I just realized that for the first time in years I am not responsible for anyone else but me. Since I was seventeen I have been responsible for someone else. I got married the first time early. I had a child when I was eighteen. I have been married most of my life. There has always been someone I was responsible for pleasing, feeding, taking care of or consulting. To wake up and find that I am no longer responsible for anyone but me was a bit unnerving. I have people in my life whom I care about. I have a significant other, however, I am not responsible for them. On the flip side, I am solely responsible for myself. If I do or do not do something it is on me. I have no one to blame if the thing doesn’t happen. This realization is just as heavy as the obligation of taking care of someone else.
I had a feeling of unexplained loneliness come over me when this hit me. I am not alone, yet I felt isolated. It is like I am no longer a part of a whole, but a piece for a separate. I am sharing life with others but I am also disconnected. Then I had an epiphany. The difference in my life now is that I choose to be there for someone rather than have the requirement of being there given to me by being responsible. Now it is a choice when before it was not. It was an obligation. This is new uncharted territory for me. I have never been in this position as an adult. I choose to be connected to someone. I choose to care if they are safe, fed, happy and taken care of. I choose to be responsible. I choose to be connected. I choose not to be lonely. I choose to be happily irresponsible.