Friday, July 1, 2022

When I Feel the Emptiness

There is an emptiness inside me and yesterday it really ached. I don't know why, but the news has been incredibly stressful lately. Scary. Nonstop. Maybe that's what exacerbated the feeling.

I recognized the feeling. It's a longing. It's an urge to nurture, to mother, and there's nowhere for me to put this feeling, this energy. It makes me sad. It makes me cry.

I love my life. I really do.
I love myself, my home, and my partner. I love what I do for work, and I love my hobbies.

But nothing will take the place of my children.
I really wanted to raise them. I really wanted to parent.

I shared my feelings with my boyfriend and he said we could get a dog. This was not an offensive suggestion to me. I had the same thought. It would give me something to love and something to take care of. Even if I couldn't take it to sports practice and teach it how to read.

I know I can volunteer or work with children. Lots of kids (all?) need more happy, healthy adults in their lives. I like doing this, but it doesn't fill the unique emptiness that's inside me. It's not the salve that I need. Not even close.

So yesterday I drank my coffee, acknowledged my feelings, and shed some tears. I decided it was fine if I did nothing all day. Then I decided to do something anyway. What can I say, I was bored. Plus, I had a paper due. So I spent hours and hours (and hours and hours) writing. I'm glad I made myself work even when I didn't feel like it because I woke up this morning and I think my paper is done. On to the next assignment!

The emptiness stayed with me all day. Kind of a gnawing feeling. I thought more about getting a dog. It's been four and a half years since my beloved pup crossed the rainbow bridge. She gave me great joy and comfort. Maybe it is time for another. But I'm not rushing into anything.

I thought about how else I could manage the emptiness. And I thought about pouring into myself. Can I love and nurture myself? Can I teach and take care of myself? My kids might have only partially listened to me, but maybe I could listen to myself. Food for thought... 

It's the approach I'm going with for now.

Picture retrieved from


  1. I'm totally with you my friend. Our reality lands with me quite often too. We have a baby bunny who has adopted our back yard as his domaine for the last 10 days or so. It's stunning how focused I innately am on his well being (or, "bunny well being", as it were). Is he (or perhaps "they"??) okay, is he going too far, look how much he's growing, oohing and aahing over everything he does.....It's such a blow to be in a caretaking phase of life only to be met mostly with an unfillable void. I get it. May I say though that I LOVE how you are acknowledging the emptiness, tracking it and are so willing to sit with it. And this: "I thought about how else I could manage the emptiness." YES. Not pushing it away, not drowning in it indefinitely either.

    1. Yes!! The caretaking phase of my life. And it being met with an unfillable void. It's so sad. And such a contrast to how much I truly appreciate the life I've created for myself.

      Yes, I am just sitting with it for now... Drowning it away would just drown myself. Pushing it away would just give it that much more force when it inevitably springs back toward me. So sit I will.

      I'm all for bunny updates! I hope he's doing well. <3

  2. I can say, after years (decades) of putting others before myself (because that's what I was raised to do), that learning to feel compassion for myself, to love and nurture myself, was an amazing experience in terms of growth and confidence and awareness. I'm fully supportive of anyone who chooses to do that. And if you want a pet, that would be an act of self-love too. Hugs.

    1. I was raised in a household that promoted service and I'm grateful for that, but I believe this value should coincide with delivering a message about taking care of oneself as well.

      I want to get a pet, but it's so easy to not have a pet lol. I don't think I will get one for now, but we will see! I'm allowed to change my mind. ;)

    2. I totally agree. We had two cats for 18 years. We have to vacuum the house much less often since they've been gone. Sigh. I'd love cats again, but it is so much easier to travel/do things without them.

  3. Sending you so many hugs. That picture is so beautiful, so haunting, and so perfect for the feeling of emptiness. I do love my cats for the combination of snuggles/caring/mutual love, but also the easier care than a dog. Having had a dog, they are particularly lovable -- a friend said it was like being a rock star when he got home, the dogs were like YASSSSS! I do feel like my cats are similar though in a slightly understated way -- one comes running downstairs when he hears me come home and another waits until I get upstairs and then flops over for a belly rub. There is something to say for having small furry beings to nurture. :)

    I'm glad you took time to feel the feels. So important to get those feelings out, because otherwise they fester. Sending you love!

    1. I agree with you about the picture. I found it when I did an image search for "emptiness."

      I like cats and dogs, but I'm afraid to get a cat. I had two cats many years ago and that's when I learned I'm allergic. I tell myself it would be fine if I got just one cat, but of course I don't know that for sure... Oh well, I need to keep my expenses down for now so I don't think I'll be getting a pet any time soon. I will keep daydreaming.