Dearest Rachel –
It has been a while since I last identified myself as such, and probably even longer since someone else has, but the other day, I was told that I was “task-oriented.” Now, that’s not news to me; in my many struggles with my boss back in the day, I often brought up that point that I was always trying to get the job at hand done, while he would counter that I didn’t see the big picture (which is probably quite true, since that’s a talent to someone who is “goal-oriented,” like himself).
The strange thing is, when Jan labeled me as such, she meant it as a compliment. I’m getting these little things done, even though I may not be enthusiastic about them. Things like dealing with the dog, sifting through our possessions and getting rid of the ones that need to be gotten rid of, even contacting the people who can help me with home improvements. These are things that I know need to be done, and I roll up my sleeves and do them.
But at this point, I see the value of being goal-oriented. Or rather, I’m questioning the point of all the tasks that I’m accomplishing. Sure, the place looks clean, and I like it that way, and I want to keep it that way. Sure, I’m developing a discipline of writing to you every day – and for better or worse, sharing my thoughts between us with the world. Sure, I’m cutting down on eating too much, and maintaining a regular, if not daily, pattern of exercise.
But what purpose does it serve? What am I trying to accomplish with this? What’s my endgame here?
I don’t go on Facebook often; I have no intention of establishing my own presence there, and when I will post something in your name on those rare occasions that we might both have found it appropriate, I consider it a strange usurpation of your identity to do so, even if most of the people who will read what I have to say in your name know exactly who is saying what. And I do make a point of not saying anything too terribly controversial – other than the obvious fact that it’s not really you that’s writing.
And so, on the occasions that I have been asked if I am aware what Daniel has been posting there, I find myself having to answer pretty much in the negative. He’s grown, he’s entitled to his own opinions, and should be able to express them freely without my hindrance or surveillance. However, I am asked about him by people who are expressing concern about him.
It seems he considers himself to have some sort of… calling of God to do… something? It’s not clear to these other people as they read him, and from what little I’ve seen, he isn’t clear to me either. The few posts I’ve seen have been somewhat rambling (although given how much I write to you, I’m the last person in the world who should be complaining about rambling) and lacking any specific purpose or goal in mind – so in a way, it seems the two of us are not so different.
I hear so many stories of people who believe they’ve been called by God to do this or that, from Joan of Arc to Jake and Elwood Blues. Too many of them seem rather misguided in their means and methods, and many of them wind up with unfortunate ends. Of course, the fact that a person’s story ends badly does not necessarily mean that theirs was not a real call – in this world we are to expect to have trouble, after all, and it’s just as likely that the wicked will prosper and the good suffer from time to time – but I find myself questioning whether he’s really been called, and to what, as do the people who have been informing me of his posts.
At the same time, for all that he may have written, he doesn’t seem to have done much. Well, there was that one time, and I’d just as soon not go into details about it; I’d like to think he learned his lesson about such activities. But how any of that factored into his ‘call,’ I’ve no idea.
In a way, I kind of envy him. At least he thinks God is calling him to do something in particular, even if he has not revealed what that something is yet. I’ve gone on at length with you how I’ve never heard a call, never heard an affirmation that my major life choices were right or wrong. The only way I’ve had to interpret these choices has been in hindsight, at which point it’s somewhat late to course-correct.
The closest thing I have to an end game is something that probably wouldn’t even be considered part of the bigger picture; the search for someone to fill the empty spot in my life that you left behind – my ‘Megumi,’ to continue with that name-as-concept. She is, however, not so much a purpose for me as some thing I simply want, and on further contemplation, it seems rather selfish to have her as my focus. But under the circumstances, I simply can’t seem to help myself.
But again, what purpose does everything I am doing now serve towards that end? I suppose that by attempting to attend to my health and get myself in shape, I might somehow appeal to her more so than if I simply let myself continue to go. Meanwhile, if she were willing to read all of these letters, to discover the kind of person that I am – how I think, what I feel, what I’ve been through, and what I believe – then I would probably have confirmation that she cares enough to be The One. I mean, that’s something near a quarter million words to slog through at this point, and growing. To go through it all, well, that takes some dedication.
Especially when she’s not the subject of many of these letters – although in fairness, how could she be, when I don’t know who she is or what she’s like? But still, if she were to read this – all of this – I’m sure she would be painfully aware that she could never have my entire heart. There’s a large part of it that died with you, after all, and it’s no longer hers – or anyone’s – to have. Wouldn’t that discourage a lot a potential “Megumi”s right there? The fact of the matter is, I’m more likely than not sabotaging myself by constantly writing to you – if that were truly an endgame of mine.
But I don’t know that I have any purpose in mind for this, or anything else that I’m doing that represents a radical change in my lifestyle (and there have been a lot – heck, even taking care of the dog to the extent I have been is a huge departure from how I interacted with him back when you were still around). All I have for this is to document my experiences and feelings throughout this arduous (really? It hasn’t even been six months, boy, buck up!) process of grieving and recovery, and you’re welcome to take it for whatever you might think it was worth, darling.