I don't have any reason at all for that title, except for the fact that I couldn't think of another one. How's that for original. And I've been thinking about my ex a lot lately and hoping he is rocking his life, and feeling like I wish we could be friends because the best part of our relationship was definitely the friendship and the laughter. Sometimes he'd say this expression or sing it and even though we would have both appreciated a couple hundred thousand bucks at the time or let's be honest, a couple hundred bucks, we were entirely broke. And (I, for one, was) entirely in love. And entirely mismatched. I feel guilty sometimes when I really let myself go there and dwell on the bad parts of the relationship, like how hard he worked juxtaposed to how sick I always felt, and how I faked even feeling remotely ok to avoid a fight about rent or groceries or why my energy was always depleted, and how I worked until I couldn't and how I moved home and how much it hurt him and how he wanted to own a gun so badly and I'm dead against gun ownership, and how unable and unwilling I was to make compromises, and how goddamn stubborn we both were and how we both enabled each other to a toxic, codependent point. Really, we were codependent at the start, and I wouldn't come to recognize that until just recently after reading a book about love addiction and codependency. (Guilty, both accounts.) I'm now a recovering codependent, a recovering love addict, a recovering a LOT of things, and yet have no regrets. In therapy we learn to have to become very very VERY very gentle with ourselves. Treating ourselves like a tender filet mignon. That's probably the worst analogy I have ever fashioned up, but there you have it. It is what it is.
The point is, we need to be more gentle and tender with ourselves than we even believe to be possible. More gentle with how we speak of ourselves, about ourselves, to ourselves, with ourselves, the language we utter, the thoughts we think, what we allow to come out of our own mouths about ourselves. There is absolutely no room for self-hate and self-loathing. Only room for tenderness, gentleness, kindness, decency, affection and respect. We have to do this in order to love ourselves unconditionally. Don't you want to get to a point of unconditional love with yourself? It's the only thing that will save the world little by little. And yes I realize I'm sounding like some quote board on Pinterest right now. But self-love and self-compassion are crucial. It's essential in loving ANYONE even one iota. It's the only thing that matters! Money doesn't matter if we hate ourselves and have terrible interpersonal relationships. You can be the richest man and have the most broken heart. In fact, I would gather that the two are pretty closely related. So with my ex I think of the good times, and there are far many more of those. For a long time food reminded me too much of the relationship and how badly it ended, that I refused to cook. I cannot tell you how many times I almost texted him a picture of lumpia or fajitas or something else I made, just as a knee-jerk reaction since our relationship revolved around food. The things I learned from him. The things he taught me in our home kitchen. The fascinating dinners out. Every one of them was like a college lecture, but the most fascinating food-related lecture you'd ever been to. Because we were both learning something together. We met as line cooks, he went to culinary school, we cooked together, he wined and dined me at his restaurant, other DC restaurants. We saved out pennies to try a new foie somewhere. I'd read food blogs during the day and waitress at night. I'd try out a recipe by total experimentation; I'd never claim to be a master at anything. He ate all the leftovers I'd cooked during the day, at 4 am, etc etc. How he couldn't speak a language in any way which somewhat bothered me, but for some kitchen Spanish. He did know the correct pronunciation of mirepoix, and before you label me a total snob, know that I am the last person on earth who should judge when it comes to language skills. I just am very impressed by fluency.
About a year ago I had a random cooking question like how do you roast a beet, at what temp. Something like that. I'd forgotten, and knew he'd instantly write right back. But wait. We'd broken up months beforehand, we weren't speaking, not even in a mean way, just not AT ALL. And that was for the best. But in my mind it was such a quick, automatic reaction to just text him a quick question. His number was after all still in my phone (which I've since deleted, to avoid similar mishaps), and I rattled off the question. Then hit send. Oh my God. I have never turned my phone off so fast. I'm super clumsy and drop everything and of course in that moment I dropped my phone, the battery fell out, and I prayed that it didn't send. I was in a mad panic the whole time the phone was shutting down thinking WHAT IF THAT JUST SENT. Can he read it? Why did I just send that without effing thinking?!? We are not friends. We're not lovers. We're not engaged. We're not anything. And I'm pretty sure he hates me and wants nothing to do with me. I'm mended, moved on, and ready to be friends but that just may not ever be possible. Nor would it be healthy, probably. It's probably just some twisted thinking I have to want everyone to not be in conflict and to have everyone get along and then when people are assholes, I'm like well shit, now I have to be mean.
