this modern love breaks me

My vice-of-the-moment is instant decaf coffee with loads of sugar and French vanilla non-dairy creamer; a chemical sludge I have every morning like dessert for breakfast. That and long showers (and maybe a bit of the sauce every now and then) are the only things I indulge in nowadays.

It’s a sign that instinct has taken me over. I do what I want, and I’m starting to suspect that you’re an adult when that also happens to be the right thing. Not when you hit an arbitrary age, or have kids, or a career, or a house. It’s when you start to take control because part of growing up is understanding that you’re responsible for the results in your life. When you discover that there’s no room in this place for old-school romantics, so you’ve gotta play the game. When you lose your innocence after accepting that the world isn’t the way you thought it was or the way you wanted it to be.

Still, it’s unsettling to be venturing ahead amidst such uncertainty. I’ve learned that you can’t wait for everything to be perfect in your life before taking a risk, or you’ll be waiting forever. There will always be cycles of stagnancy and change, calm and storm, hurting and healing. I don’t mind the changes, but part of me resents the innocence lost. Quixotism has always been a part of me, something that’s defined so many of my thoughts and passions and work. It’s like I’ve lost a part of myself — and a part I’ve always liked — to messages unreturned and the days in between.

8 comments

  1. I know I’ve lost my innocence in the game of love and relationships, but at the same time I like to think that I still kept my old school romantic charm. Even today, I’m willing to do the little “silly” things that I think keeps a relationship going or rather, the way that brought us together to begin with.

    It’s just that try not to think about relationships as one or the other. If you’re comfortable and trust that a relationship is the way it should be, don’t sacrifice that ideal. Let it evolve. Growing up isn’t about growing old, bitter and broken. It’s about trying to see how best your ideals that make you who you are fit in best with the world around you.

    So I don’t believe that love is everything anymore or that love is enough. It doesn’t mean that when faced with the opportunity to express my love, that I don’t inject it into the stagnant piece of stereotypical expectations the world seems to expect from relationships these days. I just learn that there is a place for everything and it sometimes pays, like good spices and herbs, to add gentle splashes of it here and there.

    So don’t think you should have to lose a part of yourself. Keep it. And coax it to be a force to be reckoned with in a world devoid of such romantic notions. God knows we need it.

    • I’ve always wanted to remain faithful to my views of the world, even in the face of overwhelming evidence against, even if those views are unrealistic or unhealthy. It’s almost like one becomes a martyr for one’s beliefs, which is something I’ve considered, because I think they define me. Without my beliefs, I’m no longer the same person, and when you finally begin to like yourself, this can be a very scary thing. I’m not saying they can’t evolve over time, but lately mine have taken such an unexpected turn in the other direction that I feel like I’ve lost a big part of my identity.

      That’s why it’s not a part of myself that I choose to lose. I liken it to a veteran who can’t un-see the horrors of war. There are things a person may go through that drastically change the way they see things, whether one can help it or not.

      But I agree with what you say about growing old, about how one should fit one’s ideals with the world, instead of growing bitter and broken. To me, that means a balance between what we want to be and what we need to be, between blind hope and realistic expectations. I never would have thought of this until I read your comment, so thank you Edrei.

  2. I feel life has punished me hard for deciding to maintain my Quixotism.

    That being said, I shall die satisfied in knowing I did. We Taurean Roosters don’t reneg on such things.

      • I suppose that some women pick men who pay the most attention to them or treat them like well kept dolls. I have never been like that and rather than wanting a father figure or a pushover, I have always wanted an equal, intellectually and otherwise. I found over the years that men that interested me (of my generation, perhaps?) are not happy with that. There are those who want someone they can either protect or best; or both; or there are men who want to be taken care of like little boys and not take responsibility.

        I don’t fit in either plan, and it made them uncomfortable enough that I lost four of them for this reason. I believed, and still want to believe, that my own paradigm of emotional, physical, and spiritual equality in a commitment is possible, matchable. They didn’t prove it. Sometimes I gave up; sometimes they left.

        I hope your generation and later ones are not like that. I still hope it’s possible.

      • That’s an interesting perspective, and if you feel like you’ve been punished for sticking with your ideals, then I question whether it’s worth it or not.

        I think new generations have their own, more open-minded ideas when it comes to things like gender roles, but at the same time they bring their own issues to the table like sexual saturation. It doesn’t get any easier…only different.

  3. Innocence lost is the most depressing aspect of what you describe here.
    It’s really the one thing that annoys me about life.
    Why the hell can’t we both grow up AND retain that?
    A faulty blueprint, if you ask me.

    • And they say youth is wasted on the young. That’s one of the reasons I don’t mind indulging myself now, before I get too old and wise and start to worry myself to death.

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