Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Lesson

I have backslid so far over the past few months that I can’t quite see the water’s edge anymore. I was trying so hard to find myself and not define myself by my relationships and leave myself open to new experiences; learning experiences most encounter in their adolescence, training in coping mechanisms that allow one to weed out the good from the bad, the healthy from the unhealthy, those who love you from those who use you. But the problem is, in leaving myself open I have once again discovered that things are not so black and white. No one shows up with a rose, a ring and a white stallion. They show up with baggage and walls and all kinds of obstacles and the harder you work to overcome them, the more vested you become. I lost myself in love…again. But it was an entirely different experience. I didn’t change who I was, I didn’t alter my behavior or interests to align with his, but I did lose myself. I lost myself in the belief that I could have a life which was never meant for me. My demon on a black stag was as imperfect and fallible as they come, not the most handsome, not the kindest nor the coolest but to me he was the one I dreamt of lying next to and waking up to, the one I couldn’t wait to see, the one I wanted to share our most exciting and most mundane tales with, and the one I wanted to talk to and argue with; a partner in all things. The one I wanted to call my love and friend. None of which I told him.

I knew it wasn’t going to work out but somehow the closer we grew, the calmer I felt. I am not one who does well in her own mind; as I’ve said I think too much, I push too hard, I make the most horrible assumptions about what people think and feel about me. Yet somehow, I remained calm and was for the most part able to maintain myself, until I left. Ironically even when I would sort of lose it, fearful that he would not be able to handle or understand my crazy, he just took it in stride and was kind; not judgmental, not confrontational but…amused. No one has ever been amused by my crazy…well, until I started this blog! But no one I’ve ever been involved with has been amused by it; my friends, my gays, yes, but my relationships, not so much. And when I left, I discovered that I was losing myself all over again, combating exhaustion and loneliness, trying to remain close without being smothering. I tried to fight it, I tried to stay cool and just sort of live the life I was in, knowing that I would sort everything out when I returned. But life isn’t like that; it doesn’t stand still. My heart is once again damaged, when I thought nothing could pierce it again. I truly believed that after losing so much, I couldn’t feel loss more profoundly but it’s not just the end of this relationship. Oh, how I loathe that word. It is the death of me. If I could find a way to fall in love, get married, have children and grow old together never having uttered the word relationship, I would be a far happier woman.

I wish I could say that this is a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder and that in the end I’m just remembering the good parts and glossing over everything else in my head. I wish that were true but I am very much a pragmatist and was VERY reluctant to move forward because I didn’t trust any of it given my situation, but in the end, I fell, harder than ever before. And now he has moved on completely, just as I begin the process. He is leaving, moving up north to make a new start of his life and would prefer to leave the past in the past and me in the dust. And I am left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart, a broken marriage, a broken life. Not his doing, but it all seemed so much more manageable when I thought I’d have a partner in this. Perhaps it is for the best; not the most auspicious beginning for a relationship, dovetailed onto the end of another but hell, I decided that I didn’t care. I always do the right thing and I decided in this case, maybe the right thing was the wrong thing. Maybe love just comes when it comes and you have to go for it. I hesitated. I did not risk for love. I’ve said before I tend to get close to the finish line and not cross it and now I am left wondering did I do that again. Would it have even made a difference? Questions which will never be answered.

I asked him once what was the purpose, why did this happen, what was the lesson I was supposed to learn in all this. “I think maybe the lesson is that you shouldn't settle for a relationship that is anything less than what makes you happy.” I only wish he’d understood that I had one. I only wish I’d understood it too.

So where do we go from here? We cry, we write, we start again. We do our hair, brush our skuzzy teeth, shave our legs, let someone buy us a drink…do whatever it takes. The thing that sucks is that what it takes is time.

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