The text never sent. I turned my phone back on and miraculously, the message was still in the outbox. But I flipped my shit over the thought of what if and it gave me somewhat of an ulcer, ok a really fucking huge ulcer for a really long time.
I don't know what to make of the break-up, but I'm glad it happened. I'm glad the relationship happened. I'm glad it's over and we can move forward into the people we are becoming and the souls we were created to become. Not to package the relationship into a neat little box, but it feels good to no longer be angry. It feels good to not think of him with resentment. I think of him with love and I send him a wish for peace.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I am not going to pretend I'm not in some sort of weird, entitled midlife crisis right now. Not gonna pretend I'm not a teensy bit depressed. Not gonna pretend I'm not off the chartsssss manic. I have no idea why it's hitting me smack in the head now, but it is. It is what it is. I've been saying that expression a lot lately. Sort of pitifully and resignedly. And I haven't been caring what people think. I haven't been caring at all. About anything. There is something wrong with that. There is something also very right with that. The not caring. Can you imagine just not caring what people think about you, at all? Not being afraid to show yourself to people, your true self, the bitchy side, the unpopular side, the "I'm-not-a-perfect-woman-so-suck-it!" side. I'm living there right now. I just don't really give a damn. And I wonder if I should. I wonder if I should care more. I mean I care about food and the people in my life. I mean, I'm not going to go postal or commit sue. There is no chance of that. Ever. I hate guns. And needles. And wouldn't touch drugs with a ten foot pole. And though I love planes, I dare say I'd never jump out of one. With a parachute or otherwise. I'm not going to do something crazy here. I'm just not feeling like giving a fuck anymore. You know? It doesn't have to be a bad thing, right? Someone I mentioned this new phase to said "oh yeah. You're rebelling. You've always had it in you." And then someone else said I'm an anarchist. I've felt the huge desire to sell everything. Literally. EVERYthing. And pack up my dog and like 10 influential books. And just go. Anywhere. Gary, Indiana even. Just have enough savings for a Greyhound ticket and head south or north or east or west. I don't even care where. Just not here. My soul is forever being crushed mailing out invoices people have to pay and feeling pressured to perform and carefully dancing around on eggshells. I'm disenchanted with money and prestige and superficial niceties. I am unhappy in my position and yet beyond thankful I have one. I am unhappy in this town and yet thankful to live here. I am unhappy in the house I live in and yet grateful to be able to be renting a room, even if it's from my own family. I am unhappy in my own skin and yet feel blessed to be in this body. Alive. Breathing. I'm so happy to be able to buy food, something that used to be difficult. I can take my paycheck and go buy all the food I need. I have been able to afford organic food free of guilt. That is definitely a first. I am not an Iranian woman fighting for her rights. I am not Hannah Graham, whose disappearance has rocked this community. I've been that drunk girl before! Trusting someone too quickly, becoming instantly attached, making snap judgments and acting foolishly with someone I deeply respect, eventually landing in heartache but a huge lesson learned. How many times has everyone in my life told me to guard my heart instead of parading it out on my sleeve? Hundreds? To be more guarded and less outlandish? To not be so transitional and all over the place? My heart may be wounded but I'll bounce back. At least there's that. Why must love and attachment feel like a continual, crushing blow? Why must it feel like this humid typhoon storming in, like when we were climbing the tangerine trees in Okinawa and the sky became gloomy and very heavy. I'm still breathing. I don't know what there is to complain about when listing all the positives. Tonight I deleted my LinkedIn because it just felt like pretentious bullshit. Enough of that! At least I can control what my name is attached to, for better or for worse. My LinkedIn page is total BS. It's all true, but, I mean, what even is LinkedIn? It feels self-glorifying and smarmy. Totally inauthentic. Parading your accomplishments around? It's not who I am and not who I ever want to be. It's not like I even have this laundry list of accomplishments. I don't care where you work, how big your house is, what fancy car you don't drive, what swanky college you didn't go to. I'll take a homeless man with an actual story, with wounds, with transparency, any day. I'm not a bullshitter. And that is something I CAN control. So I deleted it. And it felt so satisfying. I don't know where I'll end up but I hope wherever it is, there will be no sign of bullshit, and if there is, that I'll be able to keep walking until the path is clear.
Oh, and I ate a papaya yesterday. My first one ever. It was ok but sort of too cantaloupey for me. I know I'm being pathetic and that's ok right now.
Posted by Shannon McClure at 8:04 PM