Saturday, January 15, 2011

Revisiting "It's Complicated."

Ok, so as we all remember, a year ago I went to the theater to see the film "It's Complicated" with my sister.  We all remember how I sat next to my nephew writhing in agony while Nan was sitting next to me laughing her head off.

A year later, "It's Complicated" is playing on HBO.

A couple of nights ago, I turned on the television to find the film playing.  As it's been close to two years since the ex left and things are progressing well and I'm starting to feel more traction, grounding and presence in my experiences, I thought I'd take another shot at sitting through the film.

How did I do?  Didn't even make it through half of it.  Yeah, I'm just not there yet.  I can't bring myself to accept how someone can look past the lies of a cheating spouse yet.  I got through about 45 minutes of it and was so traumatized I had to change the channel.

I've reached the point where I'm perfectly fine by myself, I had no issues sitting in the chapel for my sister's wedding, and I'm just overall ok with where I am on the relationship mat.

Thinking about Nan's wedding, I realized when I wrote about it the other day that I hadn't fully processed it yet.  I was still digesting the moment and being thrilled that she's happy.

From my point of view in the pews, all I could think about was how happy I was for her.  She stood there glowing with this inner vibrancy that I think can only be found when you're truly happy and in love.  The thought that passed through my mind as she walked down the aisle arm in arm with my father was that she had a unique confidence in her walk.  To be honest, if I'd been wearing those four inch heels, I'd have landed on my face, but Nan floated on the air.  Her graceful, confident step said one thing to me, that she was, deep in her heart, where she wanted to be.  I watched her as she stood beautifully next to Carl and said her vows, how she looked so intent and serious about the words she was saying and there was no mistaking them, she meant them with all her heart.

Later the next day, I sat in the apartment and realized that having a lifelong companion would be a very good thing and nice to have.  For me though, it's more of a matter of timing.  Like sitting through the movie, I'm just not there yet because I'm trying to rationalize why lifelong relationships even happen in the first place.  I sat pondering the "want" and "need" aspects of why people get into relationships.

I think there is a vast difference between "want" and "need".  It's like being hungry.  You either want the food because it looks good and you want to taste it or you have the dire need to eat that comes along when you're starving.  I guess it's the difference between choice and desperation, or at least that's how I see it.

Do I need a man to survive?  No.  Not in the least.  I always said, "There is nothing in the world a man can give me that I can't give myself," and I think it's very true.  As a woman, I have every opportunity to take myself anywhere I want to go, buy myself whatever it is I want and find my happiness from within.  No one single person should be charged with making me happy because I naively think that it's my life and if I'm not happy with myself, how am I going to be happy with someone else?  It boils down to the fact that we're born into this world on our own and we die on our own and there's no one to hold our hand in those moments because those are things we have to do ourselves, so what's wrong with independence?

Carl Sagan once said (and you'll remember this from the film "Contact") that, "the only thing that makes the emptiness bearable is each other."  So, I agree with the fact that company is good to have along the way because what is an experience if you can't share it with someone else?  Of course you could have all kinds of experiences on your own, but come on, let's be honest, the best part is when you share your adventures with the important people in your life.

Family, for all of its joys, dysfunctions and so forth, are the folks who welcomed us into the world and who are eventually going to be the ones to send us on our way.  They're almost a given when it comes to the big scheme of things, almost to the point that you forget about it and take it for granted.  But, is it our animal drive to procreate and propagate the species or is it the unique moment of connect we have with another human being outside of our family that gives us the drive to want or need a companion?

To be honest, I have trouble with needy people.  I don't understand why people (bordering on pathological desperation) need to have someone with them all the time.  I don't understand why people feel that they need to be in a relationship, is it because they have a dire need to have the relationship become their identity?  Do they not see their self-worth without their partners?  Do they need the reassurance of commitment to make them feel better?  Are they so lonely that they're to the point of desperation that they have to cling on to another human being so that they'll have some sort of satisfaction with their lives, like they've fulfilled a purpose?  That's the kicker with the whole "need" part with me.  I don't need anything that badly.

This brings us to the want part.  Would I prefer to have someone around?  Naturally.  But for me, it's who I want to be around, not who I need to be around.  See the difference?  Need implies desperation.  Want implies choice.  It's choosing to spend time with someone because you want to be there, not because you're so desperate with need that you'll take anything with a pulse to get by.

My choice of who I'd want to be around is obvious.  From the start, it's been KP this and KP that.  Round and round we go, 2500 miles apart and you know what?  He and I are on very similar journeys.  We're at that point where we are finding out who we are, where we want to go and what we want in our lives.  Remember how I once said "everything finds its' own level"?  That's basically it.  I'm spending time with someone who is right at the same point I am, although I'm not juggling the lives of three children in the mix either.  I find it fascinating every day I get to spend a modicum of time around him and it's becoming more and more apparent that the distance is a unique facet of our little mutual admiration society.  We talked about the distance last night.  KP talked about how if we were in the same physical space, we'd get distracted from our goals, in which I think he's right because we'd, in all likelihood, get so wrapped up in each other that we'd forget everything else.  Talk about two people who want to be together...but it's so funny, we're so focused on the little changes we need to make in our own lives to be together that we've forgotten about the distance and we spend time just communicating to each other how our little pieces of the puzzle are coming along.

Ah, the puzzle analogy is, try this...ever put together a jigsaw puzzle?  What do you start with?  The edges.  You put the edges together, but you usually start from a corner to get everything started right?  That's exactly how it is here.  He's got his corner he's working on, I've got mine and somewhere it's going to meet up in the middle.  I know at least 100 people who would give body parts to see us meet already.  Ok, well, if you're dying that bad to get the two of us together, he or I will gladly take your donations to buy a single round-trip airline ticket for one person to get to the other.  Personally, sending me to Hawaii would be best because then I get to see the kids too.  But, as no one is willing to fork over $500 for a plane ticket, like me, you'll just have to be patient.  Yes, yes, I'm dying to write that blog entry too, if you think I'm not, you're kidding yourself.

Yeah...there's a vast difference between want and need.  I didn't need to watch "It's Complicated" again, but I tried.  Also there is a unique little piece that I have a sneaking suspicion my pal Tae wouldn't let me get away with...and that's the point that you don't always get what you want.  As in, "you can wish in one hand, crap in the other and see which one gets filled faster."  But I don't think it's unrealistic to work towards a goal to get to where you want to go.  We all do things every day to get what we want.  From wanting to go window shopping but having the restraint/common sense not to buy everything we put our hands on in impulsive need. So I guess I better differentiate.  There is a difference between gluttonous want and making a choice.

I guess it's like me changing the channel to watch something's a choice.

But back to reality.  I need to get my education and yes, it's desperation...I'm desperate to really make a difference and live my life on my terms.  I know I'm doing it already, but there's a finer degree I'd like to get to which of course will allow me to slap down that $500, get on a plane and finally put the edges of the puzzle together.  I don't need him, but I sure would like to spend time with him face to face.  Besides, to tell someone they're wanted is a higher compliment than to tell them that they're needed, at least to me.

That's not complicated, is it?

But talking about wanting and needing things...I'll stay realistic with the newest addition to the soundtrack, and with a wink to my dear guiding angel Soosi who always reminds me of the value of the '60's, The Rolling Stones..."You Can't Always Get What You Want."

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