Going solo

I’m not sure I really know what it means to be alone1. A dear friend of mine2 told me after the Irish boy broke my heart and moved back to Dublin that I should try being alone for once.  Well, it’s five years later and it looks like I’m finally ready to follow his advice.

My method of coping after a breakup was to lean on someone3, and in hindsight, it only ever ended up hurting the other person. I’m ok with the fact that this is the one breakup that has forced me to change my ways. I’ve accepted that he made that large of an impact in my life in such a short time. Yes, it is a little sad but it doesn’t have to be. I’m sure the bad guy I’ve painted him out to be in my head, isn’t as bad as he really is – though I really can’t think of another explanation for everything.

When I’m out, I find myself trying to catch the eye of a good looking someone only to find a girl right beside him. It’s as if the universe is constantly reminding me of this decision I made not to date. It doesn’t make me bitter, but it does scare me a little4. To hear acquaintances tell me, “I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding a date”, doesn’t make me feel any better because it isn’t about finding a date – it’s about finding someone you like who likes you back just as much. And even harder still, someone who you know you can trust with your life; with your heart.

It’s strange to have felt such a level of comfort with someone and yet know that nothing they ever told you was true; or at least to not be able to distinguish the difference because the truths he told were only ‘mostly true’. I’m not sure I can believe that his intentions were honourable either – or I wouldn’t have had to take the same bout of antibiotics three times in the last 6 months5. And for what? For some of the best poetry I’ve ever written? For some of the best inspiration I’ve ever experienced?

When I look at those things, I can say that maybe it was worth it – but this knowledge that I can be so comfortable with someone who could not have been seeing the real me6 is not something I can help but regret. And I’ve talked about regret before… it’s not something I like living with. So I’m trying to live without it by cutting him out of my life. He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t see the betrayal. He doesn’t get it. But it’s not my job to show him. It’s not my responsibility.

The comfort I felt was the kind of comfort I would’ve changed my beliefs for. But at the end of the day, I am not the one he wants. I think I need to be alone to be ok with that; to accept that sometimes you find what your soul thinks is its mate… but it’s so very wrong.

  1. romantically []
  2. who I actually haven’t spoken to in some years []
  3. romantically []
  4. the ever irrational fear that I will never find someone []
  5. Oh and of course he claims he was cheated on – what convenient excuse []
  6. if he found it so hard to trust me with the truth, he couldn’t possibly have seen me []

The story of the heart

“Sometimes a man finds his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” — Clive Owen playing Louis Salinger in The International.

While I realise the following may only be an example of the above on a smaller scale than Eric Singer1 intended when he wrote this line, but I hope you forgive me for the use of it anyway. I was looking forward to something like The Body Worlds exhibit because it was scientific, and educational; despite being an exhibit that promised a focus on the heart2 I honestly thought I would be able to avoid the emotions that have been swirling around my entire body for the last few weeks or so. I’m sure you can guess by the way I’ve introduced this… but I was wrong in thinking so.

I expected to be more interested in the muscles in our bodies, the bones and whatever else but I ended up being fascinated by the nervous system3 and shamelessly, I will admit that it has a little something to do with Grey’s Anatomy. McDreamy and Meredith’s passion for neurology and their desire to find ways to fix problems we can’t possibly fathom even beginning to try to fix in ourselves4… made me curious about these tiny little tubes the run through our entire body and breathe life into us. I was enchanted, mesmerized and extremely emotional and I can’t help but wonder if I would have felt the same had I seen the same exhibit two months ago. Two months ago, my poem writing count was 20 poems smaller than it is now. Two months ago, I could barely write in my diary. Two months ago, I wouldn’t have known how great it feels to just sit and feel your skin on edge from emotion.

I was a little creeped out at some points; there were moments where I tried to imagine who the person was. This person kneeling in front of me… skinless, cut up and frozen in time. Who were they, and what happened to them that led them to this display case? But I had to put that out of my head and just be thankful I could learn what I was learning. I decided instead to focus on how good it feels to not be numb. It feels good to know that I can talk about what I want to talk about and know that I won’t be judged. The exhibit reminded me how important it is to feel; not just our emotions but to feel your entire body and all the little things going on inside5.

