I wish I didn’t have to write like I do. I wish I would just think in a narrative and the words would form on the paper. Or, at least I wish I could write as fast as I think. So many stories and ideas I think up are left unrecorded. My mind seems to be most active right before I go to sleep. It’s the only time where there’s nothing else I can or should be doing. It’s the only time I don’t have to think of anything, so I’m allowed to think at my own leisure. All of what goes on in my head while I sleep I’ll never be able to record. I seldom remember what I dream. All I can remember is how strange or extraordinary or amazing it was. Even if I do remember, I don’t remember it enough to write it all down. I don’t remember things as they initially were when I thought them up. I will think of something and it will be forgotten, maybe because I think too much. One thought comes after the next, piling up quickly and soon they replace the previous, lost forever.It will probably never be thought of again. There are too many things to think of. My thoughts are story ideas, sayings, analyzing, poems, songs, what I need to do, what I want to do. Thank god for paper or I would never remember anything. Events slip away. I would really have to think if you asked me what I did yesterday. I remember routine, but only because it is routine. The things I do remember, I can’t always remember the order when they happened.
I wait for the universe to unfurl for me and
blood curdling, sitting, watching
trying to see the moment,
but it’s gone.
Seizing pretty sayings,
trying to remember what or why
so I can make it come back to a
‘if I knew what I knew’,
but I’m only hurdled forward.
I know I was forewarned,
but I still thought that mortality meant
I could do it tomorrow.
Tomorrow is never today,
is always a blank page,
a clutched fist,
an active mind,
unsure how to hurl itself onto the page
and make something worth making.
Take heart while you
take your bliss.
Write fiction as if you
don’t live it.
I’d tried to bring it up before, but the conversation was again derailed- subject changed, glossed over, left for another day. I didn’t push. I was careful not to push.
Why did I think I had to last night?
It was late and we both needed to work in the morning, but it has been on my mind. I was afraid of the answer and the changes it could bring to this undefined, open-ended us I’ve grown fond of. Things between us have been light, fun, and tender. To lose what I’ve gained in the name of searching for something more, that might not even exist, seemed illogical.
And yet, it had been on my mind.
I dared hope things were going in a particular direction: upwards and closer. I’m a patient person. I thought it was only a matter of time. The hope was starting to approach expect, and I felt like I needed to bring it up or reign in my own thoughts.
I knew I might be the only one of two that thought this was going somewhere.
I was restless. He could see there was something on my mind. I don’t know how to hide things and lie, and I don’t want to.
So I ask if he thinks we’ll ever date exclusively, if he thinks this is going somewhere.
After a brief dance around the subject he comes clean. At some point there was the possibility, but at some point recently he also realized it was likely never going to happen for us.
So maybe at the exact moment where my mind dared hope, where romantic notions took root, he was having a revelation that we would reach a place, or have reached a place, an plateau out. It’s not a bad place to be, but it’s not going higher. We’re special, but not special enough, close, and yet still a million miles apart.
I’m reminding myself that not everyone I date is going to even approach the possibility of being someone I will be with for a long time. Not every person I feel for will settle in a deep place and stay.
He feels guilty for not telling me when he realized. He knew that I was headed in the opposite direction as him- where I started to hope, he started to realize. I feel a little betrayed. Why do I have to be the honest, courageous one and bring up the difficult topics?
It’s not a big betrayal, and he was honest when I asked him point blank, but it still hurts. And he disappointed himself and me and he knows it. It’s the first sad moment since we’ve been dating. I remember every reason I felt great to be free of this exercise in attempting this level human connection. If the results always equal less than, why do I keep trying the same equation? I think I’ll get bigger numbers to add up to something substantial.
I asked him why he dates people. He never gave me a real answer, instead he asked me. I told him I didn’t know. Then I told him I was looking for a real fucking connection: with understanding, yet learning and wonder, and once that connection was there, caring, and with that, ultimately, a companion. I’m not so naive that I don’t know most, if not all of these connections will be temporary, but I still sometimes want to settle for a little while in that comfortable place where there is someone.
He admitted he didn’t want to exclusively date anyone anytime soon.
I asked him why and he said he needed to improve himself first- to get to a place where he was settled and happy with who he was. I laughed and told him I hoped he never was, because it would a sad day that he thought he was beyond improvement. We’re young and unsure in life right now and he thinks there is a magic switch somewhere that is going to turn on adulthood and allow him to settle into someone and something closer to perfection.
