Real talk: I cannot be alone.
I am no stranger to living alone. I lived alone in my college apartment the summer before my senior year. When I graduated, I moved into another apartment, and there I stayed for six years.
At first, without homework or roommates to keep me busy, I had no idea what to do with myself. I spent hours cooking exotic meals for one (because even simple things take FOREVER when I do them). I killed a few months re-reading Jane Austen …and Harry Potter …and Wikipedia. I painted art that I still have not figured out how to hang.
When my friends invited me over, I would often stay the whole weekend and we would not think anything of it. It was funny, that I could be MIA for days at a time and it wouldn’t matter because I had literally zero obligations other than to show up for work on Monday. It felt weird to be at my apartment and NOT be hanging out with someone.
As is standard these days, when I started a serious romantic relationship, we would spend most of the week with each other. Maybe entire weeks without a night apart. Our relationship was all-consuming, which was obvious to anyone who wasn’t us.
After about 15 months, I began to feel like I was losing myself. There were other, much more complicated things also going on in my head, but after 18 months I asked to break up. After the initial freedom wore off (it took the grand total of one weekend), I very strongly regretted my decision.
That summer passed very awkwardly with me attempting to maintain a friendship with someone who I couldn’t help but to fall in love with a little more every week. He spent his time apart creating new music and following a career-related passion. I spent my days stuffing my face with chocolate chips while watching something stupid on the internet. After three or so very tortuous months, I confessed the results of our summer apart: I needed him in my life in ways that I could not understand but was willing to spend the rest of my days trying to figure out. Life without him was unbearable.
Miraculously, he felt the same way. We wrote off our breakup as a funny little lesson. As much as we needed each other, we needed a little time to ourselves. We were dedicated, not obsessed. We continued for 3 more years without incident. We were stronger for it. Wiser. More honest. We weren’t perfect people, but our love was unquestionably pure.
I won’t lie and say that we had a perfect relationship. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always strong. Any stone in our path was overcome as a testament to the German-quality engineering of our love. I could see forever.
Until forever very suddenly became never ever. The breakup was so abrupt and completely bullshit that I laughed about it for days afterward. It was comical that he thought his setbacks and insecurities could lay a dent in what we had built together. I decided to carry on with the comfort of knowing that we would get through this if I could just keep faith as I did years before.
Anyone who knows either of us in real life knows how completely fucked that hope was. Long story short, I am back to where I started six years ago as that girl who has no idea how to be by herself.
All that time spent in the company of friends and lovers rewrote my criteria for what makes a fulfilling life. Nowadays I cook, I clean, I try new things. But it is a very halfhearted attempt at normalcy…
The truth is that I have no idea how to be alone. I very literally do not see the point in living for me only. Learning how to function as an individual is the most difficult and painful challenge I have ever faced. I fail constantly. I fail continually. I am failing right now.
I know that my life could be incredibly worse if I lived on the other side of the world, or even the other side of town. My ex informed me that I was feeling typical high school heartache, as if four years wasn’t any more significant than four days. I had never felt so belittled in my entire life.
The pettiness of my struggle makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel ashamed. It makes me feel weak. It also makes me feel like I’m being ungrateful toward my friends and family who have listened to my same issues day after day after week after month and responded only with love and encouragement.
I AM listening, I AM trying. I am just not very good at it.
1:51 am • 15 September 2014
There will be no forgiveness for you. There will be no revenge for me. There will be no thing.
11:26 pm • 7 September 2014
I had brunch with an old friend last weekend. We caught up on our past and current lives. It was nice to not have to explain myself. It felt like slipping on an old sweatshirt… comfortable and unassuming.
I vented about how it seems like the more I want something, the less likely it feels like I will ever get it. I figured that I actually repel things by making them too important to me, but soandso saw it another way. His interpretation is that when I put something on a pedestal, I’m placing it out of my reach. The more important it is, the higher the pedestal.
So my new question is this: Can I knock something off the pedestal? Can I make the most important things less important in my life?
I know I’m steering in the wrong direction (or, more accurately, in what I assume others would tell me is the wrong direction), but it feels insincere to do anything else. I’m sick of pretending that I am or possibly could be someone else. The only way I have even a fighting chance at creating happiness is to live my life with one very impossible goal in mind. But is it impossible? If I raise myself up, maybe someday what’s on that pedestal won’t seem so out of reach.
12:50 am • 20 August 2014 • 1 note
The Sound of Settling
How long do you wait before you give up on a dream? Do you hold out forever? Do you settle for something else because it could probably be pretty okay? Is probably pretty okay remotely good enough?
I’m tired of the prospect of trying. I cannot and will not fein the slightest interest in anything other than perfection. I don’t care that I will never get what I want because I can’t buy into the idea that I could possibly want something else.
One thing I’ve never been good at is playing along. I have zero patience for things I’m not immediately interested in, be it card games, comedic movies, or friendships.
Life is so uncertain. There is no point in wasting my time with distractions and obstacles. I do not have the energy for it.
12:04 am • 12 August 2014
Cats are critical to posters, apparently. A smattering of kitties appear in Posters, a critical study of the development of poster design in continental Europe, England and America by Charles Matlack Price.
Price obviously knew the importance of cats in art. He certainly had strong feelings about the topic of art, going so far as to include the quote above from Robert Louis Stevenson as the epigraph to the book. And since we see 2 kitties gracing the title page, we can deduce that his idea of good art = cats. But I’m no art historian.
5:08 pm • 31 July 2014 • 868 notes
What Ails Me
I’m sick. Not sick enough to stay home from work, but definitely sick enough to have the attention span of a goldfish. I took meds that claim to be “non drowsy” but I’m feeling messed up anyway. And so I write.
I haven’t blogged in years, and I’m not sure if I should start again now. I used to write open letters to someone who I knew would eventually find it. I wanted to be found. I had a plan for him to fall in love with me through my words. I failed.
There’s a danger in being honest in your writing. People can see all sides of you, both good and bad. Unfortunately for me, a better understanding of me is what pushes someone away from me. The more you know, the less you want to know. And so I stopped.
The problem now is that I have an overwhelming buildup of thoughts that I don’t know what to do with. Mind pollution. Soul poison. I can’t keep harboring it inside of me, but I can’t dump it on all of my friends, either.
I don’t know what to do.
12:05 pm • 30 July 2014
When you stop running, what you’re running from catches up to you.
I’ve been struggling for weeks to articulate the thoughts, the persistent whir, that keep me from concentrating on anything.
When you stop running, what you are running from catches up to you. I think that most people would say that this is when you start fighting back.
What if I’m tired of running, of fighting? What if what I’m running from is something that would actually do me some good?
I sit here in a semi-catatonic state and wonder how to explain all the directions my mind goes and how memory intermingles with imagination. Hallucination. Conversations I’ve had and conversations I should have had. Hypothetical situations where everything goes perfectly. And ones where things get unbelievably ugly unbelievably quickly.
Is there an answer buried deep in the mess of my mind? If I find it, will I even know?
11:41 pm • 28 July 2014