September 12, 2005

Amen, Brother

Thomas Merton's Prayer
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you, and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Amen.

September 8, 2005

A Rolling Stone...

Every night I get to this point.

A blank email page open in front of me, the To: box filled in with his name.

And every night, I write an email. Some nights it's a forced casual tone, other nights, it's angry rantings. And at least a couple of times, it's been just plain pathetic.

Up until now, I had yet to do anything beyond save them to my draft box. However, tonight, I erased them all, because I just had this completely irrational fear that they would some how get sent out on accident. At the same time, I've also contemplated actually sending them but claiming that I'd pushed the wrong button and it was just all a whole big mess, and how embarassing, guess you have to talk to me now to at least straighten this all out...yadda, yadda.
But that's so playing the game, and I'm not pyscho enough to go there. Some lessons have been learned, thank you very much, Jon.

I hate that I am still so caught up in this whole thing. I need to get a life. Pronto.
I miss him, sure. I miss his friendship and his conversation.
But I think what I miss more is the idea of this relationship. The hope. The expectation. The excitement.

I was talking to my old piano teacher this afternoon about how fast time flies. I told her that I turn 24 in 2 months, and she commented she was married by that age. We laughed about it and she asked me if I even had anyone on the horizon. I smiled, and said, yes. And then I remembered. So I shook my head and said, well, actually, no. Not any more. But for a brief time, there was.
And I miss that.
But maybe it's good that it ended so quickly. The brief time that it was is obviously something I'm having a hard time getting over, and if this had gone on longer before it ended, I'm sure this part would have been worse.

I asked someone's advice last night on whether or not I should contact him. She was wise, indeed, and asked me to explain why I would want to. What was my purpose?
And if I'm honest with myself, it would be to see if he's changed his mind.
To see if he's handling this better than me.
To see if he regrets the decision he made.
To make him explain it to me just one more time.
So, even though she said I could call if I kept it short and just asked the specific questions I needed answers to, I don't think I'm going to do it. It just doesn't seem quite fair.
And it seems like it has the potential to prolong the suffering, so to speak. I don't really want answers to some of those questions, because then I'd have to live with that knowledge, one way or the other.

In the attempt to make myself less of an emotional deviant, I've tried to not shut down about this. To allow myself to be upset by it, to deal with it while it's happening and not pull my normal tricks of denial and avoidance. But I still haven't figured out where the line is between allowing myself to feel things and dwelling on things I can't change. I think maybe I've let this one run its course as much as I can. So, it's time to toughen up, shut down, and stop thinking about it all the time. I don't know if that's necessarily the "healthy" thing to do...but given where I am now, I've got to do something. My reaction, maybe even my over-reaction, to this is not something I am enjoying very much nor am I impressed by it. For trying so hard to be mature about things, I've definitely wallowed just a bit these past weeks.

So, here's to moving on. May it be swift and painless.

September 5, 2005

Great Expectations

About a week before I left camp, I had this crazy dream about a guy and a marriage and a fight and a baseball game. It was a typical dream for me--full of minute details and vivid scenes. However, it was one of those dreams that was so vivid and detailed that it had convinced my brain that it was reality. It wasn't a happy dream, so I woke up with a chest tight with emotions and pain. It literally took me a full minute or two to realize that it had just been a dream. I sighed with relief, and as my chest relaxed and my anger abated, I fell back asleep.

I hate that feeling, when it feels like someone has placed a bowling ball, or perhaps a small elephant, on your chest and you have that dry, gut-wrenching sobbing effect going on. I can only remember one other dream that woke me up feeling that way and it happened when I was having those nightmares about my friend dying last fall. It's a horrible way to wake up, that's for sure.

I was thinking about the baseball dream last night, as I sat on my bed trying to recover from another full day of being Aunt Tori. (My sister and her kids are still here, our own personal Katrina refugees.)
In the light of day and rationality, the dream made for a great story. But it was a very telling one for me. Because despite the ridiculous nature of the dream, of a guy having to get married because of a contract and an apathy to fight it, what was most real about the whole thing was my reaction to it. I was literally devastated by the idea that I'd lost the guy in the dream--hence the emotions I woke up with. Later on, I was proud of myself and a little scared by the idea that I had allowed myself to get attached enough to this guy that a stupid dream had had such an effect on me. Despite the sad nature of the dream, I was willing to take it all as a good sign.

I was so wrong.

Last week, just about the time that I had finally relaxed into this friendship with the guy and was having fun thinking about the possibilities it held, it abruptly came to an end. Just like that. One night we were talking, sharing those stupid embarrassing stories of mistakes made and lessons learned, and then 36 hrs later, I got a phone call. I guess I knew it was coming, because before he even said what it was that he had called to tell me, I had already started crying.
Talk about a shock to the system. Not only was the guy saying goodbye, I was CRYING! ON THE PHONE!! Oh, the horror.

And honestly, while I made him explain it all at least twice, I'm still a little confused about what happened exactly. I've tried to guess what was going on with him that caused him to want to bail so badly--maybe I scared him off by being honest about my expectations for dating, maybe the long distance thing was too much, maybe he really just didn't think through any of the changes that were going to happen when school started, maybe the age difference mattered, maybe he'd fooled me with his maturity all summer, maybe he had learned something about me that he didn't like, maybe he thought it would be easier to date Moody girls, maybe, maybe, maybe. Truth is, I may never understand what went through his head that week, especially since he decided that our friendship ended last Saturday night and I haven't heard a peep from him since.

For an entire week, every time my phone rang, I thought it was going to be him. Every email that showed up in my inbox disappointed me because it wasn't from him. I am pathetic, I know. But I've finally stopped expecting him to change his mind. I told him he couldn't change his mind as I sat there on my bed doing my best to just hold my shit together long enough to get through that conversation without crying or yelling. I know I shouldn't have made him promise that, but it was simply a knee-jerk reaction from ghosts from my past. And I know he wouldn't go against what he promised me, but my heart still held on a little while longer than my brain.

It's just...after all that we went through that last month...I just always thought it was going to be me and my baggage that screwed this up. And we'd gone through so much and I'd been winning all my battles against my fear and my past...I just never thought to worry that it would be his battles that held us back. I had finally started to relax and I was getting ready to enjoy this friendship and it's future. The fun was finally coming. I know that maybe I have it all backwards, that the fun and excitement should be what the beginning is all about. But I had to get through some stuff first before I could let the fun happen. Maybe that's my problem. I held back for too long. I don't know.

It has not been a fun week and a half. With so many things in my life not going the way they should, this friendship had been such a bright spot for me. And when it ended, I was so sad. Hurricane Katrina happened and dumped most of my Mississippi family on my doorstep, so that has been a big distraction. But it's not been enough to totally overshadow my melancholy.

Multiple times through the course of conversations that last month, we both assured one another that no matter what we were going to be thankful for whatever we got out of this. That we would be fine no matter the outcome. And I know that is true. I am thankful for so many things that happened and for the experience. And I am going to be fine, I know.
But for now...this still sucks. The disappointment is tough.