Not A Good Year
I’m not lying, this has been the worst year of my entire life; dark, drunk, and trying. And when I say, “trying”, I don’t mean the year has taken its toll. I mean I have truly tried. I have given my all to a relationship which I knew early on could not give back. Still, I put on my blinders and lowered my shoulder into the future. With few expectations but irrepressible dreams, I worked hard at it. She did too.
This year I have been in bed sick far too often. I have missed too much work. I have had too much to drink. I have shed too many years. I have also turned my back too often on many who care about me. In short, this year was just like last year, the year before that, and the year before that. You know, all the years since the day she and I met.
I Blame Me
It started over four years ago when I fell in-love and gave my heart to someone I deemed special beyond words – and she is. The pedestal I built was not strong enough though, to support the idol I had created in my head. And there I prayed, every day and most moments of my life, to the woman I placed well above me. Rarely, I now see in hind-sight, did she ever pray back, or even look down.
But that’s not her fault, she had other things to occupy her prayers and her eyes; two daughters. Though her girls would never come to accept me, I can’t blame her for that either. I soon knew though, that the interest of her daughters would be the critical weakness in our relationship. She convinced me it would not be. I leapt.
What does it say about me, or about the ideal of love, that just a few months in, when I first recognized a potential weakness in the relationship, one which I knew we would not likely survive, that I still charged it full steam, for years…? Again, that’s on me. She’s a good person with a good heart and fairytale eyes, but I knew better. Second families rarely work, and her family would be second to no one.
Everyone Needs A Hobby
I do many things wrong, but I think I do partnership pretty well. I may be a hard person to love, but at the end of the day I give plenty of reasons to hang on tight. I always thought that would be enough – to be emotionally present, with no expectation of an equal return. But she couldn’t be as present, her hands were tied. She did the best she could under the circumstances, but the immense gravity of this conflicted dynamic pulled her into the event horizon.
My Own Daughter
In all of this, what most saddens me is the effort, time, and money diverted away from what should have been my biggest priority – my own daughter. This is not to suggest that I woke up one day after falling in love, placed my daughter on an iceberg, and clipped a note clipped to her collar reading, “If found, handle with care”, and pushed her out to sea. But I did leave a large helping of woulda shoulda coulda on the table during the course of this now failed relationship.
When I look back at potential moments lost, I shudder. I could have been so much better as a father. My daughter is better than me though. She’ll learn from my mistakes even if I might not. My daughter often referred to my would-be marriage as, “the epic fail”, but she always supported it, and did so sincerely.
The Point Of Friendships
I wouldn’t know many of my Facebook friends if they bit me on the ass and called me Jew-boy. Nor would they know me as much. But I will bet that if I asked many of them to be there for me in a time of need, and if it were within their grasp to do so, they would accommodate. And I like to think the same is true in reverse.
My partner of four years was there for me when she could be, but it was scarcely at best. When I needed her most though, at critical times to stand up for us and help stake our claim to our future, she was silent. One lesson learned is that in my next love, if there is a next love, at the first sound of such silence, I will tuck my tail between my legs, back away slowly with one eye looking forward and one eye back, and just keep stepping.
At Best, At Worst
At best, I am a hopeful romantic and as my friend Robert says, probably too nice a guy. I believe in love, marriage, and I don’t want to grow old alone. I don’t always have high expectations of romance, and I’m not looking for someone to save me from myself. But there are times, like many, I want to hit my next relationship out of the park.
At worst, I’m the kind of guy who is willing to just keep hitting his head on the door-jam – over and over again, hoping there is something meaningful on the other side. Next time out, I will hope to remember the door-jam is almost always too low, and what’s on the other side is seldom enough. Be well. rc
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Please check back in two weeks for whatever happens next when I push the “stop” button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there it this from Micky Braun of Micky And The Motor Cars. Enjoy…