On Valentine’s Day

A glass red heart rests on top of a wooden plank

I thought I would try to do this thing called life on my own (by on my own, I mean single. I am certainly not without immense amounts of support). I thought it would be awesome and amazing and I would be able to say “Hey, look! I did this and did it as a single, disabled woman!”.

But that’s not how it turned out. I got an impossible living situation. I got the highest inflation and rent prices since the 1980s. I woke up to the reality that I can’t in fact do it on my own. That it’s too hard.

I have no one to blame but myself for the situation I’m in. I thought I had all the time in the world. I thought that if I changed my mind and wanted to date again, I could do that whenever. Instead, I got a pandemic. A pandemic that’s not getting better. Some people may have the luxury of “living their lives” and doing whatever they want regardless, but I don’t. Dating for me was already hard. The rejection, the trying to explain my disability the “right” way so I didn’t freak the guy out. The constantly having to talk myself out of settling for a guy who was covered in red flags because he was the only one who was interested. To find one that didn’t want kids. Now I would have to weed out the ones who are anti-vax and aren’t COVID safe? I might as well go try and find a needle in a haystack.

So many of us are struggling right now, I know. This pandemic affected all of us, especially my generation. Right when we’re in the peak of our lives, trying to move out, trying to start families, this shit hit. All of us are affected by the completely unreasonable cost of living now, not just me.

On this Valentine’s Day, I’m just having to come to terms with all of the bad decisions I made. The not listening to my gut. All of the things I avoided because I thought I didn’t want them, but maybe I was really just too afraid. Maybe I just didn’t want to keep subjecting myself to the rejection because I already rejected myself so much.

So now I sit here alone. I’m getting older. I’m an only child. I’m not going to have my wonderful parents forever and then what? I don’t want to be with someone just so they can take care of me, but what am I going to do when I’m truly on my own? When all of my friends are married and have families. Even now, I’m living on a single income that isn’t making the cut anymore thanks to COVID.

I’ve always been a person who has a difficult time with the fact that my disability makes my life so much harder. So now I’m having to grapple with the choices I made that are now making my life even more difficult, and throw in a pandemic there just for fun.

When I was in my previous living situation, I actually looked forward to Valentine’s Day. It was a day I could treat myself or do something special for myself. This year, doing that felt totally pointless, and now I have to be way more mindful of my finances.

It’s just a holiday, I know. This year, it’s just a holiday that’s falling right in the middle of a tough time and reminding me of all the mistakes I’ve made up until this point.

But tomorrow is another day…

Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

6 thoughts on “On Valentine’s Day

  1. Jac you are one of the very bravest people I know. We all thought we could put things off because all the tomorrows would look more or less like what we knew, until COVID smacked us right out of that complacency! For better or worse I think we’re all considering what’s most important to us going forward, so until tomorrow…

  2. Jackie-I can tell that your heart is hurting. But upon reading what you wrote here, I’m not sure if it is all your fault. The fact that you had to worry about freaking a guy out when talking about your disability, by itself, indicates to me that ableism and lack of education about a wide variety of disabilities gets some blame. And there’s no way for you to have known that a global pandemic would’ve ruined so many plans, either. (And even if you did know, would you have really wanted to date if your heart weren’t completely into it, which it sounds like might’ve been the case here?)

    Perhaps I’m misreading things, but it sounds like there’s a fair bit that’s either not your fault or stuff that was right for you to do (like not dating when your heart wasn’t into dating).

    1. Thank you for that. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to read it and make me realize I’m blaming myself unfairly for things that weren’t all my fault or not my fault at all. Definitely going through an early mid life crisis I think with the pandemic not helping anything.

      1. You’re welcome, and I’m glad that my comment was able to be of some help! It definitely is understandable to go through an early mid life crisis, and the pandemic absolutely doesn’t help with that.

  3. There was no planning for how to be financially secure during a pandemic. There is no script for any of it for any of us. It seems that the hardest hit by the pandemic’s social effects are those who’ve been the most cautious, which is a terrible truth. The upside (there no right word here because there’s no “upside” to a pandemic, really) is that you’ve got time. You’re the needle in the haystack—you’re the rare gift waiting to be found, Jackie. I’ve got a good feeling this period of you having to wait will be worth it in the long run.

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