Over Him

“Your head’s like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole universes fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune’s all we are.” ~ Grant Morrison, The Invisibles, Vol. 1: Say You Want a Revolution

Relationships do not just end at the exact moment of a break-up.  Whether it is one person moving out, or whether there are words spoken between the parties signifying the end of the commitment, the real end of the relationship happens when you stop feeling for that person.
I did end our relationship when I found out.  I was hurt, angry and devastated. But I was also forgiving.  I was not ready to just let go of my dreams or my love for him.  We were living together, and we were sharing a life together.  I let my feelings for him, my love for him, override his acts of betrayal against me.       
And with my progress towards forgiveness, I let him back into my thoughts, my heart, and my life. We were not together in the conventional sense of being in a relationship, but we were together in how I viewed him and how he was a main figure in my current life.  
Over time, we had managed to maintain a very civil friendship.  He was there for me whenever I needed anything, and similarly, I was there for him whenever he was in a bind.  But underneath that friendship was a very strong desire to rekindle the love and the relationship that we once shared.
When he first moved out, I never took down any of the photos that I had of him that were displayed in various shelves around the house.  Aside from his belongings that he took with him when he moved, I kept most everything in the house the way that they were while he was still living there.  I even still slept on my side of the bed even though I now had the entire bed to myself to spread out.  It was not intentional — I mindlessly just kept things as they were — maybe an unconscious desire to preserve the life that we had together before the betrayal.    
I used to look at his pictures and feel surges of emotion, ranging from explosive anger, deep hurt, to gentle love.  I had little trinkets, reminders of him, lurking everywhere in the house.  There was the little neck pillow he bought from our trip to the Philippines together, the 9/11 memorial statue on the corner table that was his and was a reminder of the fallen World Trade Center Towers and the firefighters that held up the United States Flag amid the ruins, the ceramic of the iconic NYC coffee cup that he gave me, the paintings on the walls that he bought when we first moved in together… so many objects that tell stories of our life together.
Yesterday, I saw more reminders of him around the house.  Unhappy reminders.  I saw the chipped wooden blind that was damaged during one of our fights when he flung the car keys towards the window.  I saw the dent in the bedroom door from when I slammed the door in his face, and he tried to push it open with his shoulder.  I saw the folder of medical papers from when I was undergoing fertility treatments.  Reminders of not so happy moments.  
It was only just yesterday that I realized that my relationship with him is truly over.  It is over because I no longer hold on to the good moments that we shared together, but instead can look back at it with a clear set of eyes and also see that life with him was far from perfect.  In fact, if I look really closely, and if the walls could talk, the stories of bad times would outweigh the stories of good times.
This weekend, I will do some Spring cleaning and rearranging.  It is time to reclaim my space.

Do We Spin Our Own Yarn?

“When it comes to life, we spin our own yarn, and where we end up is really, in fact, where we always intended to be.” ~ Julia Glass, Three Junes

I’m having a hard time understanding the concept of destiny, and the idea of being exactly “where we were meant to be.”  What does that even mean, exactly?  So, if a totally innocent girl who goes out dancing at a club one night ends up getting hacked and murdered by a man she met that night, that means that that was her destiny, and where she was that night and the awful things that happened to her, that is what was always intended for her?  So no matter what she chose for that night, no matter where she decided to go clubbing, no matter what, she was just meant to be hacked up and murdered that night?
I have a hard time believing that.  I believe that in some ways, we can control what happens to us. Maybe we don’t have full control, but I do believe that we do have some part in the chain of events that occur in our life.  Don’t we?  
I guess I am feeling this way because I am having some major regrets about some of the choices I have made in my life.  I cannot shake this feeling that I am living some alternate life, and that my real life, the one that I am supposed to live, is in some other, alternate reality, and that where I am now, is not where I am supposed to or even am intended to be. 

Year Forty-Three

“All I know is that I’ve wasted all these years looking for something, a sort of trophy I’d get only if I really, really did enough to deserve it. But I don’t want it anymore, I want something else now, something warm and sheltering, something I can turn to, regardless of what I do, regardless of who I become. Something that will just be there, always, like tomorrow’s sky. That’s what I want now…” ~ Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

photo by N o v a
I turned forty-three this year.  As is customary on my birthday, there was not a lot of fanfare.  I didn’t even have cake.  Instead, the days preceding my birthday, I spent at the clinic listening to the words of my fertility doctor telling me that no matter how young I still looked, and no matter how healthy my lifestyle is, the woman’s reproductive system has no aesthetic look, and at my age, its function, is quite dramatically reduced.
Although there is nothing “wrong” with me, the fact is, I am forty-three, and to naturally conceive at my age is nearly a miracle, and even with the assistance of modern technology, the chances are still lower than twenty percent.  Quite grim odds.
I have never felt older.
And I have never felt more angry.  I am angry at having spent forty-three years of my life doing what I was told, trying to do the right thing, and putting others before myself. Even in the farce of a marriage with the alcoholic loser, everything inside me told me to leave, but I stayed because it was the “right thing to do” — I had to stay and “help” him with his issues, and in the meanwhile, I was losing pieces of myself in the process.  Always, I had put others before myself.  I always lived with the mantra that if I was good to the universe and to all people, the universe and the people would be good to me in return.
That has not yet been the case.
I am still waiting for a miracle and some sort of sign that the future will bring me all the happiness that I did not witness in my earlier years.  May year forty-three be my year.