Enlightenment? Or maybe just life?
I live way too much in my head. About a year and a quarter ago I blew up and broke off a relationship I really thought would last forever. Even though it was only about six weeks long. We had been on and off for the last three years. I was head over heels in love with her. I’m pretty sure she felt the same way too. But she had some pretty unrealistic expectations of love. Meanwhile, I really struggled with boundaries and trying to just say no. And instead of calmly bringing up the situation and trying to talk it out, I just blew up and told her I was done. Done with it all. I had no desire to fulfill her dreams or be her knight in shining armor. Even now, I question whether I did the right thing. And I suspect the fact that I don’t really know is more indicative of the truth than anything else.
So, it’s Christmastime and like pretty much everyone everywhere, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Which, of course, brings up thoughts of her and various “what ifs?” Is she all alone and thinking of past Christmases when we celebrated the holiday together? There really were some pretty magical days back then, as in all new love. It’s kinda like a world you didn’t even know existed has been revealed to you. How did I not know about all this? The world really isn’t just black and white is it? I’m not sure if it’s love, infatuation or just lust, but dammit everything just plain shines brighter in that state. I want to feel that again. Doesn’t everybody?
The thing is, it’s an altered state. In that particular case, it’s chemicals in the brain. Endorphins, dopamine, hormones, only the endocrinologists know what else. It’s not a “normal” state. Kids know it also, mostly because it’s a new experience for them. Again, caused by chemicals that alter the “normal” activities of the brain. Christmas will be like this for them until they’re almost adults but eventually it’ll just become a slightly special day without the magic. And yea, they’ll mostly be a little bit depressed about that too. It’s why man invented alcohol, to numb the disappointment of what used to be exciting.
So, what exactly do we do about all this? Well, we could hop on the internet and seek out a new lover. That seems to me (an admitted world class introvert) like going to the ER for a mosquito bite. The situation might be a little painful but does it really require professional intervention? I think not.
There’s always the option of sending a long wistful e-mail to the ex about how much you miss them and would like to explain your complete inability to acknowledge what an asshole you were to them. But we all know relationships (and the supernovas that come afterwards) are never one-sided affairs. If it didn’t work out before, it’s probably not going to work out in this new state of holiday loneliness. Let it go. Please!
There are also all manner of drugs, alcohol, or even casual sex options available. All bad ideas. Most of the time. You’re an adult, you get to choose between them. Pick your poison for this particular event. Just know that it’s only temporary.
The only honest actual cure is acceptance. Life is what it is. There will be high points. There will be low points. Accept them for what they are and don’t create an unrealistic attachment to any of these transient states. Extract the joy from the good (and even really great) times. Accept the disappointing and less than satisfactory times. Mostly, just know that all of them are transitory. Life continues, some times are good, some times are bad. None of it lasts forever. And that, may just be the most important lesson to learn: it all comes to an end. Much sooner than any of us expect.
Thank you for reading.