How great is your love if it’s not unconditional? There is no such thing. At least, no such thing as romantic love that’s unconditional. There are always limits, always requirements. That’s why people fall out of love- because you love the way someone is and allow for only so much change. You’ll only love them if they stay as close as they can to the way they were when you first fell in love with them. Well, fundamentally at least. If you can still see the person that they were, you can still love them. But if they choose change how can you love them the same way?
You love the way he speaks, with a lilt in his voice. He’s got favourite authors that he likes to recite and embed into your conversations. He’s got a temper but you’ve fallen in love with the petty arguments because you have memorized the way his forehead crinkles and you’ve fallen in love with the security of his hands clasped around yours, accompanied by a mumbled apology. You admire his drive and you’ve fallen for his big heart, the way he can’t help but analyze problems that aren’t his and solve the Rubik’s cube in minutes. He’s captured you and you’ve found a way to tolerate his less lovable habits, like how he whistles when he sleeps. And then things change and he’s not that same person anymore. It’s not a simple matter of oh, he’s busy and can no longer share with me his thoughts. It’s like he’s adopted some alien thoughts, changed the way he sees the world. He makes all these unbearably cynical remarks now and has made a habit of complaining. He didn’t use to be like this. He’s lost an energy about him and he no longer likes to go out because “our home is more important”. There’s no problem with that, he’s right in his own way, but it’s just not what you want. Little things change and accumulate and he shifts into something else. Someone else. You care for him deeply but you no longer love him with the same passion you did. He’s no longer what you want.
Or maybe he stays more or less the same and you are the one who changes. You believe in some new-found concepts, experience some big event that forces you to mature. You’re bound to circumstance. Your love is conditioned to specifics. I mean, that’s how you fall in love in the first place, right? We don’t fall in love with just anyone.
Just a thought.
They creep up on you. You don’t know you care until you do. You’re indifferent, composed, convinced that life will go on as usual. It eventually does, in any case. You’ve held up and things are different this time because you’re not feeling too much. You’re learning not to.
Your memories scatter like ash in the wind and you think great, it’s the end and I’m fine. But you’ll find a coating of dust in unseen places, in forgotten corners when you’re looking for something else. You’ll be caught mid-thought, mid-step, when you sneeze. You’ll be in the rut of your routine, absent-minded, with the sleeve of your cardigan hanging loosely off your shoulder and a pen behind your ear when they wash over you. They’re not gone- they’ll wait patiently behind your eyelids. Even when you’ve got exams to study for, groceries to by, meals to cook and shows to watch, they’ll find a way to get to you. It’ll be like opening a suitcase that’s been kept under your bed, or reading a diary from when you were eight. There will be that same air of curiosity and excitement as you explore again what hasn’t been fully forgotten. For a moment you care. Or at least, for a moment you’re conscious that you do. Because really, your body remembers and your soul remembers how you once felt so you can always feel it again, if only for a moment. Is the soul the place where feelings are kept and tagged to be revisited? Is it an ancient that absorbs experience, every so often whispering and tousling secrets towards the surface? It grows and it learns. And you must learn that even though there is a price to feeling too much, there is a price to not feeling. The sly ones will show you what can’t be subdued.
The more I over-think it, the more I wish that I had never met you. I wish I glanced away and that you didn’t say hello. I wish I didn’t wish you’d message me. I wish you didn’t ask to see me. And I wish we never saw the monkeys and blew bubbles at the park, or that we sat and talked and did nothing but rip coffee sleeves into bits and sprinkle them all over each other’s clothes. I wish you talked about big ideas, big plans and things that make you think. You can tell a good story, I give you that, and it’s true, you can do a convincing accent, but I wish there was more to you than that- I wanted you to make me think. I wish I felt warm when you held my hand and shielded me from the cold with your arm slung around me. At first I felt nothing. I was there and not there at the same time and I knew it wasn’t right. And then you (or was it the idea of you? I still don’t know) became comforting and I became selfish. I should’ve ended it then. Should’ve but didn’t.
Since I still want more and it’s an impossible situation, I just wish you weren’t so persistent. I wish you didn’t think I was worth trying for. Because I’m too nice to nice people (I can’t help it) and I’m not good at saying “no”, and I hate disappointments but hate being one more. In a warped way, I would have more control if you didn’t spare me a moment. I’m used to running after things that won’t stay. If you didn’t want me, I’d be free, because there’s only one way I know how to act when you’ve given me trust (no matter how undeserved).
You make me smile but I’m not happy enough. I make you smile and that’s enough for now.
At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.
i’ve explored your cryptic mannerisms
and i’m left with broken symbols
that don’t mean a thing.
i’ve tossed and entertained
a few ideas a night
but by morning they’re
obsolete and you’re still a
i can’t bend your lines
anymore than i can
square a circle,
i can’t think in cogs
anymore than i can
adjust your shadow.
i’ll never ask you how you’re
meant to be read
because i’m scared it’s not
the same in my head.
When you are with people you have to be present with them mentally. You have to make sure that they are entertained and enjoying your company. It’s an unspoken thing and probably a subconscious thing. You know you owe them your attention, you have to be engaged, for what would the difference be if you were to be alone? Or talking to a wall?
How will I be able to live with someone? How will I survive without completely and utterly pushing that person away? I need my space and time to escape. Hours, days even. Just so I can relax and not feel obliged to joke or listen or answer a question. People can be so exhausting sometimes. I love them, need them, but can’t stand being around them all the time. Is that so wrong?
What is it that makes us who we are? I was inspired by a blog post by suzjones and began to think… is the primal part of myself more me than the part of me that wants to suppress it? Am I my desires and impulses or is the ‘real me’ who I am when I try to regulate them? Or is the real me who I try to be; who I want to be? I’ve read about the ‘authentic self’ being the self whose behaviour stems from within- from what you were created to be, and I think that includes whatever improvement you think you need to be happy with yourself.
I’ve departed from my younger, loud, bossy, and sometimes over-confident self. I behaved naturally, the way most children do, against social etiquette, choosing to be blunt and honest over being polite. I tended to sing too loudly (in an attempt to drown out my cousin’s voices), and I’d take the first chance to grab a mic if there was one (this happened at someone else’s birthday party too). How annoying. I don’t think I was born to perpetuate my child-like behaviour, acting as if I was the only person that mattered on the planet. The truth is, I live in a world full of people that I need to consider, so I have to find a way to accommodate others. This means changing the egocentric-ism that comes so naturally to me, and being able to move forward from this means maturity. It does not detract from my being ‘real’- it just means I’m learning and striving towards who I want to be. It is only when change occurs in a direction I don’t want to travel in that we have a problem.
Yes, we take on a series of roles daily and we adapt to different situations and personality types. We need to keep some of our dimensions to ourselves- that is, the part of ourselves that wants to talk back to a professor or a boss, for example. There is a professional self, and then the self that you share with your close friends. And then there’s you when you’re alone. Every situation calls for behavioural adjustment, and I don’t think that these dimensions make a person any less ‘authentic’, for every side of you and every role you assume fits together to create this whole person.
From a religious perspective, finding my authentic self is about denouncing my ‘old’ self. As a Christian, I aim to be more and more Christ-like. I am to put to death the sinner within me and be renewed, choosing to live the way I was called to live, no matter how difficult that is in a world where God is replaced and displaced by everything else. There is an element of consistency in being me as I want to act according to the values and principles that are important to me. So as long as I am looking to be the best me that I can be (and that is an on-going process of change), I am the real me.