Life Gives You Exactly What You Need When You Need It (Part One)

by Amelia Kanan

I’ve always lived with an open heart. Whatever opportunity might arise, I felt I needed to take it…trips, jobs, friendships, love. It’s that same heart that led me home to Detroit, to live with my parents, unemployed but able to write, discover new things and have some much needed solitude.

This opportunity has been great and I am extremely grateful for everything I have, especially two loving parents who support the crap out of me (which often has me questioning their own sanity) however, it’s been a real struggle. I am a single 29 year old women who is living with that two old adults that raised her. My mom thinks I’m her resident best friend. Which I usually don’t have a problem with but, even with best friends, I need a break. I don’t always want to listen, I don’t always want to go on day trips with her, I don’t always want to hear her complain about my dad who is my father (most of the time, I’m on board with that one though). I love her incredibly, am so proud that she’s the woman that raised me but I’m her daughter, not her peer. Boundaries have to exist and they usually do but when you are living with so much access to one another, it’s difficult. I should also add, I sometimes give her too much information because I’m lacking in girlfriends right now. When I come home after a night of sleeping somewhere else, wearing the same clothes from the night before, she better be ready to hear all about my night. Like it or not. “Ohhh, Amelia! I don’t want to hear about that!” I tell her most mom’s would give anything to hear the real dirt and she should be lucky to have such an honest and open daughter…and then I continue my story.

And then there is my dad. A big man, who has led a life that has stretched across the spectrum of experience. He was a drop out, a marine in Vietnam, a drug addict, then he got clean, fell in love, became a hard working family man, was one of the leaders of a strong labor union, was investigated by the FBI and here is now…retired, 65, sick (his liver isn’t too great and he has major anxiety), without any hobbies other than the news and golf. All he has is time. To think about what was, what is and what will be…all day. He’s obsessed with politics, the economy and where we are all headed which, does nobody any good (especially himself). Because I’m a writer, he wants me to write for him. Be his voice to tell the world what the “truth is” and what needs to be done. I’ve tried to be that person for him but…I can’t. My brain doesn’t work that way. I don’t know politics and economics to the extent of how he needs to talk about it. He needs to just write it himself and he won’t and he blames me. He thinks I’m selfish. Ignorant. Ungrateful and just typical of my generation. It hurts. I know he doesn’t understand completely and I’m not those things but it still hurts living in the same house as someone, who you see every day and that is what they are thinking of you…telling you.

Did I mention their also huge Catholics? This is not so much of a big deal. They always invite me to go with them to mass and don’t get upset when I decline-every single time. They don’t preach, they let me have my beliefs and even like hearing them and most of the time actually agree with them. However, when I’m upset, angry, hurt or confused and I’m venting these frustrations…”Just pray, Amelia”. Even though I actually do believe in prayer, it still kills me. I’m seeking logic, guidance and most importantly WORDS of encouragement. I understand lots of people turn to prayer for all three of those things but…in the heat of the moment, I want something to listen to other than silence.

Things have been hard. I miss companionship. Friendship. I miss truly being alone in my own space. Without hearing the person who thinks I’m ungrateful underneath me or outside of my bedroom door. Without having to hurt my mom’s feelings because I just don’t feel like talking to anyone. I miss walking around in my underwear and a tshirt. I miss having my own kitchen, with all of my things in all the places I like them to be. I miss coming and going without people caring about where or when I might be back. I know they’re just curious but…I don’t always know where I’m going. Do I need a reason to just leave? To be alone, to drive and listen to music or even just silence. I miss true silence. Maybe I do need to pray more…

To say the least, I was feeling down. Really down. Not regretful in any decisions but…alone, sad, disappointed in myself, doubting my abilities and then…just like that, everything seemed to change.

(To be continued)