Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to Square One.

Here we are again, back at square one. I like to think of it like Liz Gilbert does, taking a moment to reflect and accept the endless waves of transformation.

There's been a gear-shift here. Last year around this time I was pondering dating and now I can thankfully say that the death wail after plummeting from the precipice has come and gone. Not to sound cold or completely detached from emotion, but it is with a great sigh of relief that I can say that the incessantly drama-filled dating ship I was on has gratefully sailed. I'm changing tack one more time to re-embrace solitude and its wonderful serenity.

I'm sitting here with a beautifully cool spring breeze wafting through my open patio door and bedroom windows. There's not a sound in the world except for my fingers hitting the keyboard and the sound of the breeze rustling through the trees. Nothing in the world is so very perfect and it only took me a year to figure out what I already knew, that I appreciate being alone. No incessant dinging of my phone with what always seemed like the billionth drama-laden text message of novel-like proportion for the day. No conflicts. No going through the billionth argument over, according to them, how horrible, neglectful and selfish I am. Just the ability to sit back and absorb some peace. Sitting here in it is like a breath of fresh air and oh have I missed it.

I never realized how incredibly stressful and taxing my relationship was until I sat here today and willfully acknowledged that I'm alone again. I took stock and the "it takes two to tango" thing, and I will tell you without a shadow of doubt that the problems in my relationship were 80-20, and I'm definitely not the 80. To just be able to sit here without demands on my time beyond what I'm already putting in with work and school was absolutely amazing. I never realized how ragged I ran myself just for the sake of a "relationship" and how much I really do love being alone. Thankfully I'll be spending the next few weeks getting back to normal and I have not a doubt in my mind that it will be some of the greatest days I've had in a while.

Last year we covered loneliness and solitude in Doc Cat's Personal Growth class. Remember? Well, a year has gone by, another relationship has come and gone, and here I am again on my own.

I know some people who can't stand the thought of being alone, like it is a signal that there is something wrong. Instead of looking at solitude like it is the world's worst thing, I tend to embrace it. After all, a lifetime of neglect will teach you how to be self-sufficient, how to entertain yourself, and most of all, it doesn't bother you when you are alone.

I was once told that the generations previous to Gen-X had a more family-centric nature. I get it, my youth was filled with very family-centric ideals. But the 80's with it's changing times and absentee parenting depended less on the family unit structure, replacing it with the ability to be okay with being alone.

The tail-end of the generation directly previous to mine and their very relationship-oriented natures has always mystified me. I've pretty much always viewed them as attention-whorish narcotic-seeking pathological co-dependents. It still eludes me how very much they are not okay with being alone. It is almost like they don't have a single independent bone in their bodies to the point that they are mired in an addict's pathological need to be with someone else. To the point of desperation, they've got to be in a relationship right NOW or they short circuit like hot coffee thrown over a motherboard, sparks flying. When I look at them I can hear a line from the movie that symbolizes Gen-X, Singles, where they say "Desperation. It's the world's worst cologne."

Admit it, when you see someone desperate for a relationship, it doesn't make them overly attractive. They reek of desperation (and I don't know who in their right mind wouldn't run away at Mach 2 with their hair on fire from something that smells that bad).

Some of the individuals from that generational sub-set, like my ex, can't breathe right unless they are in a relationship which makes me shake my head and wonder why on Earth they would want to pollute their lives with someone else, much less someone else who is irreparably broken. To me, that kind of thinking is unfathomable because I'm broken enough on my own, thanks, why would I need someone else around in order to enjoy my life? The truth is, I don't.

I don't deliberately go out there to inflict myself of someone else.  Hi, that's why I'm not in a relationship anymore.  But that generational sub-set DOES and watching something like that go on just locks up my mind.  It makes me want to scream out, "What is so wrong with being alone and enjoying your own company?" or "If you can't stand your own company, who the hell else is going to volunteer for that 24/7/365 job?" Literally, my mind locks up that those people don't have an ounce of independence or will to be their own person. In some cases I've actually looked on as these pathologically needy people actually use their relationship to define themselves, like they have no identity unless they are encased in the "us" of  the "you, me, and us" paradigm.  Why oh why do people do that?  Do they not see their own innate nutritional value?  Things like that just make me want to cry.  Different is GOOD.  Individuality is GOOD.  Independence is GOOD.  Honestly, who is going to love you unless you love yourself enough to be aware that it is not good to be an anchor-like appendage that drags the other person down to their untimely demise. Sacrificing your identity is not a part of being in a relationship. On the contrary, it is your independence and individuality that makes you attractive in the first place! Wake up people! It's your own good innate nutritional value is what makes you special and gives the whole blasted thing the staying power you desperately long for! The fact that someone can help you cope with your drama and problems is not what you build a relationship out of; you build it out of trust.  How can you trust someone that is constantly just one drama-fest after another?  You can't!

