September 21, 2008

For a change

Alternative title to this blog: Meta-Blogging-Analysis

Perhaps you have noticed: I'm good at being fairly cryptic in this blog.

Sometimes I am deliberately vague. Sometimes I speak through song lyrics that others have written. Sometimes through a picture or poem or portion of a story. Sometimes through metaphor or dream.

I do this for two reasons. One is that I write about some pretty private and, at times, dark stuff. I know the majority of the people that read this blog, but STILL. This level of protection allows me to feel that I am laying myself completely bare while still having something to hide behind.

The second reason is that sometimes other people's actions cause me pain and confusion and anger, and I end up directly or indirectly processing them here. Other than the sharing of funny stories or partial conversations or tales of my mother, it isn't my intention to write about other people's business in here. This encryption is a way of protecting them, too, even if at the time I'm writing about them I want to kill them.

When I first began writing this blog in the late summer of 2006, it just seemed fun to have an outlet: somewhere to put odds and ends even if no one ever read them but me. In the beginning I tended to write about lighter things. But as my fourteen year relationship was unraveling and I was (what felt like) leaving nearly half of my life behind and starting over again at the age of 30, I began writing in here in earnest. I really cannot emphasize enough how much this has helped me over the last couple of years--to know that I have this outlet, to know that you are reading.

For a change, then, at this moment I'm just going to come out and say what I mean. I need to share this with someone, need to actually say the words, and I don't feel like hiding behind anything. I still have someone else's privacy to protect so I can't say absolutely everything, but I can come pretty close.

As many of you know, since C. and I broke up I've been involved in the murky world of dating. I've met some very nice people. I've made one very dear friend. I fell head over heels in love and was hurt deeply (and I still struggle with that). I had a couple of short but nice relationships. I had a couple of serious disappointments. In a nutshell, I guess my experiences are not so different than everyone else's--I just got started a little later.

Here are some things that I find myself coming back to over and over again throughout these experiences. Some are questions. Others are doubts and fears:

- How much can/should you know about someone or should they know about you?

In my ideal relationship, I'd like to be able to share everything. Not everyone agrees with this.

- How much honesty is too much?

Again, in my ideal relationship, I want to be able to say anything and know that it will not be judged or ridiculed or held against me, and I'd like to be able to offer the same to my partner.

- Is it possible to be known thoroughly and loved deeply at the same time? I wish I could say "Yes, absolutely," but so far my experiences have just not shown that to be true. I am still hopeful. I am still incredibly hopeful.

The last three people I was in a relationship with said they wanted to KNOW me. They wanted to know what I was thinking and feeling, no matter how crazy or weird or dark it seemed. They wanted to listen; they wanted me to feel like I could tell them anything. When I eventually started taking them up on it and trying to say anything, *poof* they vanished. I have become highly suspicious of anyone who says this and--for the right person--I don't want to be.

On Friday night I went out on a date. This has been happening a lot lately, but on this night I was nearly sick to my stomach with anxiety. I was so nervous. On the way to the wine bar where we were meeting, I played the most lovely and calming song I know over and over and over. A dear friend of mine sweetly texted me messages of love and encouragement, and I tried to keep it together.

Considering how unconventionally it started (i.e., spreading false rumors about T.S. Eliot--it's a long story), it was the best date. It was so easy. It was so much fun. We sat and talked for over four hours right there at that table and, other than the occasional punctuation of getting more drinks, I was barely aware of time passing. Of course I talked my brains out. But I tried to make myself shut up frequently, too. We laughed and laughed. I consider myself reasonably well-traveled, but he's traveled at least five times as much.

The more we talked and the more I gazed at him across the table, the more I thought, "I can't believe you're sitting right here in front of me. How is it possible that you even exist?"

Near the end of the night we were trading lists of places we wanted to go. I was naming mine in between his encouragement of, "Don't think! Just say them!" When I said, "Southeast Asia," he said, "Oh, God. Bali is beautiful. Let's go. Do you want to go?"

My eyes widened and I said, "What, NOW?"

With complete seriousness he said, "Yes, we would have an amazing time. We could be there in 13 hours."

My heart started to thump. The person who would say something like this to me has always been my fantasy. My brain started to search wildly for ways to make this work. I tried not to completely lose control.

We continued to talk about it; I felt just couldn't. If I hadn't just started this job. I said, "I'll plan a trip to Bali with you; I just can't go tonight." He smiled and we went on to continue our conversation.

At a couple of different points he mentioned how much fun he was having, and I was glad he'd said it and not me. I felt so dorky because I kept wanting to say, "I'm so happy!" I gave him a ride home and, when he invited me in, my God I wanted to go. I declined politely because I don't want to fuck this up. He kissed me gently and we said goodnight. As I pulled away, I rolled down all the car windows. I felt so alive and excited. I wanted the night-time air swirling around me.

Now I'm left wondering about "the rules." Who should say what and when? I had promised to send him a poem that we talked about. I haven't sent it yet but shouldn't he first say...? Or, he asked me out the first time and now is it my...? I hate worrying about this bullshit. I kind of just want to say, "I really want to see you again," but it feels so hard. I'm afraid.

So there it is--where I'm at now. I won't always be able to provide this level of candor.

ADDENDUM at 8:54 am:

I did it. I said it. No matter what happens, it cannot be said that it happened because I lost my nerve.

1 comment:

I'm just me... said...

You go girl! I'm glad you said it.

I think sometimes we should take a lesson from my little A and just say what we are thinking.

I also think it's often easier to live with the consequences of our words and actions than it is to live with wondering "what if".