Monday, January 20, 2014

Learn to Be Lonely

I continue to write raw for the same reason I’ve started writing, to remember the story the way I see it, in real time, aware that the present view, the past view and the future view of life don’t line up for any of us. But if you write it like I’m about to write… well sometimes you have to figure whether future hope, present out look or past coloring is more honest…

It’s Martin Luther King Day. It tells you something that he’s been quoted multiple times in this blog. This is a man who was a serious leader who has a statue in our nation’s capital and who had serious loyalty flaws at least in regards to his romantic relationships. All I’ve got in common with him is the last part. In the previous blog (which started a debate on pot use on my facebook wall and in private messages; look if you need a defense of pot this is a good year for you the two states where not just medicinal but recreational marijuana use is legal both made the Superbowl so those of you who think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread go use that as an argument just don’t do it with me because it’s illegal in my state). Anyway, in the previous blog there was an anonymous comment posted about my hopeless romantic approach (anonymity is necessary sometimes but it generally annoys me). It appeared to also be about how I blame my wife and or the George Clooney girls for relationships failing. Let me be clear: I do not. I also do not take full responsibility since that’s rarely true in failed relationships (hell even in the video livestrong has me in, I talk mostly about how it’s my fault!. And two blogs ago I said I was more than likely the cause not the effect.)

If you’re dense enough to wonder why I’m writing so much about this in the last 3 entries, it’s because there’s a girl messing with my head and heart right now. Like any girl whose messed with anyone’s head, you can’t help but think they are amazing, out of your league, and be cheering for them and yet still have zero surprise when they do something impressive. But if you’ve read this long enough, you’re aware I mainly start thinking about relationships when the medical appointments have gotten further apart and then I push them away after the medical appointments come around. One of the witty girls from my running group says that I should use running as a pick up line (hey I can break a five minute mile so I’m good for a quickie and I run marathons so I can last a while) and while I never have and never will use that line it’s pretty funny. I do wonder if my actual pick up line should be let’s have some adventures till my medical appointments start again. If the appointments keep getting further apart maybe these relationships can grow from timed miles to 5k to 10k’s etc ;).

But with all that said, this weekend, I erased my hopeless romantic playlist which was both the longest playlist ever and the one I’d worked on the longest (if you call working on something adding songs that speak to your heart about what someone who you would love to be loved by would be like). I am not sure that you should be feeding a stray animal (my heart is the reference point there) if you aren’t sure you’re willing to keep it. But also, you should fall in love with someone, not with the idea of them (one of my favorite “relationship” plays is not a happy one but it is brilliant enough to where you should read it Different people have different wiring for different capacities. We accept those limits physically because they are more evident and obvious. I was out cheering for my friends at the 3m half marathon in great weather and tons of them got PR’s (their personal best) but I was there early enough to watch  the winner who came in at 5:05 pace for 13.1 miles, the world record for the marathon is at a 4:42 per mile pace. I can’t even run those paces going my hardest for a couple of miles. But I still try for my personal best times. And there were friends there who were proud of PR times that other friends who came in ahead of them could jog in. Neither the world record not the variance of best times cancels people pushing for their best. But we all have a range and trying to balance both accepting the limits of that and pushing them is what makes the best people at all ranges, better. (On a complete non sequiter course sometimes we should do like I did yesterday and be a good sport about things we’re passionate about, I ran in a skirt in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society which my daughter’s class was the lead fundraiser for her school).

