It's 5 am and I can't sleep. It's too quiet, the silence is loud, but it's not the right kind of white noise. I can hear a train in the distance, first its plaintive whistle and then a steady noise that seems to indicate a far-off roar of cars on the track, but it seems impossible that I could hear that, even at this low level.
At this time of day, there is nothing awake but me and the giant Remorse monster…and the child who woke me up at 4 am, who will be very sad when she has to get up in 2.5 hours. Now I'm keeping her awake, with my keyboard tapping and requests she find some sort of classical music on her father's iPod. The railcar noise is gone.
I've been able to keep the early morning remorse at bay for awhile now, I thought maybe I was getting over it. But lying alone, in the absolute silence, I could find the creature again. I can't type out what I was thinking, however. Just the process of retrieving the Mac Book Air, having to say words like Mac Book Air, and now the fact that Christmas music is playing lightly in the background, since the Robert Shaw Chorale is the only classical music on this darn iPod, other than Für Elise, which we've already heard, well, it all takes me out.
My thoughts before were running with the idea that came upon me earlier, based on something I heard at church, yesterday it was, about a man talking about how hard it was when his brother died. I would be so sad if my sister died, but more than the sadness of her passing, it would be a mourning for all we had lost. All the things I gave up that I really didn't want to give up. I normally feel that It is what it is, and things are as they are, and who can say what is best. I resolve to stay in regular communication with my family, but even with the ability to video chat, we just don't. We don't talk on the phone, we don't e-mail, we don't have video conferences. The most we have is tenuous Facebook connections, and an occasional phone chat when we realize it's been awhile. On some level, I must not think there is a point in maintaining these long distance relationships. The relationships can't be what I really want, and what I want is to see and talk to people in person. Instead, all the people I have in my life in person are people I barely know. I get their company, and they mine if they choose it, but it feels very much like happenstance.
Für Elise is playing again. I'm angry, because this isn't what I wanted to write, what was in my head was so much more eloquent, but I change my mood just by moving to try and capture my thoughts.
I've spent a lot of time at 4 am in months and years past trying to imagine the other life that I gave up by my choices. I try to imagine the people and life I would have had staying in Virginia. I can feel badly for the people I would never have met here, but then if I had stayed in Virginia or California, I would have had a whole different set of people filling the same niche. Or maybe we would have died in a car accident on the way to the hospital to have our first baby, who knows. One thing that happened right before we left Virginia was that my husband's childhood best friend bought a house near our house. We would have been much closer to them with that geographical proximity. Now our only connection is through the Christmas card they send every year.
I was hurt when my niece said she would never abandon her nieces the way I did. But I did abandon them. That was always my biggest regret, that and losing the closeness to my mother. What if i could have been a stay at home mother in Virginia, that would have been something. I could have spent a lot more time with my mother and my mother-in-law. But it's too late, they are dead or dying. My nieces and nephews are adults now, the influence I had hoped to have in their life is gone. I feel that their life did get harder when I left.
My thought earlier: I was left to make the choice. My husband left the choice to me, and I chose what I know he wanted. But what I really, really wanted was for HIM to make the choice that I wanted. He put the buden on me. I don't like that. Then again, when we moved to Nevada, the burden was on me. I said no. But then he was sad and kept talking up moving, so I said yes on the condition that we would have a second child (that same anxiety-ridden child who woke me from sound sleep at 4 am, thus precipitating all of this). What a way to have a marriage, what a way to have a child.