I was in the middle of a conversation with a good friend last night when I came to a realization.  Over the last few months, there have been several emotionally traumatic events in my life:  the failure of my marriage, the death of my grandmother, and the death of my father.  I’ve had this nagging feeling of exhaustion but I’ve not been able to really nail down what it is.  Part of it, I discovered last night, is a sense of emotional wandering and instability that has me spinning in circles.

Growing up, I was not a very confident fellow.  I didn’t go out for any sports, spent a lot of time playing video games, and kept mostly to myself and my small circle of friends.  After high school, college never came together for me and I focused on work.  Dating Indi was the first time I’d felt like I really stepped out and took a risk, thus increasing my confidence.  Throughout my marriage, I had an ebb and flow of confidence and self respect, culminating in our trip around the world.  Once I got home, I felt like a new man.  Sure of myself.  My own man. When things fell apart in November, I had this creeping fear that I would revert to my old hermit self but have not been able to deal with those feelings.  They’ve been buried underneath everything else that’s happened.

Yesterday I completed the majority of my move into my new home.  Among other things, I kept seeing Dad shuffle out the door the last time we spent time together.  I was eager to get myself in new surroundings.  What I failed to account for is the other side of that equation.  Although I became sad when I was reminded of Dad’s worn down gait as he returned to Pawhuska, it is also one of the last connections I had with him.  I stood in a doorway in my new house and wept.  It’s not fair that the memories that cause me such anguish are also the memories I desperately don’t want to lose.  Good, bad, or indifferent; they are all I have left.

Which brings me to last night.  As I talked about my emotional state and what my mental life has been like, I realized that I am at a point where I don’t know what I want.  Out of myself, out of my work, out of my friends, out of my family.  I feel simultaneously angry and relieved that some people have distanced themselves from me.  I’m standing on shifting sand; I don’t want anyone to get too close or I’ll instinctively grab onto them and drag them down with me…but I don’t want to go down alone either.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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