Holocene

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Relationships are hard. To the ones that know what they’re doing, they may not feel the same way. But you are the lucky ones, and for the rest of us – it’s a struggle. A wise woman told me, “You have a hard time accepting failure when it comes to a relationship.” It’s true. I do. I don’t know if its because I feel like I could do better, or just because I don’t understand why it can’t work out.

David Foster Wallace says in his book, Infinite Jest, that “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it”. Nothing speaks truer to me than those words. I try so hard to keep something that may not be good for me, not because I fear being alone – but because I fear failure. I’ve failed before in other things, and it doesn’t strike me as personally as some guy. Another human being that wants to spend a little time with me and then, depart at some point knowing that we aren’t made for each other.

Failure in a relationship just absolutely destroys me, and in the end I stand there wondering what in the hell just happened to all of these things that I really enjoyed about myself? And my independence? And my sanity? Where did I run off to this time? And to be honest, it’s really hard to write this right now. To stand here stripped, barren, dry, with yesterday’s words hanging on me like the plague. That black death of a sentence that I said, in the heat of the moment, when I realized that things will never ever be what I “want” them to be. Which is happy and successful with that person. But upon reflection I realize that nothing can fix that. I can’t fix that. I will never fix that. And that is the part that hurts me the most. That I called someone something terrible, because I was angry – and maybe they care. Maybe they don’t. But that it doesn’t even MATTER. It just didn’t work out, and that isn’t my fault nor is it his.

I re-read some old journal entries of mine. The few and far between dates, of when things were probably so good that I was too caught up in the moment to jot it down. Even at the beginning, there were arguments and misunderstandings. It’s not supposed to be like that right at the start. Not at all. And I don’t know why I don’t remember them, maybe I blocked them out or maybe I just didn’t think they were that significant. But it brought me to another point of myself. I forgive to a fault.

Not saying that it doesn’t “take 2 to tango” or that only one person left the relationship a mess, we both did, but there are things that I forgive just for the sake of not letting it poison me. I can’t decide if that is a good, or a bad thing, but it gets me in trouble a lot. I find myself being shit on more often than not due to the fact that I can be kind of a pushover. And people will tell me that I need to put my foot down, because otherwise others will lose respect for me. But why would they lose respect for me just by deciding that there are too many things happening in life to hold some grudge about what someone said when they were angry, I literally JUST did that yesterday. I do it all the time.

I don’t think I’ve ever lost the respect for someone when they decided to do something just because they damn-well wanted to. That’s none of my business. If they ask for my advice, I give it. If they do the opposite, so the fuck what? It’s their decision and I have no say in it. I have no further assistance to offer than my own two cents and after that, the final step is up to that person. I just don’t understand why I can’t be soft? I take things personally, I’m a crier, I forgive when I think there are bigger things to worry about, I say I’m sorry first, I am a vulnerable little ball, and I’m completely ok with that. I don’t see anything wrong with that besides the fact that maybe people take advantage of it and walk all over me.

And sometimes I get spikes and lash back, like I did yesterday. But then I always feel bad, and want to reconcile and make things ok. Say how much I actually do care, and that I was just doing what everyone was telling me to do because I know it’s probably the right decision. I don’t walk when I should, and I don’t put my foot down when I should, and I try and try and try. And it’s a problem, because to be honest – it hurts. But I don’t think I would prefer being cold. I don’t think I would like myself any other way, other than this stupid fumbling crumbling little soul that falls for people really quickly and cries when it’s over.

So here I am. I wrote the last little chapter of yesterday’s book, sealed up the binding and put in on the shelf to draw out something clean and unwritten. And you look at it, and then look back up at the book you just closed. The one with all the pictures in it. Of happy things, and memories, and clouds, and not so good times, and maybe some things that you aren’t entirely proud of saying, and maybe things that make you smile to think about. And you look at your blank pages on your lap and think, “now what”. So I’m currently in my limbo of “now what” wondering if I need to take what happened to fix some things about myself. If I’m too impatient, or too soft, or a pushover that shouldn’t put up with anything. Or if I should just continue to be this person, that I kind of like, but at the same time have been hurt so much that I don’t know if I can keep doing this over and over and over again until that one person is right.

And so, I’m genuinely at a loss here. Vulnerable, kind of melancholy, but still happy to be alive and well. And that’s life sometimes isn’t it? I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe that “HE has something special in the works for me”. I think its a decision that we choose to make, whether or not we want to be with that person and try and make it work or whether we want to simply hold out for something better. What we choose contributes to the happiness we are constantly trying to achieve.

Happiness isn’t something achievable though. It’s a mindset. And I am happy, regardless of the situation, I’m happy that it happened. I’m happy I got a year with that person. And I’m happy there were some really good memories, and that we got to say “I love you”. Happiness is something that feels nostalgic, but it’s right there in the moment. It’s seeing things for the loss and the beauty at the same time. It’s accepting that life isn’t smooth, its really really bumpy. And pouring that all into one cup and really looking at it, with your two perfect eyes, and just being happy to be drowning in it all.

-C