my heart isn’t ready

It’s been a fortnight.

I realised that I had been mourning my relationship before it even officially ended, ignoring verbal protests. When our summer travelling ceased, there were no longer any distractions from facing the rifts that ripped open the very core of what we once meant to each other.

April ’12, Seattle, Washington – photo by Kayleigh


Anchor wasn’t a simpleton. The very act of saying “I don’t think it’s a good idea to continue this relationship” didn’t shock him in any way that I’m aware of; all it yielded was a shrug and a murmur. I also happen to be terribly expressive without talking. I don’t pretend to know or speak for him, but perhaps he had been mourning something too.

The interactions to follow grew tense on both ends, however, and I have made myself scarce.

Food intake and sleep have both been compromised due to going from friend’s place to friend’s place (though I remain grateful for the ability to). I’ve already lost ten pounds.

Looking for a new safe space has proven unsuccessful thus far. I’m not seeking a quick fix solution, but something long-term, sustainable. I still love my job, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was happy for excuses to think about other things for 8+ hours out of the day.

Three years gone. My second longest relationship. There’s only so long I can feign that I’m infallible, and that I’m stronger than all this bollocks, don’t you think?

A few people have asked, “what happened?” Most of them haven’t bothered asking me anything else when I didn’t offer any sordid details. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

I’m not sure what it is about being single that others pick up on. It could be coincidence, but there have been a good deal of incidents lately to suggest otherwise. It’s been… educational.

I won’t lie. I’ve been known as a serial dater. I’ve gone as long as a year without seeing anyone else, but I’ve also lasted as short as an hour or so. An irresponsible hedonist, if you will. That too could be part of the reason for the surge in aggressive activity towards me.

Over the years, it’s been more difficult to take on that persona, especially while in long-term relationships. No discounting the interactions, but three relationships of mine should’ve been established much later than they were, if at all. Time is absolutely necessary to grieve.

I’m attempting forward movement by letting others know that I honestly can’t be arsed to dabble in romance at present. My heart is too tender and I’d be a pretty crap date.

Getting into something too soon would dishonor the positive time spent previously, and would sully the potential of a new beginning. No one needs that, no matter the attraction. I also have a great deal on my plate to square with that would be best served with me single.

May ’12, Tacoma, Washington

Here’s some advice for interaction offline and on: when and if you see me, don’t treat me any differently than you would before, bearing the previous information in mind.

You can talk to me. I may falter a smidge emotionally for a while, but I’m pretty much okay in general and am parallel with my goals for the immediate future and beyond. That’s all.

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steady breathing

Florida is a very strange state. As far as I know, the MSM doesn’t do much to prove otherwise, with what I read of bizarre crimes and even more puzzling methods of state government.

I have taken several trips to Florida, as north as Fort Lauderdale and as south as Key West, with a main focus in Miami. Due to an intensely passionate long-term relationship, it got to a point where Miami crossed my mind when I considered a place to move to from Los Angeles.

I ended up with my first choice of Washington state, and in the process broke the strong ties I had binding me to Florida in any way. I was really quite firm in thinking I would not return.

Three years plus later, here I am, doing some remarkable stuff. I got over my negative mentality enough to book a flight and see people I value more than letting the past prevail.

Someone I’ve been online friends with for several years met me in Pensacola, spent the entire day with me and another gal of note I’d not seen for at least most of those aforementioned several years. It was an effortless sort of day, one you get to desiring after a long, difficult stretch. In our own different ways, we each needed to be able to laugh and be so carefree.

Summer ’12, Lake Lorraine, Florida

I’m not going to sit here and type this and pretend that my friendships have been all hunky dory, because that would be a lie. There are still a few I can think of off the top of my head that are in dire need of repair. I will mention that coming back after a while to talk about the goings on between myself and one of these women made a significant effect on me being here.

One point that really burns about rifts in friendships is that lingering lack of closure. It’s not necessary for the other person or people involved to give that closure to you, especially depending on how things went down. The best one can do is admit faults, and try to keep a cool head when receiving criticisms/hearing alternate sides of the story. I’ve got work to do.

