it was. I have to. Otherwise, if I took it all seriously all the time, I don’t know how I could live in this world.
But I want it on the record that I don’t hold the happiness of the family against them. Being happy is a rare gift. Enjoy it while you can.
Until next time, a quote,
“You think I like it? You think I walk outside and look at the world and just say, ‘yeah!’ Well yeah, sometimes I do. Because it’s all I can do anymore. It’s all I can do, to fucking deal with it. If I looked at it, and was honest with myself about it, then I don’t know how I could live here. I don’t know how I could exist in this world, if I took it seriously.” -TJ Kincaid, Atheist Answers: Fate of the World