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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