Monday, August 27, 2012


So, so, so much of my identity is bound up in being single. Being on my own. Being independent. Different ways of saying being alone.

Therapist and I are exploring this idea of being alone-independent-single.  It's weird. Therapy is weird. Someone listens to what I'm saying, don't realize I'm saying, or what I'm not saying, and tells me what I'm saying or not-saying. And then I'm like, whoa, because he just said in one sentence that thing that I am taking my whole life to say. And it sounds so simple and obvious and so frightening I cannot accept that it's true.

When the boundaries between me and my willingness to believe the truth are thick, I continue past the saying and not-saying and add on not-hearing.

I love working in my yard pulling weeds. However, I have a really hard time staying present for pulling weeds. I tend to have imaginary conversations, which would better be described as me-talking/someone-listening-and-being-very-interested-and-asking-me-many-questions. Whoever it is, is usually someone that I kind of like in a squishy-innards way, and is quite often someone who has already turned away. When it's someone who is still a contender, it begs the question, why am I not having this conversation for real.

Because conversations don't go like that.

In conversations I have to listen to the other person tell me about their day no matter how much I am just not interested in their job and the thing they had to get that didn't work even though it was a brand-new thing.

In conversations I have awkward moments when I'm going to say something and they're going to say something and I'm nice so I don't want to talk over anyone so we both stop and that's how I find out if someone's not nice, because they just keep talking. But then we have to figure out who gets to talk first.

In conversations I don't keep habitually finishing others' sentences like I do in real life because I can be a bit impatient.

I was having a conversation-in-my-head. It was with someone I could have with the snap of my fingers. Who I don't want and am not attracted to.

Except every day I let the idea in a little, mull it over, play with it a little.

But then I think about the time when it will be over.

I remember the last time someone came this close. I held out my hand, he grabbed on, and then he tumbled faster than I did, right into all kinds of future plans that I wasn't ready for and I got scared and I knew -- I knew -- that I would calm down if I broke it off.

The panic evaporated and I could relax again.

I script and practice how I'm going to let him down, how I'm not going to feed him 20 minutes of bullshit detailing all I've gone through in the last year and how that contributes to Not Ready and Need To Be On My Own.

Last time, the time when it will all be over was the time after it began. It hasn't even begun and I'm thinking about being on the other side.

And yet I don't go there. I don't say the dreaded words, "we need to talk." I sit down next to him to take my shoes off, let him hold my hand as we walk out the door at the end of the evening.

Do you see how far I'm talking around what I'm supposed to be talking about? Which is this identity issue.

Some examples.
  1. I bought a house.
  2. I ripped up carpet on a Wednesday after work.
  3. I ripped up carpet at 9:00 on a Friday.
  4. I painted rooms and their ceilings in a color palate that would make many a man -- and I expect, this particular man -- shake his head in disbelief.
  5. I drove here, and there, and back again.
  6. I moved to the Grand Canyon because a guy broke my heart. (Did I fail to tell this story? Maybe later. Maybe never.)
  7. I always liked the guy my friend liked, especially if he liked her back.
  8. I had to start school a year early, but Brownies a year late.
  9. My legs were too short to reach the hollow below the swing. I was the only one who needed a push.
And now some of the most meaningful conversations that give me what I think I want, I have alone, even though they are with someone who exists.

But he does listen when I talk. He isn't just waiting to talk, himself.

So I'd have that. If I would let myself.

I can never get all the weeds. After two hours I'm tired. And the hedges still need to be trimmed, and all the other weeds, in all the other places, pulled, and the mulch spread, and the ivy cut back, and the basement vacuumed, and the kitchen floor scrubbed clean, and the living room painted and the gutters cleaned and repaired and the upstairs walls explained and repaired and painted and the vinyl removed or remedied and the furniture moved and the boxes unpacked... And I wonder what I was getting into.


I imagine that I could turn around tomorrow, dial a number, and have all of it -- everything I've ever wanted. Have motorcycle rides, ice cream after dance, sweet thoughtful texts that show he was listening, help with this never-ending project of house, and the last dance every Tuesday night.

What I will need to give in return is too daunting. Too precious.

S is right. I need to do backbends.

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