I tried to get every ounce of hurt out of my system. I tried to let it move through me and out of me and not burrow its way into a hole where it could stay and fester. After it settled I tried to answer the question of ‘What now?’.
I knew he was looking at me waiting for that answer. He told me his sister went through something similar recently- wanted more from a guy and he didn’t have more to give. She broke up with the guy. It seemed like he was trying to give me an easy, natural progression to end it if wanted to.
He thought it was over for a moment, that he’d messed up. I looked at him and couldn’t be angry; he’s under my skin still. If things can’t move to a new height, I’m still not ready to come down quite yet. I’m glad to know where I stand, at least I have that. I let him know that at some point, I wouldn’t be able to wait. At some point I’d have to finish moving on, as we’re not going anywhere.
But in this moment, for right now, we’re going to keep having fun. I warned him though, we need to stay honest or we’re going to ruin trust between us and both be hurt. Honesty isn’t just about lying, it’s about disclosing expectations and revelations. You can’t knowingly let the other person living in a place of false hope or ideas.
He knew I thought this was going further and he knew it wasn’t. Even if it was a recent revelation, he should have told me. He didn’t know how to bring it up. He didn’t want to hurt or ruin what we had. He was scared.
Did he know how scared as I was, trusting and knowing this might happen? You lend a part of yourself when you trust and it’s up to that person to take care with that. I’ve always been good at doing that for other people, but I have never picked the right person to give my own. And now that he has it, I plead with him to not approach this place again. I need to be able to expect the truth.
I’m going to try not to make more of it than it is. I’m fast to forgive and I hope faith isn’t misplaced.
I feel like I have shut him out a small bit for my own sanity, while also feeling him thrust closer. I’m throwing up an arm to his throat and not letting him pass my guard. A comparison to jiu-jitsu is appropriate as we participate in this dangerous sport, both looking to improve, to find a better position, and having a ton of fun doing it.
There’s also a hint of desperation, like we know our days together are numbered and some day, maybe sooner than one or both of us would like, this will dissolve. And what will be left then? Will we speak with each other? Look each other in the eye?
Usually when these things are done, they’re done with only memories remaining and an unlucky bit of bitterness. Maybe this time, I hope this time, we can skip the chapter of hurt, betrayal, and unnecessary drama and have a fine farewell at the end. Dare I hope for a lasting, meaningful friendship?
In the meantime, we still have this. Togther we will train jiu-jitsu, eat sushi, cook, dine, party, visit the aquarium and tour the chocolate factory, talk about inane topics and subtle psychology, exchange strategies for our careers, share insights and passions, play and banter, geek out, and make as many fond memories as we’re able.
I’m a bit sad, but I’m also relieved at a bit of added definition. These thoughts have been aired out so I can move past them. I don’t know where I’m going, but now I do know that in the end he’s ultimately not coming with me.
This post is brought to you by Blaster Master for the NES. When your pet frog jumps down a hole, you follow like Alice in Wonderland. The only difference, besides the frog, is that Alice didn’t get a tank at the bottom of the hole. :)
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, or know me personally, you know that I am single and pretty stubborn about staying that way in recent times. Regardless, this doesn’t make me completely removed or foreign to the dramatics that forever follow on the heels of lovers, loves, more than friends, and even WTFs.
When that thing clenches your heart and you are pulled into what seems like an endlessly complicated swirl of events, you have to gain perspective. The only way to do that is spread your broken hearted cheer, because the subject (you) is always too close to the situation.
People who may be pretty bad at their own interpersonal relationships have surprising perspective when you go to them with the timeless situations that have transcended time and culture. I propose that the phrase ‘love is blind’ doesn’t just mean you don’t pick who you fall for, it also means that it blinds you to what is actually happening around you. You just don’t know what you can do to avoid as much heart ache and embarrassment as possible.
