Bearing witness to my life

I wonder about my writing a blog as being a way for my life to not go unnoticed. Because much of it, being single, I live by myself. Also my romantic encounters now don’t tend to be part of anything wider – my friends, my family etc, they happen largely in isolation. Its almost as if they don’t happen at all. Of course they do, but I wonder about this, and how separate they are from the rest of my life. I don’t necessarily want this but at the same time often don’t really mind it – I kind of accept it as a hazard of my life choices.

Given this, and also the stuff I believe am experimenting with in my life as a new ways of doing relationships that seem to be different to people around me (who mainly go for the traditional set up), there is a lot that I can’t share with people. I can’t introduce my lovers – however close I get to them – to my friends or family, I can’t discuss my world view with – well most people I know. Mostly I don’t share the fact that I blog with my lovers as I maybe would with a close friend. I keep a lot of stuff from a lot of people and it can be lonely. The different parts of me are fragmented so that there doesn’t seem to be any one person to witness me as a whole, being my complete self.

It seems part of my need to write and blog about my life is so that it is recorded somehow, borne witness to – so as not to be completely lost, and somehow meaningless. Not that my life would be meaningless if it wasn’t witnessed in this way but somehow I feel that it would. Its a fear I suppose. No one else to record it for me, take pictures of me like a boyfriend might, a boyfriend to introduce to my friends and family who might – I don’t know, throw me a surprise party – all there together, and excuse for a celebration, of my life but more importantly a celebration of my relationships, our relationships with eachother. No wedding for people to celebrate me and my partner and again – to celebrate and strengthen our relationships with everyone else. No children for people to congratulate me on, enjoy with me, to support me with and for our relationships to grow from.

Frame of reference seems very important. With (usually older) family their only frame of reference seems to be partner and children, and when I cant offer them chat on that, well its just awkward and they sometimes have nothing to say to me.

There will be no increasing network of family for me – what I have is what I will have, its possible I wont have a boyfriend who gets to know my friends, my family, becomes part of my network, gives my family a subject to hook onto, something to discuss with me -about my future, something to support me with. I cant really be supported in where I’m going because I go there by myself largely (I must add with incredible support from some particular individuals).

Its not a journey I thought I’d be taking, and its not something society is set up to help me get to. What’s the destination? What is my end goal and what does it look like? How will I know when I’ve got there? No life markers to guide me like marriage or kids. If that’s when other people know their life ‘means’ something – how do I know when mine does? I have no markers for what I’m doing, no rights of passage, nothing to mark the passing stages of my life, no sort of catharsis for getting somewhere in terms of my relationship goals as I don’t know what these are or what it is I’m supposed to be achieving.

But more importantly I don’t believe there is an end goal. Where then are my markers of celebration and catharsis? Society isn’t set up for a realistic life like this. Its set up for one that assumes marriage and kids- that is celebrated & applauded by society. But I want markers, rites of passage and catharsis, I want to be able to celebrate life with the people I love. How do I do this when I reject the traditional markers of success?

Old paradigm me believed I would have a partner who would bear witness to my life in this way, record much of it perhaps as partners sometimes do. New paradigm me realises this is something that will most likely not happen. Even with new partners I just don’t feel the need to give that much away about myself anymore. I’m honest and open but its also OK if there are some things (lots of things even) about me that I don’t want to share. Maybe I’ve even become more of a private person. Maybe just more self contained and self sufficient. I still hope such a relationship can develop and give you what you need, but I don’t know – I’ve just started trying it out.

I completely blame this lack of societal rewards for people who don’t follow traditional pathways on a lack of imagination; the fault of a society that is not moving on fast enough and keeping up with whats actually happening in the world. The traditional relationship set up is corroding, its not working for most people, and people can have exciting, interesting, rewarding lives when they are not constricted by it.

Its like this is the last thing that needs to happen – for society to catch up. Then maybe we would already be finding ways to celebrate and help structure the lives of single/non-monogamous, child free (etc etc) people. Then maybe I wouldn’t feel so compelled to tell my own story, in the fear that – because it doesn’t fit the traditional format – that if I don’t do it, it will just go untold, unrecorded, and largely un-celebrated.

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