My trip and experiences here thus far have taught me to keep trying, and that it’s okay to enjoy myself every once in a while without thinking too hard about what it might mean in the future.

a fork in the road

To suggest you never entered my mind when I made the decision to part was ludicrous.

All I ever used to do was think about you, even when you did things that pissed me off. I think that’s part of what love is – working through the negatives to strengthen the positives.

However, when the wave of negativity looms so that it swallows everything and everyone in its path simply because it can… well, it’s time to do some moving on.

I don’t care that I’m now part of some gargantuan boogie brigade here to oppress you. When you’ve seen what I’ve seen in a concentrated year of one’s own personal hell, you value what you know to be true above all else, even if someone you love is hurting and looking for reasons or justifications to lash out. It saves you from some unsavory things.

Image

August ’11, Vancouver, BC

Now that we’ve parted, I don’t wish you any ill will, but I feel better for this freedom. I hope that one day you can feel better too.

the property of closure

There comes a time where you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing to think. 


You breathe in, and as you slowly, deliberately exhale, admit “my cup runneth over.”


Good.


Now, how do you figure out what to do with that knowledge?








I seem to have some awkward perpetual bond with my very first love. I’ve been able to dispel most of the energy from other lovers, if I’ve felt it necessary. Not this one.


It’s awkward in the sense that we’ve been broken up for a couple of years now, yet frequently talk to one another with a timid warmth indicative of a connection that has been worked on at length by dedicated parties. (Our conversation is also occasionally seasoned by the hurt we’ve placed upon each other over this time; let’s not forget.)


Awkward in the sense that we’d had an off-again, on-again unparalleled romance over the course of the near decade that we’ve known each other. 


Awkward in the sense that the closest we’ve ever been to each other is when we decided to travel by plane or other mode of transportation. We do seem to have a knack, however, for tucking away and carrying memories in our pockets, which fly out and screech “hey! look at me!” right at moments when we’ve finally started to believe we’ve moved on.

April 2009, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California

I think we’ve both made good-to-honest strides to distance ourselves from each other, because that’s the healthy thing to do.* I’m in a long-term relationship with Anchor, someone I find myself even more smitten with today than when our friendship first began to take on much stronger, meaningful connotations. First Love is actively dating in his area.



It’s hard to find a balance. Because this person still means so much to me, I don’t wish to push him away. My life would be darker without him, no two ways about it. Still, I can’t imagine how hard this has been for Anchor to process, mostly silently. I think about the crap he’s had to take from me, my insecurities and my past, and I find it amazing he’s around.

June 2010, private home, Portland, Oregon



The feeling of a stalemate on this subject is difficult to ignore. It leaves me frustrated, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have a habit of wanting to hammer at something until a solution produces itself, but not everything works out in that uniform a way. I may have to act somewhere in between being practical and being honest in the near future, and the part of me that chooses to act with my heart will absolutely hate the shit out of it. 


I can only hope that all of us come out of this as unscathed as possible, which seems silly seeing as pain has been entering from every avenue since this rift has formed.


I don’t have all the answers. I was so sure I did as a kid, but boy was I wrong. Perhaps no one really does.





*While I have been in open relationships for years now, there are some lines that can’t and shouldn’t be crossed. Sometimes you have to choose, and live with whatever consequences may come with that choice. I have, and I am, and overall… I think I’m OK.

know where your towel is. know when to throw it.

I’ve never been very good at hiding my feelings. They’ve developed a nasty habit of bleeding into the expressions on my face and into the words I say, as well as the behaviour I display. This has gone on ever since I can recall.


Sometimes I fool myself into thinking I’m a great pretender. It helps to get knocked down a peg or two by people that see otherwise.






It has been brought to my attention that when I get presented with bad news, I often shut down. I’ve become comfortable with the idea of going off alone for an undetermined amount of time to think about the steps that led to the bad news, and how to deal with it better should it happen again. I don’t want to burden other people with my problems.