There was a letter from a heart donor recipient to their donor6 and the last line in the letter read, “Everyone wants to look back at their lives and  realise that they left a trace. I am your trace. Thank you!” and my eyes involuntarily filled with tears. It was a really heartfelt letter to begin with, but to end it with those words really touched me. Though it wasn’t all as pleasant as these parts I’ve already described. There was a special section on fetuses and it made me a little sick to my stomach7, for not only did my Mum ask me for a grandchild the day8 before but here I was staring at an 8 week old fetus the size of a grape and it had a mouth, eyes, a nose and all the other things that make us look human. It was fascinating and terrifying, and I hope I never have to see it again.

And now for my favourite part: They had these configurations of arteries to simulate what various body parts would look like if all you were left with were the arteries. They looked like beautiful, soft pillows… with blood vessels so tiny, they can only be described as delicate. I honestly wanted one… probably the heart as a piece of art to display. I think it’d suit, right? Fragileheart? hehe Anyway, I think I’ve probably creeped out quite a number of you already with this post so I’ll stop.

Just tell me this, What did you think of the Body Worlds: The Story of the Heart exhibit?

  1. he wrote the screenplay for ‘The International’ as per IMDb []
  2. as an organ in our body, not the vessel that carries our very being []
  3. our arteries mainly []
  4. how’s that for a mouthful? []
  5. and obviously, the big things too []
  6. I guess that means it was an open letter since the donor would not have been alive to read it []
  7. not much gets this reaction from me []
  8. wondering how many of you will actually catch this little insert []

Everything breaks

I’m borrowing this line from Jewel’s song, of which I posted the lyrics to a few years ago, to help me talk about something I’ve been dealing with for the last little while. All though, ‘dealing with’ is a phrase that I use loosely. I am not going through this thing at all… a friend is. He lost the love of his life and is taking it pretty hard. And sadly, it’s a pretty common theme no matter what stage of life you’re in.

I don’t make it a habit to be in contact with people who could possibly bring me down, because I’ve always been pretty dark myself1. But he is different. He’s a very kind soul, and I really feel for him. I feel bad that he’s been treated the way that he has and I wish there were some way to make him realise that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel that he’s in right now. But having had my heart broken a bunch of times before, I know better than to think that anything I say right now will make it all better.

Nothing but time will help him… but I’m worried that his will and want for things to go south will overcome any good that can come out of this situation. Am I being an eternal optimist by thinking that there is some good that come out of this? Maybe. But I’d rather be the eternal optimist than help him think this is the end for him and that the world would be better without him in it. I just don’t believe that.

Something else that came up as a debate within myself is whether its better to be the kind of person who lives and breathes for another person or to be the kind of person who can bounce back from anything because all they really need is themselves to be happy.

I finished reading The Notebook recently and it made me tear up everytime there was mention of this man devoting his life to this other person who wasn’t always there anymore. Just for the possibility that she’ll come back to him, even if only briefly. I’m sure everyone wants that: to be the person that someone devotes their life to making someone else happy. I think most people want to be that kind of person because its romantic… but its self-destructive at the same time.

When you live and breathe for someone else’s happiness, your happiness and well-being tends to get neglected for if some reason or another the person that you choose doesn’t choose you – you’re done for. But let’s take the other extreme, and think about being the kind of person who can bounce back from rejection and continue life as if it was just as grand as the day before. Sure, you experience less heartache but when think back on your relationships will you really have the kind of memories that make you tear up a little bit remembering the elation you felt during your happiest times?

I know its possible to be both, because I like to believe that it is how I am. I tend to love whole-heartedly and allow my heart to get shattered into a million pieces. So far I have had no regrets in who I’ve loved2 and I have no intention of holding back anytime soon.

What do you think: Is it better to love whole-heartedly and risk having your heart broken in a million pieces OR is it better to hold back so you can continue living your life if the relationship were to end?

  1. I know you’re surprised, but trust me on this one []
  2. only regrets about who’s hearts I’ve broken []