No one will argue with the previous paragraph that most of humanity no matter how hard they tried could not break certain running times. But I see relationships similarly. Some of us weren’t wired for friendship. There are people who I know who are incredibly kind and interesting, amazing but um we aren’t ever hang out that much because like in the world of chemistry, some of us don’t have any capacity for bonding our elements even if both are necessary for a healthier world (just for the record in 33 years of life I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t interesting and fascinating but listening and interacting with great people at parties and family elements you realize they are different enough to where figuring each other out can be great and impresive but its not the same as bonding). Some elements also have a variety of ways they can bond and some only have one (let’s not discuss the scenario that some elements appear to bond only to explode). Speaking of the girls I’ve been attracted to, while there are zero who I hate and any I’ve ever loved, I will love till my dying day (or to quote MLK I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.) They are all people who when something goes well in their life I’ll be cheering loudly if I’m nearby or if nothing else from my heart if I’m further away. There are some of those who the range could have been friendship to a serious commitment. I’ve mostly stayed at the lower end of any risk from previous heartbreak because to quote MLK again There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. The ones who I loved most intensely I wonder if all we are even capable of being friends, the typical break up line of “let’s just be friends.” I am sure plenty of people will disagree with me when I say this but there are times saying that is as shallow as if I said “let’s just make out.” There are people who were attractive enough to where I’d be happy to make a bet on who would kiss the other first or people who I’d be happy to be friends with but the ones who scare are the ones who even when you’re talking about something deep, funny, insignificant you’re flirting across the table and realizing you want to both be their friends and make out with them that moment, people who you want to rip your heart open with and rip their clothes off. If they are any relationships I’m jealous of (and I can honestly only think of a few), it’s the ones who are clearly still having great conversations, are flirtatious and intense long after the initial chemistry.  So while there are relationships I regret and were “mistakes of my life” but I’m also a fan of the idea that I’d rather regret things I have done than things I haven’t.
I’m a little late to the ball game this year but I finally got the final two big New Year’s resolutions added to the list (by the way I don’t get people who knock New Year’s resolution, to me that’s the equivalent of knocking going to college because people drop out or knocking relationships because people break up). Maybe I’ll share the other resolution in due time but one is a dream to go to the Grand Canyon .Now it’s literally in a newspaper that that’s where I’m going to if treatment is not effective and I’ll have a few seizures on the way in/or out and die when I did (if you want more detail as to why read  While I hope that doesn’t come in 2014 and if it does it does, what I mean is that I want to go sometime this year for fun. I haven’t figured out any details or if I’ll take Kiana or friends or finally be brave enough to get a girlfriend and take her or whether I’ll go by myself but it’s a place I’m afraid of because it’s where I’ve talked about going when the fears are no longer beatable and therefore a place associated with fear. That may never be fully overcome but things have been stable for a while so I’m going to go sometime and make it a place that at least in our initial meeting is only a place of joy and wonder and amazement.
But I’ve also started a playlist which is somewhat the opposite of the hopeless romantic. Keeping in my style of listening to cheesy musical playlist it may well be the last playlist I listen to when the final trip to the Grand Canyon comes. (If anyone can guess the title of the playlist, I’ll buy you breakfast)
The first song is from Les Miserable:
Drink with me
To days gone by
Sing with me
The songs we knew
Here's to pretty girls
Who went to our heads
Here's to witty girls
Who went to our beds
The other is my latest download, an addition that they put in the movie of the Phantom of the Opera, another guy who struggled less than adequately with the scars on his face and his damaged emotions and perhaps a better perspective than my current one in regards to dating
So laugh in your loneliness
Child of the wilderness
Learn to be lonely
Learn how to love life that is lived alone
And there are those who will hear the pain, and the loneliness of this blog. Those moments absolutely exist and I’ve never pretended otherwise. They were somewhat painful this weekend when Kiana’s mother was here at my house for Kiana’s birthday. The combination of the girl in my head and the one who I thought I’d die next to may well be where all of this flowing out of. Even my mom picked up on that… but it was a good birthday party and while it was only a slice of time, it was the first time in years that Kiana got us both (and the cousin that lived with us) in the same picture for which I’m proud of all 3 of us because it’s progress. (I’d joked before about the difference between in laws and outlaws is that outlaws are wanted but still followed a sign in DC that says be kind to strangers, invited your inlaws over).

And when I say alone, I don’t mean by myself because I am blessed with great friends and family. I just mean, maybe like erasing that playlist, it’s time to delete some ideas of people. But even as I am trying to figure out this trip to the Grand Canyon and learning how to be lonely, I promise I will still laugh in my loneliness and still love life even if its lived alone.

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