I am slowly coming to the realisation that I need to change the way I process. I need to understand that the people around me DO care, and that I should share what I’m feeling with them because they want to be there for me when I need them. So far friends of mine and loved ones alike have taken time out of their busy lives to offer advice and console me where necessary.


(Thank you. I really appreciate your efforts and you’ve helped immensely. You know who you are.)






The way I’ve been dealing with stress has been much the same. I failed to see the destruction my methods were doing. When I’m having it rough, it affects my everyday life, including my interaction with others.


My paramour has been asked by mutual acquaintances of ours, “Is B okay?” or “Did I do something to upset B?”




Now, this isn’t very fair, is it? Actions I imagined to be harmless to others having the converse effect. To me that reads “CHANGE THIS. NOW.” Urgent stamping and all.


Change doesn’t come easy for me. What good or mandatory thing ever does? It’s part of being an adult. Hopefully sorting this out will allow me to put some positive energy into the people I care about in turn, so that they know I can be there for them too. One day at a time.

 

Onward and forward we go.

rekindling old flames & the grateful train

I would call myself a hopeful romantic. It’s easy for me to see the positives of a pairing possibility.


I walk into new ventures with plenty of smiles and my head held high. I listen, ask questions frequently, and am enthusiastic. 


I can say with no ego that my tenacity is astounding when I apply it; I like the chase and I’m good at seeing an end to it when I’ve decided I want to commit to something more.


The surges of energy are my favourite part. Goodness knows that my last long-term (long-distance) relationship had no shortage of ’em. The mind and body are more likely to go into overdrive after long periods of pleasure denial and short periods of desire fulfillment.






While the aforementioned’s cheery and all that, the not-so-great aspects beg mentioning as well.


1. I have a habit of leaping before I look. I’m the sort that enjoys having her head in the clouds, but typically the result of that is learning the repercussions of such the hard way.


2. I often find myself doing things I don’t want to do. Instead of attempting to strike up some sort of compromise that might include benefits for each person involved, I have a habit of letting others get their way because I believe I’ll ruin everything if I don’t. It’s irrational, this fear, and I’ve already modified my behaviour to put this issue to rest (after lots of practice).


3. I overextend myself. The three all tie in, you see. New prospects are fairly exciting, and it’s not uncommon to throw myself into the fray without considering that I may need some ‘me’ time. This may be the most common trait I share with others involved in similar romantic situations. It also may be the most difficult to rectify, as it comes into play elsewhere.






About 80% of this goes out the window if the romantic venture is a reconnection. The events leading up to the severing of ties previous is usually at the forefront of my mind. Paranoia. Second guessing.


It is likely that a rekindling will not see much success because of all of the things it has going against it, namely its history. Even if you get past that, there may be unexpected bumps in the road that are ill-handled. The damage can be irreparable. Fingers get pointed.


In times of frustration, anger or general pain, the first instinct fallacy (paraphrasing: ‘your first instincts are your most correct’) can easily come into play. For me, telling myself ‘it’s not my fault’ is a coping mechanism to deal with the aftereffects of a break-up. Blaming others for the downfall of a relationship isn’t necessarily the best idea. There needs to be some analysis, support from friends and/or family, and a period of mourning.






One behaviour change begets another. In changing Not-So-Great Aspect no. 2, I didn’t realize that other changes would be affected. 


Mourning does not seem to be as important as it used to be; it expends tons of energy needed to do daily life tasks and enjoy people and activities. It is not altogether useless, especially if the history is long and intense, but there needs to be a cull at some point.




My experiences reconnecting with people on a romantic front has taught me a great deal, though I am no longer so keen on dating anyone from my past. 


The best I can do is try to keep some kind of platonic, warm tie alive with folks I’ve known very personally and intimately — this is not always an available option, mind you. The best I can be is open about my shortcomings in the hopes that I can eventually sort them out. Sometimes only another person can reveal what these shortcomings are.






A close friend of mine recently said, “The day I stop learning, I die.” I’m inclined to agree with her.