Saturday, October 14, 2006

letting something go

This is not my writing. I must give credit to a friend of mine who blogs also. She wrote this the other day. I must agree with most of it. However, she is able to let the person go, I am not. In time, perhaps. But until then, I am coping the best way I know how.
Anyway, I thought this was interesting enough and with her permission, I am putting it here for my readers.

Sometimes when you really love something, you need to let it go. At least, that's the old saying. If something was truly meant to be a part of your life, it will work its way back to you one day.

How exactly can we learn to apply this logic to modern times? What with instant messaging, text messages, cell phones and Myspazz accounts, even when you let someone go, they're always going to be there, right around the corner, only a click away. Giving someone up means so much more when you've actually got to "delete" them from your world.

A reader of mine recently sent me an e-mail asking if I could write my opinions on how the things that we love the most can also hurt us the worst. He was thinking in terms of his affection for riding his motorcycle. After seeing multiple friends suffer injuries and seeing one especially close friend die, he had to reevaluate if he should still continue to do the one thing that had brought him so much joy over the years. Knowing that it could one day hurt him severely, he was debating on just walking away preemptively.

I didn't have many thoughts on the subject at the time that he wrote to me. See, I've never been very good at walking away from THINGS that are bad for me. Hell, I already admitted to how much I like to smoke and I'm well aware of the consequences for that habit. I also eat shitty foods and don't exercise as much as I should. I am not the beacon of clear headed-ness on the topic of giving up something bad for you.

Yet over this weekend, it became apparent that I was going to have to give up SOMEONE important to me. This just so happens to be a topic that I am acutely familiar with.

In life, people grow and change. Sometimes it's for the better and sometimes it's for the worse. Walking away from a friend in need has never been one of my strong suits. I've remained friends with people who had severe drug and alcohol problems, long after they'd burned even their family members with their destructive behaviors. I've stayed with lovers who cheated on me, who belittled me and who outright abused me based solely on the lingering memories of when times were better.

Yes, Jeff. I AM a glutton for punishment.

I've managed to make strong friendships and oddly kinetic (is that the right word?) relationships with people online. The drawback to such is that, without the closeness of being within arm's reach of a person, you can never solidify those feelings. You have to go on instinct.

For some people, instinct isn't enough. Never being able to follow through on thoughts and fantasies leaves a sour taste in their mouths. These are the people who are not dreamers. I am painfully, hopelessly a dreamer. I often worry if I prefer the fantasy to the reality. Strike that. I KNOW I do.

My feelings are not usually shared. While bonds can evolve, unless both parties are happy with the evolution, the relationship is tainted by the yearning of one of the people involved. They find other people in their tangible lives to fill the void. No amount of good conversation over an electronic box will ever compare to flesh and blood interaction.

I'm rambling. My point is that while you can become extremely close to someone in a very short amount of time while using our modern day techniques of communication, it is old school that will win the race every time. And whenever we get really close to someone, even if it is only through the matrix of ones and zeros, it hurts to lose them. It is never easy to walk away, regardless of the method for doing so.

I'm grateful for the absence of flesh and blood at those times, even if the flesh would have saved the relationship. Being that I've always been bad at walking away from something that's broken when it's been in my physical life.

Why do I stay so long in something that's painful for me? Because of that dreamer in me. The one that reminds me of the good times. The one that stretches those 5 good minutes in the day to cover the other 1435 that suck. OK, perhaps I'm being unfair. At least 300 of those minutes, I've been sleeping.

It boils down to me being a person who isn't afraid to work at something. I will work at a relationship until I've beaten it into the ground. When my shit is over, trust me, it's OVER. I try every avenue, although I've been told I walk some paths which are not conducive to the health of the battle. Point is, I try. I try until I'm blue in the face. I try until I break myself.

Only when I stop caring is when I stop trying.

So here I am, at a very strange place in my life. I made the decision to walk away from something without killing it first. I walked away while I still cared. Hoooo Daddy, does it ever hurt.

See, I discovered something. I discovered that there's one thing that I've never really tried. At least, not of my own design. I've never tried letting something go in hopes that it will return. I usually have a stranglehold on it, willing it into submission. In the past, I've tried to make things work by sheer force of my own will. I figured if I really wanted something bad enough, I could make it happen. Hell, I've done it with so many other things in my life. Perseverance is most definitely one of my strongest traits.

The thing is, you can't push people. You can't hold onto them so tightly that they can't breathe. They have to come to you when they're ready to. And in that time, you'll also figure out just how much you want them. When we strangle things, we don't always have enough space to see that.

Sometimes when you love someone or something, you really DO have to set it free. Even if it hurts. Even if it means facing the "nothing" side of "all or nothing." Enduring the loneliness and heartbreak of that side of the equation.

It's the only way to completely savor the beauty of when you finally do get to have your "all."

I'm willing to deal with the "nothing," to handle the hurt, to shoulder the pain in order to get that. I'm willing to wait for my "all."

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