Thursday, June 25, 2009

Letting go...

I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to formulate a five year and 10 year life plan. I want to set attainable goals and come up with the best methods to achieve them, but… this is really hard! A lot harder than I thought it’d be. And I’m beginning to realize that the reason why it’s been so hard for me to achieve goals is because I don’t really have any goals in mind! That’s scary! I was always the kid who knew exactly where I wanted to go and how I was planning to get there. And somewhere along the line, I lost my way. It makes me sad and scared and frustrated to think that I don’t have any clear plans for the future.

I really tripped out when I wrote out the heading for my plan

“Lovely Brown Girl
5 Year Plan
(Deadline: 2014)”

Seeing 2014 written out seemed so surreal to me! And to think that a date like 2014 is only five years away! That seems a bit crazy…

The only thing I do know is that in the next five years I’d like to be making more money… and I’d like to have a kid. And maybe be married.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… that sounds backwards. The thing is, I KNOW I want to have a child. And I’d prefer to be married before that happens, but the likelihood that I’ll marry in the next five years seems particularly slim these days. I’m not giving up hope or anything, but it just seems so far-fetched!

The closest I’ve come to linking up with a guy who wanted to wife me was The Older Man. He was a really great prospect. He was mature (or so I thought), professional, spiritual, respectful, protective, kind, full of compliments, attractive, and marriage-minded. But, for some reason, even when things were good, I was constantly pushing him away. He even said that for some reason I loved to tell him no. Anything and everything he asked me, my answer was always no. And, even before things fell apart, that’s why we could never progress past a certain point.

This weekend, I sat back and reflected on all my past relationships and realized that none of them have been particularly healthy, which was, on the one hand, shocking; and on the other hand, not at all surprising. I analyzed every relationship I’ve ever been in… including those that were “unofficial” and those guys that I “just dated”. My dating relationship with The Older Man replayed itself and I had an epiphany of sorts: one of the reasons why I was never able to go with the flow of that relationship was because, in my head, I was still tied up in knots over Mystery Man. Even though I didn’t move forward with anything with The Older Man until Mystery Man made it clear that he wasn’t interested in pursuing anything with me, I hadn’t fully let go.

I realize now that wasn’t fair to The Older Man. Even if circumstances hadn’t gotten in the way, the potential seed of our destruction had always been there, lurking under the soil anyway. We never would’ve made it anywhere because he wasn’t the one I really wanted. And coming to that conclusion led me to another revelation: I was guilty of doing to The Older Man what Mystery Man had done to me. I’d moved into a new relationship too quickly. I’d thought only of myself, without taking the feelings of the person who really liked me into consideration. I’d tried to cover a fresh wound with the flimsy band-aid of a new relationship.

None of that stuff ever works. The only things that truly get a person out of your system are space and time. I didn’t give myself either of those things. Oh sure, I told him (and myself) that I needed space… and that he needed it, too. But I’m still his friend on Facebook… I still check in with him from time to time. I can’t seem to leave him alone. And, so, probably the next guy that comes into my life will meet the same fate that The Older Man met.

As I sat there thinking on these things, I started feeling overwhelmed. This was a lot of information to process… a lot of inconvenient truths made themselves apparent.

I still think about him a lot. I wonder whether he thinks of me. I wonder why all the things I hoped for with him never actually materialized. I wonder why he didn’t want those things with me at all. And, typically, by the time I get to that final question, I feel hurt and then… anger. But, for some reason this time, although the hurt was still there the anger had nearly dissipated. So, now I think I get it. The things I felt for Mystery Man… those are the same things he feels about his ex. The same way that I couldn’t move on from him… and couldn’t let The Older Man into my heart, that’s the same reason why Mystery Man kept pushing me away. I kept wondering how he could think I was wonderful, and beautiful, and smart, and funny, and all those things that he always said I was, but then couldn’t bring himself to be with me. How could I not see? I did and said all those same things with The Older Man. He didn’t stand a chance. I guess I didn’t either…

But, nothing I did was done out of spite. I never meant to hurt The Older Man and I didn’t mean to cut him out before he could even really take a shot at building something with me…. but I did. I hope I won’t make the same mistakes with someone else. And I hope that, if by chance I do make those same mistakes, that they will be patient with me and won’t hate me in the end.

I don’t hate Mystery Man… I don’t think I ever could. He’s a good person and will always have a place in my heart (just hopefully in the future not such a big place). And now that I’m getting a better idea of where he was coming from, I’m not even angry about the way that things turned out. I am finally realizing that, as tempting as it might be, you can’t hold someone’s love against them. He loves her and not me and, even though that seems unfair, I gotta just let that go.

And, so, I begin again.


Anonymous said...

Do you think you are afraid of failure/disappointment, so you subconsciously or inadvertently tend to put yourself in situations where you sabotage your relationships or not get close to the guy?

Lovely Brown Girl said...

Hmm... Anonymous, I don't think that's it. I have been in several long-term relationships (my friends call me a serial monogamist) and I have been pretty close to quite a few of them. In the past, the problem has been that the guys that I date purport to be interested in a serious monogamous relationship with me (and I do let it be known that I am marriage-minded, and they don't seem scared away by that either). But in the end, it never works out. I guess it's never "right" until it's "right", you know? I just haven't met the right one yet. (At least that's what I tell myself to maintain my sanity!)

Anonymous said...

My advice: "de-friend" him on facebook. I did that with my ex B, and boy did it help me to stop thinking of him all the time.

But it is so awesome that you found a way to be that introspective.