Now I will say, one relationship down after my marriage went up in flames, that I truthfully understand why people have relationships, significant others and the rest. I do get it, and I do see its meaning and purpose; but it left me with the overwhelming question:

Why do some people need relationships more than others?

I personally don't need a relationship to be happy, I'm good on my own. The less noise the better. I can't help thinking that the fact that I am perfectly fine alone makes me more ready in the long run for a decent relationship because I don't have the co-dependency habits of someone who jumps from relationship to relationship because they fear being alone. I've got enough stress, to actually waste my time by being afraid to be alone is at the very bottom of my priority list, if it is there at all. I've got bigger fish to fry than to worry about being in a relationship or not. Just thinking of putting "being in a relationship" on the top of my priority list makes me laugh almost uncontrollably and I guess that's my 20 percent of fault in my last relationship (and what I was blamed for). Oh I'm so terrible because I'm not a girl who rings the phone off the hook (most men would cry "Jackpot" at finding a girl like that). Sorry kids, but co-dependent I am not. Yikes. The thought of co-dependency makes me shudder.

To my utter disgust and disbelief, I have watched some people go through relationships like they change their underwear. Seriously, I have and it has absolutely revolted me with how they just chew through partner after partner after partner and then have the audacity to blame the other person because their love life has turned itself into one big revolving door!

Come on, I know perfectly well you know someone like that! I can't be living in a vacuum where I'm the only one seeing this. Admit it, you have in your list of friends a "revolving door." It's okay, we're in this together, it's okay to sit there with your jaw hanging open, it really is. Think about it: When the actual number of someone's relationships in the past ten years goes through more than the fingers contained on both hands and starts goin' for the toes, you have wonder whether or not things are really kosher with them. It's the irresistible urge to hand them a wrench and go, "Enough already! Could you fix that please? Enough with around and around and around!" Someone quick! Two tablets of Dramamine, stat!

Oy veh. *facepalm* Makes me shudder every time.

I understand why people date. I do. I get it. Even though I've only been around one person, I have enjoyed the dating process with its ice cream and flowers, after all who wouldn't enjoy being outside after two years of solitary existence? For most other folks it's called "dating" because usually it's not a full-blown long-term relationship. That is where when you meet new people and maybe go to dinner or a movie and the number of different people you meet goes past the number of fingers on both hands it is, for all intents and purposes, acceptable. Dating is the interview process before you get into a relationship. I'm okay with "interviewing", and for most other people they interview more than quite a few, and it is, for better or for worse, normal. It's the process. I'm with that even though it only took once for me to understand the process and march my happy butt right back into my apartment again and knowing why I don't want to do it again. If you feel the need and want to date, for heaven's sake it's your life, go for the toes if you feel like you need to, but not when it's one relationship after another, another and another. Wait ... I've gotta stop ... oh quick, someone grab the Dramamine for me, I might be sick again.

But when it gets to the point where the person that you're in the relationship with goes through a list of names of ten or more women, you realize that ok, the girls he dated previously weren't the problem and you sit back and patiently wait for your exit cue. When it goes past ten women and he constantly refers to them by name, it's a really BIG red flag. It almost got to the point where I had to ask for a scorecard so I could keep the players straight, and sorry kiddies, I don't work that way. Excuse me for being crass, but just thinking about that is enough to give you the willies to the point that you get down on your knees, atheist or not, and thank the gods for condoms and the good sense to just abstain altogether.

Yeah ... and you wonder why I'm waving happily as the dating ship has sailed and I'm gratefully enjoying the silence. Don't get me wrong, I've had some fun over the last six months, but it is NOT something I would willingly do again. You know, there are some really big birds out in the wild and when they take a dump it's not just some little turd on your shoe, you're covered head to toe. Excuse me while I take a hose to myself and the pothole I just went through.  Ewwwwww.

I have enough on my plate just on my own that to intentionally choose to complicate my life further is an exercise in futility. I'm broken enough on my own (we can thank the kids I grew up with for that), and personally, I'm not in the mood to go for the toes for the sake of having a companion. Solo, uno, un, ein ... so if you'll excuse me, life calls and I need no one but myself for the sublime moments of happiness to come. If I need to share, I'll just write it right here.

For the song of the day, I'm going to keep the chill flowing...but please unless it's a pedicure, don't go for the toes... from 1984, The The's "This is the Day."

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