To anyone who is in this situation currently and hasn’t found that poor friend’s ear to snag I offer the following bits of perspective in no particular order…
1. You can’t logically argue your way into continuing a relationship with someone. I’m not going to pretend I haven’t tried. Even if you can stave off the inevitable for a bit longer, let’s consider that it took a lot for your other half to come to you with a proposal of breaking things off. I’ve known people to continue relationships they want out of for weeks, months, even years without letting the other half know about it. They may or may not have thought about it with your perspective, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever bond that kept you together can’t be repaired with Elmer’s glue. If they’ve considered it enough to say “We need to have a talk.” then it’s not worth trying to argue. They’ve found enough reasons, even if they won’t share those reasons, and even if they’re stupid. The issue is not yours and the battle is not yours to fight. Short of mind control, you can’t change how a person feels. You can’t argue a person out of the way they feel. If they are going to change their mind and come back, they have to do it on their own.
2. Only good things is a fairy tale. It’s not always this bad is a sign to get out. We’re talking about the L word, so I’m going to have to use some cliches. It has to rain sometimes, and when it rains, it pours. Every person has their rough spots. Every pairing doubly so. A better litmus test is how you deal with those moments when they come, and yes, how often they come. People resist change, including cutting off something that is no longer mostly a good thing. If you’re defending to your friends, “She/He/It’s not always this bad.” then it’s a sure sign you’re who I’m talking about. On the flip side, you can’t run at the first sign of bad weather. Rough spots can bring people closer as well, like all of this rain we’ve had this week has made things begin to bloom. (Okay, now I’m making myself gag.)
3. It’s never you. If you’re being broke up with, of course it isn’t you. The other person has identified reasons, be they irreparable problems with the relationship, or problems with their own feelings and position. At a stretch, we could say, it’s both of you. But really, it’s the one breaking up that can’t see you together beyond the present. The one breaking up is done trying. I’m not saying they are the bad guy necessarily, but I am saying that you can’t go down the path of “I should have”s. One more kiss or one less disagreement isn’t going to change a pattern, or like I said above, someone else’s feelings.
4. Chances are, they don’t know themselves. Of course we’re going to ask why. Of course you will be given reasons. But, really, if the reasons behind why we fall for people is so cryptic, organic, strange, and unexpected, would you expect no less from the loss of these feelings and the break up?
5. Life goes on. The worst, least helpful, most cruel cliche I’ve saved for last. As much pain as you get yourself into, it will fade from the forefront of your mind over time. You will find someone else better than the last, especially when your head clears and you realize they weren’t so amazing and you weren’t quite right for eachother anyways. More importantly, you can exist and thrive without that other person in your life and you will. What made you attractive to that person in the first place is how awesome and vibrant you are on your own.
None of these things I’m saying will get you through that darkness following a bad ending. That is really something you need to push through on your own, but it doesn’t help to be surrounded by sympathetic ears and distracting personalities.
So this dramatic scene passes, and the nightmare ends, and the world keeps spinning into a new day bringing with it another slew of possibilities.
This post’s screen shot is from Lufia 2 (SNES). I’m sure there was an elegantly put metaphor in Japanese, but there is no such luck here.
Do you ever get a sense that nothing you ever do is the result of purely what you want to do for yourself? Even if you think you’re doing something for yourself, it is always weighed down by its relationship to other people. The things we do are controlled by a set of standards that are not exclusively our own. Ideas of ‘normalcy’ and ‘supposed to’ are so second nature, we don’t even consider them as we fall into line.
Part of the normalcy we need to feel is useful. The idea of being useful is pretty ambiguous, but it seems like most of our existence is based on it. It’s a constant pressure and motivator. I once wrote that I should ‘be content with being the being who strives’, but what about being content with just plain being oneself and nothing else?
I don’t think I’ll ever be content to be still. Stillness becomes guilt at not being busy, which is not stillness at all. Being busy doesn’t even mean actually doing anything truly important, it means being in a constant state of doing or even active procrastination. Relevance is secondary to making sure you’re active. Being in motion, even if you’re not getting any important done, becomes more important and valuable that being still. But, it isn’t.
For one’s own health and well being- and to have the ability to accomplish really important things- one must have periods of stillness, self, and relaxation. The mind needs a break to reflect and remember what is important and real in the largest scope possible. I’m not talking about some “in 5 years where do you see yourself’ question, but reflecting upon the question of why existing itself is important and necessary. I’ve never had a complete answer to that and probably never will, but each time I think I further understand a piece of that why, life becomes better, easier, and stronger in its vibrancy.
Being. Actually being, with a real identity and purpose, is far more important than being busy.
It can be very hard to force oneself to be still.