I had a date around this time last year. She was a teacher-turned-librarian in her mid-40s with two kids, a pixie-cut, and thrift store style.
Before we formally introduced ourselves, I recognized her from across the room and was immediately struck by the way she carried herself. There was a confidence when moving about; clearing a table to sit at without a moment’s hesitation as to whether anyone would mind; interacting with the staff; bumping into an old acquaintance. Something common among parents and people in the education system, lest they show weakness to a group of children (and the complete opposite of Heather, who’s shy and awkward and always tries to take up as little space as possible).
We both understood how difficult it can be to get to know someone through a screen, and agreed it would be better to meet sooner rather than later. That meant I didn’t know too much about her, aside from the details in her profile. I was comforted by the fact that she mentioned All About Love by bell hooks under “A book everyone should read”, because Tiana happened to recommend it to me earlier that year and it became a big influence on the way I approach my relationships. Also by the fact that one of her needs was “understanding of systems of oppression”; as I drift further to the left on the political spectrum, I’ve learned that I tend to get along better with people who have an awareness of social inequality.
Continue reading “the beginning of me wanting myself”…
I’m sorry she never replied, but I’m also glad you figured out that she doesn’t owe you an answer. I think that says a lot about how much you’ve grown and how far you’ve come as a person.
It was no small step to reach out after all this time and the things you’ve been through together. I think you did the right thing cause of the way things ended. Offering to make amends by putting your feelings out there was more generous than I’d expect of anyone.
After all, you never deserved to be led on like that. I wish I could explain why she didn’t give you the space you needed at first. I’m sorry you weren’t strong enough at the time to stand up for yourself, but it doesn’t mean you deserved it. It wasn’t fair. You were lonely and vulnerable and it was the last thing your heart needed to heal. I don’t blame you for having a hard time getting over her after that.
That’s why you had every right to ask for another break. Needing it was never a reflection or judgment on who she was. Just because she didn’t like it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. In fact, she should have respected you and your request instead of getting upset or taking it as a valuation on her as a person.
I’m sorry she never acknowledged your pain or her role in it. I’m sorry part of you still feels so badly messed up. I’m sorry you never had a chance to tell her.
The fact that you haven’t heard back is likely a sign of how much she truly cares about you. That doesn’t mean you have to stop loving her. Your feelings are completely valid. It’s okay to love someone from a distance. It doesn’t make you a bad partner or person.
So take as much time as you need. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn the end of a relationship.
That’s how you described yourself, soon after your dad died. A girl lost in grief, trying to drink and smoke and work and fuck her way out. Living her life like she was the only one who hadn’t figured out what to do with it.
It’s hard to imagine you being so sad once. Or sad at all, and secure enough to admit loneliness. You even had the objectiveness to know that you shrank from others even though you didn’t make yourself happy. That’s why I keep going through these entries in your old blog. Not just a dream journal, but a journal of dreams. Before you became trapped in a domestic life and your heart turned into a lump of stone.
Continue reading “a reckless careening of emotions and actions”…
I haven’t been able to come up with a way of explaining the absence. I guess I’m still figuring out where I stand at this particular moment, and what it means to keep going. Many days were lost to the flux of ambiversion, when all I was trying to do was survive the balance of how much space I needed with how much comfort I could only get from others. Suffice it to say, I’ve learned the importance of taking the time just to feel okay, which has mostly involved enjoying the games I’ve put off playing for so long, spending time with those who make me feel wanted+needed+awesome+loved, and drafting as often as possible.
My birthday came somewhere in between, a day I got to pick all the shows, eat dirty bird, and nest with the cats on me when they weren’t in the cuddle train. It made the whole day mine, not because it was something I asked for, but because someone wanted to give that to me.
I’m slowly letting my guard down, letting myself share new songs in the dark, so the positive experiences become a permanent part of me. Making new memories is a step towards soothing my history with heartbreak. The comfort I find in our embraces carries me through the time we’re apart, but feeling safe is still very foreign. Just touching fingers is a vulnerable step, and it’s like being on a tightrope every time I put aside my insecurities to make progress. Thankfully, she hasn’t let me fall yet.
Most recently, I started working at the busiest comic book shop in the city as one of the resident Magic experts. It’s left me trying to find my balance again, even though the job is part-time and never feels like work. The position mostly involves running the tournaments, trading/selling/organizing cards, and giving people game advice; things I already love doing in my spare time. A nice bonus is the fact that a new friend happens to be one of the regulars at the Modern Constructed tourney, and I get to root for him and see how he does between matches.
Shawn even came in to say hi and give me hugs on my first day. Reminders all around that make me feel worthwhile, instead of just believing it. It’s the difference between knowing something in my head to my heart, a gap I’m starting to bridge with help from the right people.
I took a break from guitar. Not a conscious decision, just days that were busy enough that I didn’t think of picking her up, which means I don’t even know how long I’d stopped. All I know is that it was long, cause I feel the strings vibrating through every piece of wood that touches my body now, one of those sensations you stop noticing after enough time.
I haven’t had much to say either. Nothing seems important. At the same time, I’m trying to move away from this social media overload, where so many people speak only cause the power to do makes them believe they should. It’s making the gaps between my entries longer and longer, and I wonder if I’ll eventually stop writing altogether.
All I have are memories of lives I lived so long ago that I feel like I’m watching them in 8mm. The friends and the lovers, the love and the hate, the cycles and the patterns. I’m only now sorting out the meaning of each one, maybe cause I’ve finally grown enough to understand myself and my relationship with the world at large. It’s comforting to see how far I’ve come when comparing the person I am now to each person I used to be.
But such progress came at the cost of my innocence; we aren’t always ready to learn the harder lessons, and surviving sometimes means we change in ways that prevent us from becoming the people we’re meant to be. I’m trying to take back that innocence now, cause I know my happiness is at stake.