Sunday, September 07, 2008

Forget Mind Candy....This One's Mind Jerky!

Here's the blog post that I promised someone a few weeks ago. Not that it's taken me that long to write it, so much as that long for me to distill the central question to write about. You see, we had a conversation, and he made a statement that confused me, but I couldn't quite express why. There were a few offshoots, but I couldn't get past them to get to the root of it. SO I promised a blog entry.

I thought. I considered. I pondered, recollected, analyzed, and even ruminated... no dice. My brain just didn't want to go there - it kept following the line of thought forward, but not backward to its origin.

Then, Sen. John McCain pulled one of the biggest political gambles in decades.... Gov. Sarah Palin. Really? This is either a glimpse of political genius that we have missed out on because of the controversy on the other side of the ticket.... or one of the stupidest things a candidate could do right now. After hashing this one out with people on both sides and even a few undecideds, I think we'll have to let the historians tell our children that one in books yet to be written.

Having something else to let my mind nosh on for a while shoved our conversation to the back burner, where, as all good unwatched pots do, it boiled over this afternoon I went for a walk around a very flooded lake.

He said that he likes the "me" that he sees right now. Hmmm. Interesting. He's not the only one to say that. In fact, from the ex who moved away to the one I want and everyone in between, most people seem to like this "me" even more. When he said that, the first thought was "what's different?" I've pulled away from people in the last year, become more the staid and stalwart gal who sustained herself as an only child, as half of a relationship that made her feel unwanted, and as the one constantly left behind. I'm reverting to the person who does what she wants because no one really cares what she does. Don't get me wrong, I tried caring for people. I even let a few in after years of complaints that I was too walled off. They are all more comfortable, or so it appears, with that one way relationship from me.

I've started doing more things, but my heart isn't always in it. I don't go out just to avoid being alone any more. Now I sit at home and acknowledge that this is my life. I can choose to throw myself into other people's worlds and have that give-and-take, but with that comes their drama and their pain and the inevitable dragging-down that comes with being a part of their drama instead of an adviser. Those are the people I've stepped back from.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not shutting myself off entirely. Or that's not my intent. But the people whom I want to have as an integral part of my life, have decided they need to pull back from me. It hurts to think that for some I've been that drama they need to avoid, although I can acknowledge that being around me hasn't been as drama-free as I like in the last year and a half. I've done plenty of falling apart and putting myself back together. At times I've had help, and it's help that I actually, and uncharacteristically, welcomed. Lately, though, it's all me because, like Humpty Dumpty, no one wants to be there to put the pieces back together. I'm trying not to speculate about the why.... I get myself into trouble that way, trying to understand other people's actions without asking. Yet when I ask, I get radio silence for days/weeks at a time.

Then, today, as I was walking around the lake, it hit me. The essential question to me, I think, is how so many people can like something that I know is incomplete. Not necessarily "flawed" (any moreso than any other human) or "broken" (which one could argue I've been in the past). Simply missing what I consider to be an essential part for long term happiness. Companionship.
When I had it, I was less likeable, possibly because I knew I didn't quite "have" it yet, but that it was on loan, if that makes any sense. Which poses its own set of problems... another of the forward-thought processes that my brain kept following.

I am missing a significant person in my life. I've had boyfriends, I've had best friends, but all along they've not filled the gap entirely. Now I am free to pursue whatever I want, and am actually encouraged by many people to do so. Problem is, I don't want it. As you scratch your head in wonderment, allow me to explain.

I want companionship (for lack of a word bearing all sorts of inner and hidden and double/triple meanings). I had it. It was wonderful. I made mistakes that let it slip away. It's partially back, and it will take time to see if it ever comes back. Meanwhile, I'm technically free to pursue other offers. I've been told I should do the thing, some eharmony... But I don't want to. I know what I'm missing and I know what piece of the puzzle seems to fit there. Any other pursuit at this point would
  1. waste the guy's time,
  2. therefore proving disrespectful, and
  3. would only be undertaken as an attempt to make someone else feel jealous, which would be a game, and I don't play games.

I know he wants me to see what else is out there. I can't do it. Which may explain also why my male friends like the me they see - I'm a challenge again, a puzzle to figure out. Not sure why my female friends are newly enamored... except that they don't have to give, they can just take now.

So there's the glimpse into my mind, as promised. Now it's time to go feed this kitten who's nudging me as I type!


Farrago said...

So it's apparent that the loner you behaves differently than the paired-off you. Can you define the behavior that offsets? Maybe the loner you is more alert, more talkative, more engaging than the relatively more comfortable, more relaxed, paired-off you?

kenju said...

You are showing some good insight here, Claire. I think Farrago may be right (in his last sentence). Being somewhat of a challenge, incomplete - as you say - is infinitely more interesting to people than someone who doesn't need anything else from others.

Claire said...

Aye, but there's the rub. I actually feel more closed off, less talkative, less engaging as the loner me. I'd hesitate to use the term "paired-off" me, though. I spent 9 1/2 years in a relationship where most of what I did socially, i did alone because our schedules didn't mathc... yet that's where most of the people to whom I refer got to know me. Alone, yet not. Together, yet not. Then I do the definitely together thing, and people cringe. Back to the loner me, but one that's far and away more cautious because I don't have the boyfriend as backup. I can't deflect advances with an "I'm seeing someone" (overt or subtle) or leave a party early to catch my bf, because people know I don't have one! I'm aware of that and therefore know that one difference now is that I'm quieter and more cautious.

I can't help but wonder if the friends who didn't want me now consider me a puzzle completed... who knows.